The sacred and one of the ancient temples of Sri Venkateshwara is nestled in the verdant Eastern Ghats - a mountain range that runs along south-eastern India. These hills are called as Tirumala Hills and are 3200 feet above the sea level. It comprises seven peaks, namely, Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrishabhadri, Narayanadri and Venkatadri, representing seven hoods of Adisesha, thus the name Sheshachalam. The lord here is called with many names like Edukondalavada, Sri Balaji, Srinivasa, Venkataramana Govinda, Voddikasulavada and many more. The main temple (Abode of Lord Venkateshwara) stands on the seventh peak, Venkatadri and lie on the southern banks of Sri Swami Pushkarini. It is by the Lord’s presidency over Venkatadri, that He is called as Venkateshwara. According to Shastras and Puranas, it is said that one can attain mukkti (Salvation) after worshipping Edukondalavada, meaning, the Lord of Seven Hills, in Telugu.
The temple has its origins in Vaishnavism, an ancient cult where people worship Lord Vishnu. The sanctum sanctorum which houses the awe-inspiring idol of the Lord of the Seven Hills is situated in the main temple complex of Tirumala.
A legend goes that Kubera, the God of Wealth, lent Sri Balaji some money for His marriage with Goddess Padmavathi. It is said that till date, Lord Venkateshwara could not repay the loan. Each year there is a ceremony, in which the descendants of Kubera seek to collect the loan. The Deity is put behind gold bars. On that day the offerings to the Deity are huge, as people rush to bail out Lord Balaji.
The main shrine includes the sanctum and the three successive halls in front of it up to the Bangaru Vakili. It consists Snapana Mandapam, a square hall, Ramar Meda, a rectangular hall, Sayana Mandapam, also rectangular in shape, where the Ekanta Seva is performed and the Sanctum or Garba Griha, in which the idol of Lord Sri Venkateswara stands. In between the sanctum and the Sayana Mandapam, is the celebrated threshold, called the Kulasekhara-padi.