Hinduism News:

Lord Malayappa goes hunting during Sankranti

The Tirumala Tirupati Devastanams have a unique ritual during Sankranti. Lord Malayappa Swamy who is the utsava murthi in Tirumala Venkateshwara Temple is taken into the nearby thick forests of the temple town in the form of a King Hunter and symbolically a couple of deers are hunted. This is a age old tradition and the temple management organises the mock hunting feista every year in connection with the Kanuma festival which falls on the day of Makara Sankranti.

Lord Malayappa Swamy is worshipped during religious ceremonies and processions wherein the main deity cannot be used. It is usually used outdoors whereas the main deity stays indoors. The Malayappa deity is a swayambhu and was discovered in the year 1339. The Lord in this form is seen in the standing pose and is a replica of Dhruva bera.

During Sankranti, as part of the hunting ritual, Lord malayappa is taken out in a grand procession to the thick forests near the temple. He is dressed in the attire of a King Hunter and is seen equipped with various weapons like Sankha, Chakra, Gada, Arrow and Sword. The temple priest moves ahead with the golden spear and symbolically hunts down a couple of deers tied to the nearby bushes.

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