Tirupati: From ruins to magnificent shrine
The temple which once teemed with devotees and resonated with chants of devotees went into oblivion for over a 100 years with no pujas and devotees
Tirupati: It is indeed amazing to see a ruined temple rising from its rubble to a magnificent golden temple.
The Vakulamatha temple which was once teeming with devotees and resonating with chanting of devotees went into oblivion for unknown reasons resulting in the temple remaining ruined for over a 100 years with no pujas and devotees visiting it.
The quarry owners' indiscriminate mining added more to the sorry state of the dilapidated shrine.
The temple dedicated to Vakulamatha, the foster mother of Lord Venkateswara, the most popular Hindu God, atop a hillock known as Peruru Banda in Patha Kaluva village near the pilgrim city was constructed 300 years ago, as per the archeological department.
Legend has it that Vakulamatha collects flowers for worship of the Lord and also fruits and vegetables for prasadams while some elders in the village say that in Tirumala the Naivedyam is offered to the Lord only after the bell sounds reach the hills, when the temple is in vogue.
Many sources indicate that the temple was damaged during Muslim kings' invasion, resulting in its abandonment. Some locals of Peruru said that their forefathers tried to revive the temple but in vain.
Against this gloomy background, Sangh Parivar and many Swamijis, notably Sri Peetham seer Paripoornananda Swamy and others led a movement to press the TTD to take the reconstruction of the temple as it was mythological associated with Lord Venkateswara, resulting in TTD coming forward.
TTD even acquired the necessary land at the foot of the hillock required for the development of the temple and fought successfully many court cases.
But for one or another reason, there was much delay in taking up the construction.
In the meantime, minister Peddireddi Ramachandra Reddy, who is known for his liberal funding to temples and also taking up construction of many neglected temples, came forward to construct the shrine which saw TTD also join the reconstruction of the shrine.
Sources said Ramachandra Reddy from his family funds constructed the main part of the shrine including sanctum sanctorum, Vimanam (with gold coated dome), Mukha Mandapam, temple kitchen, Prakaram, etc., while TTD took up the construction of the steps leading to the temple, protection wall and providing facilities like waiting hall for devotees (total Rs 2 crore).
TTD is also conducting the Maha Samprokshanm, the consecration of the shrine which will be held on Thursday with the participation of Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy and others.
It is unbelievable to see the temple which was in ruins just a couple of years back, dazzling with colourful illumination adding more to the golden dome shining in all its splendor, enthralling everyone.
Notably, this is the third-of-its-kind having a golden dome after the famed Tirumala temple and popular Saivite Srisailam and the credit squarely goes to Ramachandra Reddy, the man behind rejuvenation of Vakulmatha shrine.