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Story Of King Thondaman – Who Bulit The First Tirupati Temple

King Thondaman is celebrated as one of the most devout followers of Lord Venkateswara Swamy of Tirumala Tirupati. His devotion and service to the deity led him to build the first Tirupati Temple, known as Sri Bhu Sametha Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple, in Thondamanadu, the present day Tirumala Tirupati.

Background and Family

Padmavathi Devi, who was adopted by Akasa Raju, had a significant connection with Lord Venkateswara. Due to her penance for Maha Vishnu in her previous lives, she was destined to marry him, who incarnated as Srinivasa. Their divine marriage, blessed by Mahalakshmi Devi, took place amidst great auspices, and they resided in the ashram of Sage Agastya for six months following their union.

Akasa Raju's wife, Dharani Devi, and their family, including their son Vasudan and Akasa Raju's brother Thondaman, played crucial roles in the unfolding events. After Akasa Raju attained salvation, a conflict arose between Thondaman and Vasudan over the kingdom. They decided to resolve this through combat, with the winner claiming the throne.

The Divine Intervention

Thondaman sought Lord Srinivasa's help in the impending battle. In response, Srinivasa gifted him the Sudarshana Chakra. Shortly thereafter, Vasudan also approached Srinivasa for assistance. Honoring his request, Srinivasa supported both brothers in their conflict. During the battle, Thondaman used the Sudarshana Chakra, which could have fatally harmed Vasudan. To prevent this, Srinivasa intervened, taking the hit himself and feigning unconsciousness. This act of divine compassion halted the conflict, leading both brothers to cease fighting and devote themselves to serving the Lord.

Moved by their remorse and devotion, Srinivasa forgave Thondaman and Vasudan and amicably divided the kingdom between them. Thondaman's realm became known as Thondamanadu.

Construction of the Tirupati Temple

Following the divine intervention, Lord Srinivasa instructed King Thondaman to build a temple for him at Tirumala. This temple would become his abode for the entirety of the Kali Yuga. Thondaman dutifully fulfilled this divine command, constructing the magnificent temple at Tirumala. Once the temple was completed, Lord Srinivasa, along with Goddess Padmavathi and other deities, including Lord Brahma, consecrated the temple. Lord Brahma, in particular, lit two deepams (lamps) that, he proclaimed, would burn until the end of the Kali Yuga.

King Thondaman's devotion remained unwavering. He made daily visits to the Tirumala temple to offer prayers. However, as he aged, his physical limitations prevented him from making the journey. Expressing his distress to Lord Venkateswara, the deity, along with his consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi, began visiting Thondaman's residence every night after the Ekanta Seva (the temple's night ceremony) to accept his offerings.

Final Years and Salvation

One day, Thondaman requested Lord Venkateswara to reside permanently at his home due to his inability to travel. The compassionate Lord agreed, leading to the construction of another temple at Thondamanadu. Thondaman also arranged for a well to meet the temple's needs.

In his final days, Thondaman was blessed with the vision of Lord Venkateswara's Vishwaroopam (divine cosmic form), after which he attained salvation. His life and legacy remain a testament to unwavering devotion and divine grace, with the temples he built continuing to be sacred sites of worship for millions.