Lord Balaji is believed to be an avatar of Lord Vishnu. Devotees may worship him with different names like Venkateswara, Tirupati Timmappa or Govinda. The deity changed into a granite stone idol for it was his wish to be on the sacred Seven Hills for the emancipation of humankind.
His two consorts – Goddess Lakshmi and Princess Padmavati, also converted into stone idols, to demonstrate their devotion to their spouse and to be with him forever. Goddess Lakshmi leans on the left side of his chest while Padmavati Devi is on his right.
Though the Lord Venkatesha is most revered in Tirupati which is also known as Kaliyuga Vaikunta, there are a number of temples dedicated to Him. One among them is in the suburbs of Mysore, near the historic city Srirangapatna. The temple is known as Karighatta Vaikunta Srinivasa Temple.
Karigatta literally means Black mountain. The hill which is 2,697 feet above sea level is mentioned in the ancient texts as “Neelachala” meaning “Blue Mountain”. Atop the hill is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Vaikunta Srinivasa/Vishnu. It is believed that sage Brigu installed the idol.
On the left of the main deity is Yoga Srinivasa and on the right are Bhoga Srinivasa idols. Goddess Padmavathi the consort of Lord Srinivasa is installed in a separate sanctum.
The statue of Garuda, the vehicle of Lord Srinivasa is installed facing the main deity along with the Garudastamba/the pillar of Garuda. A big marriage hall is present in the courtyard, which was used to perform marriage. A stone Vishnu Pada/footprint of the lord is present behind the temple.
A well-maintained tar road leads to the temple. There are 450 steps for people who want to climb up the hill. The hill has patches of grasslands, deciduous forests and tamarind trees. The grass is sharp and is known as “Darbe”, which is offered to the lord.
There are few Dasayya/servants of lord Vishnu near the temple who recite the glory of the lord playing the cymbal and blow the conch shell in the end. These people are still seen in south Indian cities begging the whole day reciting devotional songs penned by famous composers like Purandaradasa and Kanakadasa.
As per references, during the battle of Srirangapatna, the Britishers had placed their cannons at strategic locations on this hill.
The annual festival is held during Hindu month of Kumbha Masa Palguna, which is between February and March where many devotees congregate and take part in the festival.
How to reach
Situated: Mandya district, near Srirangapatna, Karnataka
Distance: 20Kms from Mysore, 130Kms from Bangalore
Transport: Private vehicles
Timings: 10:00 a.m to 2:00 p.m and on government holiday 10:00 a.m to 7:00 p.m
Contact Person: Sri Shesha Iyengar – Mob: 93411 98456