- Lakshmi Venkateswara Aalayam
ancient Vaishnava kshetra has a long legend started with Kripacharya
of Mahabharat fame. On account of Kripacharya's doing penance and
dwelling here then in Dwapara yuga, it was called Kripasram and
Kripavati, which later was called Kripa for short. The sthalapurana
affirms that this holy icon was installed by Kripacharya himself. As
it enshrines a big size Hanuman's image in the garbhagriha behind
the archamurti, it went by the name Hanumat kshetra.
temple has several big well-built mandaps for many ado gable
deities, like Andal, Vishwaksena, Alwars and Mother Mahalakshmi. It
is a very big temple having all the essential parts enclosed in a
sturdily built prakara with three imposing towers on three sides.
The sculpture adorning the mandaps and niches display excellent
craftsmanship that detain the viewers long. Another plus point it
claims is - an unusual big tank called Hanumat Pushkarini lying in
its close proximity used for annual float festival, when huge crowds
participate with great zeal. There are temples here for Durga,
Eswara and Anjaneya surrounding it. This sacred shrine was lavishly
endowed by the Vijayanagara kings, like Harihararaya, Narasimharaya
etc. Renowned Vaggeyakaras, such as Annamacharya ahd Kshetrayya
visited and offered devotional verses, which are sung with unbounded
fervour even today.
archamurti popularly called Prasanna Venkateswara facing west gives
darsan with Mother Mahalakshmi's figure embossed elegantly and
prominently on his chest and utsavamurtis at his feet. There are
chiselled two images of lizards on the ceiling and it is said by
touching them one will be freed from sins. Belief lifts. In the days
of yore, yatris were going to Tirupati en route this kshetra alone
treating it as portal - Kadapa. Hence the name Devunikadapa. The
annual festival - Brahmotsav falling in Mahga masa is celebrated
with great fervour.
lies in 3 km off Cuddapah, the head quarters town of the same name
of Andhra Pradesh, commanding train, and bus facilities.