The temple of Sri Padmavathi, the consort of Lord Sri Venkateshwara, is located at Tiruchanoor, also called as Tiruchukanur. Alamelu mangamma or Goddess Padmavathi is the presiding deity of this temple and hence the place is also called as Alamelumangapuram. Sri Padmavathi Devi is said to be the incarnation of Goddess Laxmi, consort of Lord Vishnu. It is said that Goddess Laxmi gave darshan (appeared) to Lord Venkateshwara on a red lotus flower in Padma sarovar (lake) at Tiruchanoor, after his deep penance for twelve years.
There is a tale in Padma Purana which tells us about this temple and the way it came to exist. Once upon a time, sage Bhrigu, the son of Lord Bramha, was entrusted with the task of finding out the supreme/powerful God among the Trinity. First, he went to Kailsa, the abode of Lord Shiva. There, Nandi, the mount of Lord Shiva, did not permit him to go in to Kailasa, but somehow, he managed to secure permission. But Lord Shiva was with his consort Goddess Parvati and didn’t notice Sage Bhrigu or welcomed him. Upset with this Bhrigu cursed Lord Shiva and came to Brahma. Brahma didn’t give special interest to Sage Bhrigu as he was his son. Bhrigu, thinking this as a high handed behaviour of Lord Brahma, cursed Brahma and went to Vishnu who was fast asleep. Irritated with this behaviour and unable to control his anger, Bhrigu kicked Lord Vishnu on the chest. Goddess Lakshmi who was also on the chest received a part of the kick.
Lord Vishnu woke up and pleaded guilty and massaged his feet, asking the sage if the kick hurt his leg and doing so squeezed the third eye of the sage which was on the paw of Sage Bhrigu. Without knowing what Lord Vishnu did with him, the sage was pleased with the behaviour of Lord Vishnu and at his concern for his feet. Unaware about all this and upset with the pleasing manner of Lord Vishnu towards Sage Bhrigu, Goddess Lakshmi left the abode of Sri Vishnu and went to Patala Loka. Unable to bear the separation, Lord Vishnu came down to earth and wandered for days and months.
During this wandering he reached Kolhapur, where he worshiped Lakshmi’s image in the temple, set up by sage Agasthya. One day the aakasa vani (divine voice) told him to do penance for Goddess Maha Lakshmi at the bank of river Swarnamukhi for twelve years. She also directed him to offer lotus flowers for Goddess Maha Lakshmi so that she would grace him with her darshan and accept reunion. On hearing this Lord Vishnu reached Tiruchanoor and dug a tank,which is now called as Padma sarovar.
Lord Vishnu prayed Lord Satyanarayana and asked him to see that the lotus flowers don’t wither. Goddess Mahalakshmi appeared before Lord Vishnu on Karthika Sukla Panchami standing on a red lotus flower with lotus in two hands and offered her hand as a gesture to reunite with the Lord. This form of Goddess Mahalakshmi is still offered prayers as she gave darshan to Lord Vishnu in Lotus form (Padma). This is the tank which is dug by Lord Vishnu for his penance and where Lord Satyanarayana helped Lord Vishnu as Lord Balaji on Tirumala.
Tiruchanoor occupies a very important place in the ancient scripts. This was a part of Tiruvengadakootam under the Pallavas. Later under the Cholas it became a part of Rajendra Chola Mandalam. In the eighth century, the village was totally a Sri Vaishnava settlement (settlelments of the devotees of Lord Maha Vishnu). As the temple of Lord Venkateshwara at Tirumala was not of easy access, a new temple called Tiruvalankoil was constructed at Tiruchanoor to have a representative idol of Lord Srinivasa. Later over a period of time Shaivism (followers of Lord Shiva) gained support and importance. Thus a temple of Lord Shiva was erected at Jogimalleswaram. Again following the decline of the Chola’s and the rise of Yadava Rayas, Sri Vaishnavism regained support and a temple was constructed for Goddess Padmavathi.
It is said that a visit to Tirupati is fruitful only after visiting the temple of Sri Padmavathi Devi.