Chikka literally translates to small in Kannada; Chikka Tirupathi is a smaller version of the Tirumala Tirupathi temple in Andhra Pradesh.
Located not very far from Bangalore, the 40 km drive will be a pleasant experience while you zip past the beautiful countryside. Once you reach the temple, you may park your vehicle and leave your footwear behind and make the journey uphill to greet the deities.
Brief History of Chikka Tirupathi
The temple has an interesting history that you will overhear on your way to the temple. It goes like this, when the fire God, Agni was consuming the forest of herbs caused burn injuries to Takshaka, the serpent God. Takshaka, furious, cursed Agni that he loses his power, his Tej. Agni then goes to Lord Krishna who tells him that he would have to please Lord Vishnu to get his Tej back. Agni pleases Lord Vishnu as a penance and his curse is lifted. Agni builds a temple for Lord Venkateshwara. The Lord here is called Prasanna Venkateshwara, Prasanna meaning joy.
Chikka Tirupathi is an ancient temple and a significant one at that as it is said that one must visit this temple first before you visit the main temple in Andhra Pradesh, which is why you see a lot of pilgrims and it is always busy.
Ceremonies and adoration usually take place here during the New Year’s, Vaikunta Ekadashi and during the full moon. Best time to visit will be early in the morning as you will see early morning poojas being conducted here. As this is temple is considered as a smaller version of Tirumala Tirupathi, tonsuring of the head which is unique to Tirumala also takes place here.
Compared to Tirumala , the lord at Chikka Tirupathi is seen holding an upward mudra called abhay hasta, whereas in Tirumala he is seen holding a downward mudra called Vaikuntha hasta.
The Gopuram that leads to the temple is an intricately designed structure with detailed crafting of structures and deities on it. Photography is not permitted inside the temple, as with most of them to maintain religious sanctity.
Outside the temple you will find a huge banyan tree and vendors selling flowers and other items for adoration. There is a market too if you are looking to carry souvenirs and other items back home.
Chikka Tirupathi is a favorite destination among devotees and tourists as much for it’s interesting history as it is for the faith and belief.