Tirumala, 21 September 2015: Tirumala hill shrine and abode of Lord Venkateswara is also known for its gardens growing special flowers and scented leafs used on a daily basis at Srivari Temple.

Garlands and flowers play a significant role in the history of Tirumala and each one of them have a specific identity in the legends and lores of the Temple of Lord Venkateswara.It is mentioned in the ‘Tiruvai Mulhi’, a local Purana that the celestial ruler of the seven hills was known for his love of flowers and flowery decorations at his abode throughout the year.

An average of 500 kg flowers and 5 kg of scented leafs are used in the making of garlands and flower decorations of the the main deity and also the sanctum and other areas of Srivari temple in Tirumala.At least 20 women make the garlands for the deity every day which is kept in air conditioned chambers in the temple complex for frequent change of decoration and also the utsava idols during the festivals and rituals.

The idea of setting up flower gardens on the Tirumala hills was conceived by Sri Ramanuja and his disciple Sri Anandalwar in the14th century itself. Later Sattada Sri Vaishnavas cultivated the Tirumala flower gardens under the name of Dasa Nambis.It is said that the inscriptions in the temple refer to numerous flower gardens during the latter period of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Records show that flower gardens existed around the Srivari temple but now converted into guest houses- Ram Bagicha, Narayana Giri, and Nandakam,

The significant flowers used for Srivari Kainkaryam (puja) are the scented flowers like roses, lotuses, prominent flowers used are Chrysanthemums, davana, tulasi, Nerium, Tabornamontana, Kanakambaram (Tagetes) and Exora.Eight special garlands are used in Srivari Temple for decorating Lord Venkateswara every day. TTD maintained gardens raise special rose, jasmine and marigold flowers specially for decoration of the main deity of Lord Venkateswara.Special aromic leafs like tulasi etc were also raised in the same gardens.

The garlands of 100 feet long that adorn the Mula virat comprised of 27 varieties of flowers,7 types of aromatic leafs. The prominent garlands adorning the deity are – Shikhamani, Saligrama Mala, Kanthasari, Vruksha Sthala Lakshmi, Shanku Chakram, and Kathari saram, Tavalamulu.says the chief priest Dr AV Ramana Dikshitulu.

The gardens of TTD produced fresh flowers every day for special usage in Srivari Temple.30 Tones of flowers from Thailand, South Africa and six other countries are also imported during special events like Brahmotsavams for decoration inside the temple and also at all popular medians in Tirumala and Tirupati, says Sri. Srinivasulu, deputy director of Tirumala.Gardens,

The TTD garden is a colorful and aromatic location in Tirumala, which soared devotional sensitives of the pilgrims. This garden supplies 500 kilograms of flowers daily to the various temples in and around Tirumala.The gardens comprising of four nurseries are located in the Travellers Bungalow area, Gogarbham Dam area, Sri Padmavathi Guest House area and Divyaramam area wherein more than a million plants are shaped each year.

The gardens of Tirumala is broadly divided into three groups, Ornamental Designs, Inti Thotalu, Thota Panulu. There is gigantic collection of various decorative varieties allegedly collected from various hill stations and gardens of Himalayas, Bangalore and Nilgiris in India and abroad.

Flowers grown in Tirumala include a mixed assortments of crotons, bougainvilleas, hibiscus, named after great personalities like N.T.Ramarao, S.D.Sarma, Ramanuja and others. Apart from flowerbeds the attraction of the garden is beautifully complimented by various streams and ponds, having lots of lovely lotus in the hill ranges and the gardens.

As an added attraction to this eye-catching glory of the gardens, there are many tanks and ponds, which are perennial water sources for the temple gardens. There is Altar Tank Mangalabhavi and Anantha Palligunta, which grow abundant Red lotus flowers and also meet the drinking water needs of the pilgrims and locals.

This Plant Wealth of Tirumala has been published in several books by the Department of Gardens of Tirumala. The wealth of flower, fauna and flora is so richly accumulated on the Tirumala hill shrine that TTD organized Pushpa Yagam and horticultural flower shows every year during Brahmotsavam to show case its natural wealth of flowers. Pilgrims are permitted to enter the gardens and enjoy the natural and man made garden and relish the flagrant smell of flowers, which is of course good for health, and relax their along with their family in this ornamental, landscape and flower garden.

This Department acknowledges flower donations from devotees. Such flowers are supplied under the name,

‘Srivari Pushpa Kainkaryam’ and the APSTC buses carry them to Tirumala free of chargeTTD used flowers extensively for decorations of medians, guest houses and work places at Tirumala and Tirupati every day.’ Our worship to Lord is through flowers and decorations ‘ says Sri Srinivasulu in a nutshell explaining the wealth of flowers, scented leafs and other decorative and medicinal plants at Tirumala gardens.