- Incarnation of Lord Vishnu: Lord Venkateswara, also known as Srinivasa, Balaji, and Venkatachalapati, is considered to be a form of Lord Vishnu, who incarnated in the Kali Yuga. His abode, the Tirumala Hills, is believed to be a part of the celestial Vaikuntha.
- Marriage to Padmavathi: According to legends, Lord Venkateswara took a loan from Kubera, the god of wealth, to finance his wedding to Padmavathi. It's believed that the devotees' offerings at the temple are a way to help the Lord repay this debt.
- Lord's Mark: The unique mark on Lord Venkateswara's chin, known as the "Namam", signifies the foot of Bhrigu Maharishi. The legend goes that Bhrigu Maharishi kicked Lord Vishnu on the chest, where Goddess Lakshmi resides. Instead of getting angry, Lord Vishnu expressed concern about Bhrigu's foot, showcasing his boundless love and compassion.
- Tirumala Venkateswara Temple: Situated atop the seven hills in Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh, the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple is one of the most visited pilgrimage centers in the world. Thousands of devotees visit every day to have a darshan of the majestic deity.
- Rituals and Pujas: The deity is worshiped with various daily rituals. The day starts with Suprabhata Seva, where hymns are sung to awaken the Lord. This is followed by Thomala Seva, Archana, and other rituals culminating in the Ekantha Seva at night, symbolizing the Lord's rest.
- Tonsuring: Many devotees offer their hair to the Lord, signifying relinquishing their ego and seeking his blessings.
- Offerings: Devotees donate generously to the temple. The Hundi collections go towards various charitable causes managed by the temple trust, including meal services, education, and healthcare.
- Laddu Prasadam: The Tirumala temple is also famous for its Laddu Prasadam, a sweet offering that is given to the devotees after their darshan.
- Festivals: The temple observes numerous festivals, but the annual Brahmotsavam is the most renowned. For nine days, the Utsava Murti (festival idol) of the deity is taken out on a procession on various Vahanas (vehicles).
- Dress Code: Devotees are expected to wear traditional attire while visiting the temple. This is to maintain the sanctity and age-old customs of the temple.
These tales, rituals, and practices associated with Lord Venkateswara - The God of Tirumala, remind one of the eternal values of compassion, selflessness, and devotion.