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Malayappa Swamy of Tirupati – Meaning and Significance Malai Kunia Ninra Perumal

Malayappa Swamy is one among the numerous names of the utsava murti (presiding processional deity) in Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, Tirumala. The most popular names of the deity worshipped in Tirupati temple are Balaji and Venkateswara. The name Malayappa Swamy is widely used by Telugu and to a certain extend by the Kannada and Tamil speaking community.

Origin of Name Malayappa Swamy

In ancient times, Malayappa, the Utsavamurthy of Lord Venkateswara was often referred to as ‘Malai-kunia-ninra-Perumal’. It means, the Lord who stands in a valley between two hills. Another meaning of the term is the ‘Lord stood on the hill which bowed low to Him.’ Over the course of time, his name was shortened to Malayappan or Malayappa Swami.

Meaning and Significance Malai Kunia Ninra Perumal

The main deity worshipped in Tirupati Balaji Temple is immovable. During pujas, rituals, festivals and processions, which involves the moving around of the deity, Malayappa Swamy is worshipped.
The belief is that the Tejas (divinity) of the original murti is present in Malayappa Swamy.

How to the Utsava Murti of Malayappa Swamy of Tirupati was Discovered?

The murti of Malayappa Swamy is Swayambhu (that which appeared on its own) and it was discovered in 1339 AD.

Earlier Ugra Srinivasa was the utsava murti of Tirupati Temple. Once during a procession a major fire broke out and that night a villager of the area had a vision about the presence of another utsava murti in the Tirumala Hills.

The utsava murti of Malayappa Swamy was discovered at a holy spot, which is today referred to as Malayyappan Konai (Malayappa's corner)