Adi Varahaswamy Temple
Tirumala is also known as Adi Varahakshetram. The impeccable evidence for this is the Varaha Swamy temple is located to the west of Swami Pushkarini. In fact, Varaha swamy was the one who gave some place to Venkateswara for his temple. But due to several reasons, Varahaswamy temple’s importance dwindled in course of time. Ramanuja noticed this and brought to the notice of everyone the diktat in Brahma Purana, which clearly states that Venkateswara Swamy will not be pleased unless the devotees visit Varaha Swamy first.
Ramanuja also made arrangements that the first pooja, first naivedya is offered to Varaha Swamy. Further special festival is celebrated on Sravana star day during Tula month.
Legend behind Sri Varahaswamy Temple
One day, Sri Varahaswami while returning after destroying Vrishabhasura, saw at sunrise, Srinivasa who was strolling on Venkatachalam. Roaring at him, Varahaswami moved towards him. Srinivasa immediately disappeared into the ant-hill. Then Varahaswami recognised Srinivasa as Lord Vishnu and spoke to him. Srinivasa also recognised Varahaswami as Vishnu and stood before him and spoke. The gods seeing the two manifestations of the same Lord (Vishnu), were happy and showered flowers on them. After the gods left for Sri Vaikuntam, Varahaswami asked Srinivasa why he had to leave Vaikuntam and come down there.
Srinivasa said, “Lakshmi left my chest as it had been dishonoured by the kicking foot of sage Bhrigu, and went to Kolhapur. In this sorrow I left Vaikuntam and made this ant-hill here south of you, my abode. A cowherd struck me on the head with an axe. I have seen you while I am searching for an antidote to the pain of my head injury. I have a desire to stay here till the end of Kaliyuga”. Then Varahaswami asked him to pay for it and have it. To him Srinivasa replied, “I have no money. But if you give me space here, I shall repay your debt by causing you to be worshipped and offered food before me, first, in lieu of money. Consider it as a proper payment and give me land here.” Varahaswami accepted it and gave him an extent of land measuring a hundred feet. In return, Srinivasa provided him with an agreement deed assuring that he would be paid the first darshan, worship and offerings by all the devotees visiting the temple.
This tradition is in practice to this day at Tirumala and Lord Varahaswamy temple continues to receive the age-old traditional worship. Even today, all offerings are first made to Lord Varahaswamy and then to Lord Sri Venkateswara.
Read About Annual Ceremonies at Tirumala