Kapila Theertham is located in Tirupati. Sri Kapileswara Linga is the self-created form of Lord Shiva which is also known as the Svayambhu form of Lord Shiva. There is also a sacred lake Sarovara that came into existence in front of Kapila Theertham temple. It came through the opening created by the lake Kapila maharishi arrived on the earth. From 1008 theerthams in Tirumala, Kapila Theertham Temple is the only holy theertham that is located at the foot of Tirumala hill. This theertham is very sacred and devotees visit this temple in a large number.
Kapila Theertham History
- The description of Kapila Theertham temple goes back to 10th century. It also has been referred as the ancient inscriptions of Kulottunga Chola Kingdoms. The history of this temple also depicts that many great empires and sages have worked for the development of the temple which included Pallava kings, Vijayanagara kings and Tirumala Mahants.
- As the kapila theertham temple comprises of seven lakes, it is also known as the Seshachalam. The seven peaks are called Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrushabhadri, Narayanadri and Venkatadri. The temple is situated on Venkatadri which is the seventh peak and so it also is known as the ‘Temple of Seven Hills.’
- Medieval history The Pallavas of Kanchipuram (9th century AD), the Cholas of Tanjore (10th century), and Vijayanagara pradhans (14th and 15th centuries) were committed devotees of Lord Venkateswara. During the invasion of Srirangam by Malik Kafur in 1310–11 AD, the Ranga Mandapam of the temple served as the shelter for the presiding deity of Srirangam, Ranganatha Swamy.
- Later, under the rule of the Vijayanagara emperors, was when the temple gained most of its current wealth and size, with the donation of diamonds and gold.
- In 1517 Vijayanagara ruler Sri Krishna Deva Raya, on one of his many visits to the temple, donated gold and jewels. This enabled the Vimana (inner shrine) roofing to be gilded. Statues of Sri Krishna Deva Raya and his spouse stand in the premises of the temple. After the decline of Vijayanagara Empire, kings from states such as Mysore and Gadwal gave ornaments and valuables to the kapila theertham temple.
- There are many stories associated with the manifestation of the Lord in Tirumala. The temple has a murti (deity) of Lord Venkateswara, which it is believed shall remain here for the entire duration of the present Kali Yuga.
Significance of Kapila Theertham
- There is a big statue of Nandi that is seated when one enters to the darshan of Kapileswara Swamy Temple. Also, there are seven hills of Tirupati, Kapila Teertham waterfalls and a sacred lake directly ahead.
- The huge Kapila Theertham Temple stands at the mouth and the mountain cave in a steep and vertical face where waters of the mountain stream Paapa Vinasam fall as the huge waterfall Kapila Theertham or Alwar Theertham. It is a very calm and beautiful place where you can enjoy nature with the divine.
- On the auspicious occasion of full moon day of the Karthika month, all the teerthas ( holy water) on the three worlds of heaven, earth and underworld converge on the Kapila Teertham. If you take a dip in the holy water during this period, you will be released from the worldly bonds of sin to attain Moksha at the mercy of Lord Shiva.
- In earlier times, devotees used to bathe in the Kapila teertham before climbing the holy hills, and even the footpath for the ascent used to begin here. However, the hill being steep here, it was quite a difficult climb, and hence, the steps were moved to the present location near Alipiri.
- During the month of Kartika on the occasion of its “mukkoti” on the ‘Purnima‘ (full moon) day, all the teerthas situated in the three world’s merge into this Kapila Teertham at noon for ten ‘Ghatikas'(one ghatika is equivalent to 24 minutes).It is believed that persons bathing in it at that auspicious time will attain salvation from the cycle of birth and death (‘Brahmaloka’).
Kapila Theertham Temple Timings
- The Kapila Theertham Temple is open from morning 5:00 AM to evening 9:00 PM.
- The morning puja or the Suprabhatam starts from 5:00 AM to 5:30 AM followed by the Abhishekam till 6:30 AM.
- The Alankaram or the puja of the lord takes place from 6:30 AM to 7:00 AM. The devotees have to pay an entry fee of Rs. 5/- to participate in the Archana and Harathi.
- Kapila Theertham Temple is open for all for the Sarvadarshanam from 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM and 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM. There is also an Ekantha Seva performed from 8 AM to 8:15 PM.
- There are different Weekly and Monthly pujas that are performed. Every Monday there is Rudrabhishekam performed from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM by paying the entry fee of Rs. 50/-.
- There is Navagrahabhishekam performed on every Saturday from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM. There is Ekadasa Rudrabhishekam performed every month from 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM.
- If one wants to perform Nithyabhishekam permanently then he will have to pay Rs. 542/- for it and for one year it costs Rs. 42/-.
Kapila Theertham Temple Food Timings
The timing for Anna Prasadam is from 5:00 AM to 3:30 PM and from 5:00 PM to 10:30 PM when free and unlimited food is offered to all the pilgrims. The Anna Prasadam center is next to the Sri Hygreevar Swamy Temple at Thiru Mada Street. The food here is served in Banana leaf with a variety of options. The cooking is done using Solar Electricity and the quality of the food is well maintained.
