In my previous post I briefly mentioned that I and my wife were at Tirumala on 9th May, our Wedding Anniversary Day. The pilgrimage to Tirumala was to have Darshan and seek Lord Sri Venkateshwaraswamy’s blessings on this significant day. We tried for the early morning, 2:00 AM Darshan through “Suprabhatam Seva” but as it was not available we booked for the evening “Sahasra Deepalankarana Seva”, sixty days in advance.
“Sahasra Deepalankarana Seva” is performed everyday in the evening at 5:30 PM at the Unjal Mandapam (meaning Swing Mandapam or Uyyala Mandapam in Telugu) which is situated to the extreme left of the Temple entrance, and to be more precise at the South Eastern corner of the Temple where the East and South Mada streets intersect. As instructed we reported for the Seva at 5:00 PM. We were gifted with an Anga vastram and Blouse piece and then made to sit before the Unjal Mandapam. The Mandapam was already decorated with flowers and the oil lamps, 1008 of them within the glass panels of the Mandapam were lit before us and kept glowing throughout the Seva. The Utsava Murti of Lord Sri Venkateshwaraswamy called Malayappa Swamy along with the idols of his consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi were brought to the venue in a richly decorated floral palanquin in a grand procession consisting of elephants and Sannai Melam. These idols are almost 700 years old. The palanquin is then suspended on to the brass chains of the Mandapam and the priests rock the Utsava Murtis to the accompaniment of Vedic hymns and Annamayya Sankirtanas. The Seva lasts for half an hour and ends with Harathi as you can see in the above videos.