TIRUMALA, FEBRUARY 17: The annual mukkoti festival of Kumaradhara Teertham is scheduled to take place in Tirumala on February 22 on the auspicious day of Magha Pournami. TTD performs special puja in this sacred teertham on that day.

Among the three crore teerthas which are believed to be present in Seshachala Ranges, they are broadly categorized into four. The first category teerthas are called “Dharma Ratiprada Teerthas” which are 1008 in number. The second category is called “Gnanaprada” which are 108 in number while the third category comprises of 68 teerthas which are known as “Bhaktivairagyaprada” and the last category has 26 teerthas which are known as “Muktiprada” teerthas.

The Kumaradhara Teertham falls in the last category and is the first and foremost one in this category. The importance of this teertham was mentioned in Vamana, Varaha, Padma and Markandeya Puranas of Venkatachala Mahatyam.

According to Vamana and Varaha Puranas, this teertham attained the name when an old man was transformed into a teenager by Lord Himself moved over by his devotion. In Sanskrit the teenage is referred to as “Kaumara or Kumaradasa” and hence the teertham is popularly known as Kumaradhara Teertham.

The other two puranas have also given an interesting story behind the name of the teertham. The commander in chief of the army of Deities, Kumaraswamy, younger son of Lord Shiva, once killed Tarakasura a demon. To wipe off the sin, he performed penance on the advice of his father in Venkatachalam and attained sanctity. Since Lord Kumaraswamy performed penance in this area, it is called Kumaradhara.

POURNAMI GARUDA SEVA: The monthly Pournami Gaurda Seva will be observed on the evening of February 22 between 7pm and 9pm in Tirumala