Vadapalli (East Godavari): Come Saturday the tiny village of Vadapalli in Atreyapuram mandal of the district transforms itself into a beehive of activity with about 30,000 devotees turning up for the darshan of Lord Venakateswara Swamy at temple of ‘God of Seven Weeks’.
The devout believe that the Lord grants their wishes if they make seven ‘pradakshinams’ around the temple on seven Saturdays and that its result can be felt after completion of the fourth ‘pradakshinam’.
‘Kalyanotsavams’ are being performed on all days except Saturdays. As many as 5,000 devotees will have ‘anna prasadam’ Saturday. Scores of villagers do perform voluntary service like regulating the queue lines, distributing ‘prasadam’, providing drinking water, cleaning the temple, etc., every Saturday.
The villagers feel that it is an opportunity given to them by the Lord to serve his devotees. A week-long festival of ‘Kalyanam’ and ‘Tirtham’ on ‘Chaitra Sudda Padyami’ is an important event performed at the temple.
Lord Venkateswara Swamy is a ‘Swayambhu’ on red sandalwood. Legend has it that once many sages visited Lord Vishnu in Vaikuntam and asked him to protect ‘dharma’ on the earth.
He assured them to appear on sandalwood in river Gowthami. Later, the villagers found a sandal box in the river, took it to the village and opened it to find the Lord on red sandalwood.
Sage Narada constructed the temple after performing a ‘yagna’ and the rituals performed by Vaikhanasa Brahmins and Sri Vaishnava Acharyas. Raja of Peddapuram Vatsavasi Timmagajapathi Maha Raju donated the land in 1759. Temple trust board chairman T Subba Raju said, ”Lord Venakateswara has given us an opportunity to work for him.” The temple will be developed and better amenities would be provided for the devotees soon. Speaking to TNIE, temple executive officer PVVS Kameswara Rao said that plans were afoot to construct an ‘annadanam’ complex at an estimated cost of `70 lakh. Proposals were sent to the endowments commissioner in this regard.
He further said that ‘Srivari Seva’ badges would be given to the villagers who work at the temple voluntarily Saturdays. The number of devotees is increasing by the day. Daily ‘annadanam’ programme would be launched soon, he said and disclosed that the annual income of the temple stood at about `1 crore.