Tirumala: The hill shrine of Tirumala is a treasure trove of Mandapams, the ancient stony structures built by erstwhile kings and devotees which depicts the glory of Tirumala temple.
These mandapams served and have been serving the purpose of conduction of rituals, festivals and special events besides functioning as shelters for devotees during the time of inclement rains etc. Most of these were very artistically constructed and speak volumes for the socio economic and cultural trends of the period.
Pratima Mandapam :
The mandapam with 16 pillars was built by Vijayanagara emperor Sri Krishnadeva Raya abutting the Mahadwaram of Srivari Temple. This mandapam also houses the life size copper idols of Sri Krishnadeva Raya and his two consorts, Tirumala Devi and Chinna Devi. The Mandapam now, also houses a Tulabharam section and also popular resting place of Lord after his Vahana parades and Divya Prabandham is recited by archakas .
Addala (Glass) Mandapam
Inside Srivari Temple this Mandapam is built on an elevated platform with colourful mirror work, donated by a chieftain in 1831 and utilised for special daily festival of Dolotsavam or Unjal Seva.
This high roofed mandapam is presently the venue of special events like Snapana Thirumanjanam and also place where VIPS and VVIPs get Ashirvachanam by Veda Pundits. This platform was once used for the performance of Kalyanams.
About 10-feet away to the left side of Dwajasthambam, this mandapam was built in 1473 and improvised later in 16th century by Tirumalaraya of Vijayanagara Dynasty. It was venue of Unjal seva earlier and now the shelter of the utsava murthies during Dhwajarohana event of Bramotsavams.
This tall pillared and high roofed all granite mandapams with no walls was built in 15th century. It presently houses the Dwajasthambham and Bali peetam and also venue of unique events of Ankurarpanam and Dhwajarohanam.
Four – Pillar Mandapam:
This mandapam built in 1470 by Saluva Narasimha Raya is within the Sampangi Prakaram and is venue of the Utlotsavam where Sri Krishna was worshipped.
This mandapam is located to the South of Sampangi Prakaram and is the venue of celestial weddings ceremony of Lord of seven hills. Festivals including Pushpayagam, Jyesthabhisekam and Pavitrotsavam events are also performed here.
This mandapam is located between Bangaru vakili and Garuda mandiram inside the Ananda Nilayam and was built in 1417. It stands on 16 pillars and the images of Narasimhaswamy, Varahaswamy, Maha Vishnu and Venkateswara Swamy are embedded on the pillars.
This mandapam is beehive of religious activity viz. Panchanga Shravanam, Suprabatham etc. The arjita sevas including Sahasra Kalashabhisekam, Tiruppavada Sevas are also performed here.
There are two big bells installed to south of this mandapam which are sounded during the daily events inside Ananda Nilayam and is alsocalled as Ganta Mandapam or Thiru Mani Mandapam.
The square shaped mandapam next to Bangaru Vakili is the Snapana Mandapam where the Pallava queen Perun Devi donated silver utsava idol of Bhoga Srinivasamurthy was worshipped.
This mandapam next to Ramulavari meda is the location for Ekanta sevas of Lord Venkateswara on a goldplated cot with gold chains.This is venue for daily rituals like Tomala, Suprabatham, Annamacharya descendents rendering Lullaby to Lord at night and recitation of Divya Prabandham,Sahasranama pathanam and Veda Pathanam. Devotees with Arjita seva tickets sit here to witness the rituals.
The Ankurarpana Mandapam, Parakamani Mandapam and Pradashnina mandapam near Yoga Narasimha sway temple are other small but devotionally and historically rich platforms around the Ananda Nilayam.
Other less known but popular Mandapams in Tirumala were Golla Mandapam( located infront of Mahadwaram), Paruveta Mandapam, Vasantotsava mandapam, Sahasra Dipalankarana seva KoluvuMandapam, Vahana Mandapam, Nada Niranjana mandapam, and Asthana mandapam which are used for specific purposes – rituals, dharmic events and also devotee facilitation.
So no wonder Tirumala is the worlds loftiest shrine with temples,. Mandapams and thirthams which all become the members of the family of Lord Venkateswara and bless the devotees.