Vijaywada: Tirukkadavuru, Alarmel Mangapuram, Tirusukanur, Vadirajapuram, Tiruchhikkanur or Tiruchanur, call it by any name, goddess Padmavathi is always at the behest of her beloved devotees.
The sacred pilgrim town of Tirusukanur now popularly known as Tiruchanur is the abode of the “Lotus-born” goddess Padmavathi, who is also known by the name of Alarmel Mangai. There are some interesting mythological stories behind the origin of this famous temple.
About 5,500 years ago, at the end of the Dwapara yugam and the beginning of Kaliyuga, Lord Vishnu, unable to bear the separation from goddess Lakshmi Devi, left Vaikuntham and did penance for 12 years. Pleased by his love and devotion Lakshmi emerged in the Padma Sarovaram on a 1,000-petal golden lotus in the holy month of Karthika in Suklapaksha Panchami tithi on Friday on the advent of Uttaradashada star.
According to Pancharatra Agama advisor Sri Tirumala Kanduri Srinivasacharyulu, in the later years after the sakshatkara of Padmavathi Devi, sage Suka came to this pious place and did penance and won the blessings of the goddess. Since then this place attained popularity as “Tirusukanur”.
Apart from Tiruchanur, in other temples which are following Vaikhanasam, the presence of goddess Padmavathi is enveloped in many interesting stories associated with them.
In Nagulapuram, where the presiding deity is in Matsyavatara, there used to be a big ocean spread up to this area. But in the aftermath of natural calamities, the ocean sank.
Veda Narayana Swamy
Then Lord Veda Narayana Swamy emerged and protected the Vedas. Here also goddess Padmavathi is present. It is here in Narayana Vanam that Lord Srinivasa and Goddess Padmavathi met and love blossomed between them.
Later in Kayampeta near Appalayagunta, both got engaged. So in this temple, the lord is worshipped as Sri Prasanna Venkateswara, while the goddess is worshipped as Mahalakshmi.
From there they went to Srinivasa Mangapuram and tied the knot. So the Lord here is famous as Sri Kalyana Venkateswara Swamy. The divine couple then reached Tirumala through Srivari Mettu and the goddess settled permanently on the chest of the Lord as Vakshasthala Lakshmi.
The famous shrine of goddess Padmavathi Devi in Tiruchanur is said to have been constructed by sage Suka some 5,000 years ago and hence was initially known as Tirusukanur.
To start with, the statue of Lord Sri Krishna brought from Mullapudi village, adjacent to Tiruchanur, was first installed inside the temple. This is the reason that the Rajagopuram of this temple is located opposite the Sri Krishna shrine only.
As the Goddess Padmavathi is believed to bestow prosperity and peace on humanity, the gopuram which was built for the goddess is known as “Shanti Gopuram” or “Shanti Nilayam” akin to Ananda Nilayam of Tirumala temple.
At this time, the Suka Sannidhi Veedhi (East Mada Street) and Samajam Sannidhi Veedhi (North Mada Street) were constructed. About 100 Srivaishnava families resided here and since then offered Puja vidhi as per Pancharatra agama to Muka Virat and snapanam to utsavarulu in Friday gardens.