Sri Govindaraja Swamy temple is one of the most famous and oldest temples situated in the heart of the temple city of Tirupati. Renowned Sri Vaishnavaite, Saint Ramanujacharya dedicated this temple in 1130 AD. Before Lord Sri Govindaraja Swamy, Sri Parthasarathi Swamy was the deity who presided over this temple.
The daily rituals in this temple are performed according to “Vaikhanasa Agama”. The rituals, festivals and functions of this temple are held according to the rituals practiced in the Tirumala Sri Venkateswara temple.
In general, the temple opens daily at 5:00 AM with Suprabhata Seva and closes at 9:30 PM with Ekantha Seva. Here are the sub-temples located on the premises of this temple.
Tirupati Sri Govindaraja Swamy Temple:
From 5:00 AM to 9:30 PM.
Sub-Temples inside Sri Govindaraja Swamy Temple:
1) Sri Partha Sarathi Swamy Temple
2) Sri Kalyana Venkateswara Swamy Temple
3) Sri Choodikudutha Nachiyar Ammavari Temple / SriAndal
4) Sri Salai Nachiyar Ammavari Temple / Sri Pundarikavalli Temple
5) Sri Bhasyakarla vari Temple
6) Sri Anajaneya swamy Temple opposite Dwajasthambham
7) Sri Thirumangai Alwar Temple
8) Sri Kurath Alwar Temple
9) Sri Madhurakavi and Ananda Alwar Temple
10) Sri Chakrathalwar Temple
11) Sri Mudal Alwar Temple
12) Sri Manavala Mahamuni Temple
13) Sri Vedantha Desikar Temple
14) Sri Anjaneya Swamy Vari Temple
15) Sri Nammalwar Temple
16) Sri Sanjeevaraya swamy Temple / Mattam Anjaneya Swamy Temple
17) Sri Tirumala Nambi Sannidhi
18) Sri Lakshmi Narayana Swamy Temple, G.S Mada Street, Tirupati
Sri Govindaraja Swamy Temple History:
When southern India was invaded by Muslim rulers, the presiding deity in Chidambaram, Sri Govindaraja Swamy was brought and sheltered in Tirupati. After the situation in Chidambaram returned to normal, the Lord Sri Govindaraja Swamy’s idol was brought back to Chidambaram from Tirupati.
One day, Saint Ramanuja Charya had a vision of Lord Govindaraja Swamy in his dream. The Lord advised him to make arrangements for him to reside in Tirupati. Sri Ramanujacharya was then aware of Sri Govindaraja Swamy’s stay in Tirupati during the Muslim invasion. With the help of the king, he visited the place he saw in his dream. To their astonishment, they found Lord Govindaraja Swamy’s vigraham there.
Sri Ramanujacharya advised the king to build a temple for the Lord and houses for people practicing kainkaryam in Sri Govindaraja Swamy temple.
Importance of Sri Govindaraja Swamy Temple:
Sri Govindaraja Swamy is the older brother of Sri Venkateswara Swamy, who performed the ever-magnificent marriage to Sri Venkateswara Swamy and Padmavathi Ammavaru. Sri Govindaraja Swamy was the guardian of the immense wealth obtained from King Kubera to carry out the marriage. He used this wealth effectively to organize one of the most glorious marriages in history.
Therefore, Sri Govindaraja Swamy is regarded as the god who helps him to increase his wealth and to effectively manage the acquired wealth.
Sri Govindaraja Swamy Temple Architecture:
This temple is a remarkable achievement of the ancient architecture of southern India. Its high and remarkable seven-storey Gopuram exterior with 11 kalasas dates from the 14th to the 15th century. This temple is one of the largest temples in the Chittoor district. This Gopuram is enriched by the handwork work that represents the scenes of the Swamy life of Baghavata, Ramayana and Lord Sri Venketeswara Swamy.
Tall primary Gopuram is followed by a smaller but no less significant internal Gopuram. The interior of Gopuram has a decorative courtyard with a spacious interior stone room, which protects worshipers even during busy festivals.
Sri Govindaraja Swamy Temple Festivals:
Here are the important festivals that take place in Sri Govindaraja Swamy temple of Tirupati:
Vaisakha Festival (Annual Brahmotsavam )
Sri Salai Nachiyar Panguni Uttiram Festival
Pushpayagam ( Introduced in 2014 )
In addition to the above, Parveta Utsavam and Ponna Kalva utsavams are also being conducted every year. Further, Pournami Garudaseva is conducted on the Pournami day of every month for the convenience of the devotees, who fulfill their vows to Lord Sri Govindarja Swamy during processions.
Besides this, each Alwar Sathumorai and Thirunakshatram are conducted for 10 days in each of the 12 Alwar Temples.
Sri Govindaraja Swamy Temple Arjitha Sevas:
1. Suprabhatam 5:00 to 5:30 AM
2. Thomala Seva 6:30 to 7:00 AM
3. Sahasranamarchana 7:30 to 8:00 AM
4. Archanananthara Darsanam 8:00 to 8:30 AM
5. Ekanthaseva 9:00 PM