Tirumala, the abode of Lord Venkateshwara is the ultimate goal of all devotees from time immemorial. There is a wonderful uniqueness associated with Lord Venkateshwara and His abode Venkatadri. In Tirumala names Srinivasa, Venkatesha, Venkateshwara, Govinda, Govinda, Govinda fills our ears and transforms us to a different world. It brings the feeling of being close to Him and a strange sense of elation of utter happiness and joy of His darshan.
In Sanskrit there are several synonyms to the word hill viz, Adri, Achala, Saila etc. 'ven' means nectar 'kata' means wealth, 'esha' means Lord, King etc. 'ven' also means sin, and 'kata' means killer, destroyer etc. 'adri' means hill, mountain. The mountain which destroys sin is named as Venkatadri. The king of Venkata hill- giver of ambrosia and wealth or destroyer of sin is called Venkateshwara. The combination signifies that the holy place, that removes the sins and confers Mukti and bestows Aishwarya or riches.
'Sree' is the Goddesses of wealth, wife of Maha Vishnu- mother Lakshmi. 'nivasa' is the permanent abode. Sree connects all glory and power, faculties and strength, to perform creative acts of righteousness. The only place, where imperfections never enter to molest the serene essence is the seat of Eternal Perfection, which is the bosom of Narayana the permanent Abode of Lakshmi. Hence is indicated as Sreenivasa.
The word 'go' in Sanskrit has four meanings 'earth', 'cows', 'Speech', and 'Vedas'. As the earth is the supporter of everything that exists, He who is the supporter of everything within the individual is called Govinda. He who is the protector of cows and played the part of Gopala in Gokula is the very controller of the animal instincts and passions in the bosom of beings is Govinda. One without whom no speech can ever emerge out of any throat- He being the very Life in all creatures. The highest Speech is the declaration of Truth in the Vedas. The Lord Himself is the very theme and Author of the Vedas. One who is to be known (Vid) through the declaration of Vedanta (go) is Govinda.
There are several legends associated with the manifestation of the Lord in Tirumala. According to one legend, the temple has a murti (deity) of Lord Venkateswara, which it is believed shall remain here for the entire duration of the present Kali Yuga.
Tirumala is one of the 108 sacred shrines of the Sri Vaishanava tradition.
Venkateswara is known by other names such as Balaji, Govinda, and Srinivasa.
The temple of Sri Venkateswara has acquired unique sanctity in Indian religious lore. The Sastras, Puranas, Sthala Mahatyams and Alwar hymns unequivocally declare that, in the Kali Yuga, one can attain mukti, only by worshipping or Sri Venkateswara.
The Tirumala Hill is 3,200 ft above sea level and is about 10.33 sq. miles in area. The Tirumalai range has seven principal peaks, each of them sacred and each bearing a separate name accounted for by a fable. The mightiest of the seven hills, the Seshachala with its seven elegant peaks resembling the seven hooded Adisesha who in reality was divine conch of Lord Narayana. It is said that the pilgrim town of Sri Kalahasti is deemed to be the mouth of Adisesha, while Ahobilam its back, with Tirumala as its head and Srisailam believed as its tail.
Tirumala Venkateswara Temple has its origins in Vaishnavism, an ancient sect which advocates the principles of equality and love, and prohibits animal sacrifice.
Tirumala Venkateswara Temple is on Venkatadri (also known as Venkatachala or Venkata Hill), the seventh peak, and is also known as the "Temple of Seven Hills".It comprises seven peaks, representing the seven heads of Adisesha, thus earning the name Seshachalam. The seven peaks are called Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrushabhadri, Narayanadri and Venkatadri.
According to the Puranas, Lord Vishnu stayed on the earth for some time in the Avatar of Swetha Varaham and rose out of pushkarini as Swayambhuva. His spouse Lakshmi Devi appeared in Thirucharnur. This Swwtha Varaha Avatharam was installed in the temple situated to the west of Swamy Pushkarni. The great religious leader Ramanujacharya visited this shrine on a pilgrimage and systematised the process of worship in accordance with the Sri Vaishnava that continues to date.