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Why Is Tirumala Tirupati Balaji Temple Known As Thiruvengadam?

The Tirumala Tirupati Balaji Temple, also known as Venkateswara Temple, is often referred to as Tiruvengadam due to its historical and cultural significance. The name "Thiruvengadam" has roots in the ancient Tamil language and literature.

Historical Significance: The term "Thiruvengadam" is derived from the Tamil words "Tiru" (sacred) and "Vengadam" (the hill). This name dates back to ancient Tamil texts and inscriptions, which refer to the sacred hill of Venkatachala (the Venkata Hill) where the temple is located. The Venkata Hill is one of the seven hills of Tirumala and is considered holy.

Cultural References: In classical Tamil literature, especially in the Sangam period texts, the hill and the deity are referred to as "Thiruvengadam". It is mentioned in works such as Silappatikaram and Periyalwar Tirumoli, where the hill and the deity are glorified.

Linguistic Roots: The name Venkateswara, the primary deity of the temple, is a Sanskrit name. In Tamil, this deity is referred to as "Tiruvengadamudaiyaan", meaning the Lord of Thiruvengadam. This shows the deep integration of the deity's worship in Tamil culture.

Religious Importance: The hill and the deity have been of significant importance to both Tamil and Telugu-speaking devotees. "Thiruvengadam" thus serves as a unifying name that resonates across different linguistic and cultural groups in South India.

Ancient Texts and Epigraphy: Many ancient inscriptions found in and around the temple refer to the deity as "Tiruvengadattu Emperuman" (the Lord of Thiruvengadam), reaffirming the historical usage of this name.

In summary, the Tirumala Tirupati Balaji Temple is known as Thiruvengadam due to its ancient Tamil heritage, linguistic roots, and the cultural and religious significance attached to the Venkata Hill and the deity worshipped there.