Epigraphical lore of Tirupati.

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This Temple bears on its walls several inscriptions which are of historical, cultural and linguistic importance. The number of inscriptions on the Hill Temple and in the temples of Lower Tirupati and Tiruchanur exceed one thousand and they furnish a continuous and authentic record of the transactions of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams for over seven or eight centuries. We have evidence to believe that many early inscriptions on the walls of the temples have disappeared beyond recovery due to restorations and renovations undertaken from time to time.

As many as 1060 inscriptions are found engraved on the walls of the temples under the management of the Devasthanam. They are published by the T.T, Devasthanams and are classified as follows:

  • Sri Venkateswara’s Temple, Tirumala: # of inscriptions: 640.
  • Sri Govindaraja’s Temple, Tirupati: # of inscriptions: 340.
  • Other Temples: # of inscriptions: 80.

Excepting a few, almost all the epigraphs of the Tirupati Temples are in Tamil language and in alphabet interspersed with Grantha characters. About 50 inscriptions are in Telugu and Kannada. Additionally, in the temple, there is a unique collection of about 3000 copper plates on which the Telugu Sankirtanas of Tallapaka Annamacharya and his descendants are inscribed. This collection forms a valuable source of material for a historical linguist in Telugu, apart from its importance to musicologists.

Under the patronage of almost all important dynasties of South India, this sacred Temple of Tirumala enjoyed full benefits and glory. The Pallavas, the Cholas, the Pandyas, Kadavarayas, Yadavarayas, Telugu Cholas, Telugu Pallavas, Vijayanagara kings (Sangama, Saluva and Tuluva lines) have left the marks of their patronage and endowments on the walls of the Temples of Tirumala and Tirupati.

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