Dress Code at Kapila Theertham
Men should wear White Pancha, Dhoti/ Kurta, Pyjama. Women should wear saree with blouse/ Punjabi Dress with Dupatta/ Half saree/
Festivals celebrated at Kapila Theertham Temple
- Karthika Deepam: Karthika Deepam is celebrated when the full moon is in the conjunction with the constellation Karthika. This constellation appears as the group of six stars. These six stars are considered as the six celestial nymphs, who reared the six babies, who were joined together to form six faced Subramanya Swamy. He is therefore called the Kartikeya. This festival also celebrates Lord Shiva appearing as an endless flame. This festival is celebrated as an auspicious way, and people light the lamps at Kapila Theertham falls the highest point.
- Skanda Sasti: This festival is celebrated on the sixth day in the bright half of the month of Aippasi in Saivite temples all over Tamil Nadu. It commemorates the destruction of evil by the supreme general Kartikeya who is the son of Lord Shiva. The devotees undertake fasts, prayers and devotional singing to Lord Muruga. The devotees stay in the temple for these six days. The events leading to the conquest of the Asuras are dramatized and enacted.
- Float Festival: Float Festival is celebrated on the night of full moon between mid-January and mid-February each year. The ornamented icons of both the deities God Sundaresa (incarnation of Lord Shiva) and Goddess Meenakshi (Incarnation of Parvati) are taken out in a splendid possession. Devotees are clothed in yellow and red and they dance among the crowd and spray colored water on each other. After the possession, the icons are floated around the temple tank. This festival attracts pilgrims all over the country.
- Arudra Darsanam Utsavam: This festival takes place on the full moon night and also considered as the longest night of the year. Unmarried women fast during the daytime and will break the fast after the moon rise. The dancing form of Lord Shiva is taken out on the possession. The cosmic dance of Lord Shiva is enacted on the day.
- Mahashivratri: This festival signifies the marriage of Lord Shiva and Parvati. It is celebrated in February or March. The devotees keep fast on this day and there are possessions that are held on this day. There are also some special pujas that are performed during the day and the temple is decorated very beautifully. There are large queues of the people to seek the darshanam.
Besides these festivals, the other festivals that are celebrated with great enthusiasm are Vinayaka Utsavam, Annabhishekam and Kamakshi Devi Chandana Alankaram.
Poojas and Rituals at Kapila Theertham
Following are the Poojas and rituals that are performed on the Kapila Theertham Temple:
- Abishekam: Abhishekam is conducted by the priests, by pouring libations on the idol of the deity being worshipped along with chanting of the mantras.
- Alankaram / Archana: Alankaram or Archana includes decorating the idol of the lord with ornaments.
- Sarvadarshanam: Sarvadarshanam means Darshan for all. Devotees stand in the queue to attain the darshan of the lord.
- Rudrabhishekam: Rudrabhishekam is believed to be a very good Homam performed with powerful mantras and it fulfills all the wishes of the person who gets it performed.
- Navagrahabhishekam: Navagraha Puja is a Vedic ritual that produces tremendous positive energy and helps people to gain the courage to face any situation in their lives. The Vedic ritual performed traditionally for these nine planets (Navagrahas) dilutes the negative influences and infuses peace and prosperity.
- Ekadasa Rudrabhishekam: This is a more elaborate Pooja of Lord Shiva. Shiva has eleven forms of Rudra. In this Pooja, all the 11 Rudras are worshiped.
How to reach Tirupati: Road, Rail, and Air
- By Air: The airport of Tirupati is in Renigunta about 15 kms away from the main city, where flights can be found regularly from Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Then taxis can be used to move from the airport to the city which costs about Rs 300. The International airport nearest to Tirupati is in Chennai, which can be reached from any cities in India and abroad.
- By Train: The Railway station to reach Tirupati is in Tirupati itself and connects by trains to Chennai, Bangalore, Visakhapatnam, Mumbai and Madurai which is a common balaji temple route. Another railway station can be found 15 kms away at Renigunta. It is in the Trivandrum – Delhi route that the railhead of Renigunta falls and, therefore, is reached from all cities in India.
- By Road: APSRTC runs free buses from the Tirupati Railway station to Alipiri, with a frequency of 30 minutes. The Free bus services, operated by TTD in tirumala are known as “Dharma Wadhams” There are 12 such buses that pass through cottages, choultries, temples and other places in Tirumala. Even the KSRTC buses are available from towns in Karnataka to reach tirupati.
Hotels in Tirupati: Where to stay
There are different Guest houses that are available where one can stay. There are several large choultries with free rooms for families to stay in reasonable comfort. Electricity and water are provided free of charge. Besides these, the other guest houses are Padmavathi Guest House, Sri Venkateswara Guest House and VarahaSwami Guest House.
Hotel Bliss: Near Ramanuja Circle,Renigunta road, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh 517501
Sri Kapileswara Residency: SKR Residency, Near Kapiltheertham Circle, Tirumala Bypass Road, Opp. Tirumala Hills, 517507 Tirupati, India.
- Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple (Tirumala): Is located at 20.5 KM apart, which can be covered under an hour.
- Srinivasa Mangapuram: Srinivasa Mangapuram is an important temple connected with Tirupati. These temples are connected through 13 KM, with distance covered less than thirty minutes.
- Srikalahasti Temple: Is located at a distance of 39 KM. This distance passing through the National Highway and state highways can be covered less than one hour. This temple is well known for it’s famous Rahu Ketu Dosha Pooja.