Sandal paste is an integral part of puja in Vykunthapuram

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This tradition from centuries ago continues to date, and priests worship the Lord with sandalwood paste.

GUNTUR: According to ancient texts and epics, Venkateswara Swamy had appeared in front of the brothers Chinna Ramana and Pedda Ramana in the 11th Century, when Amaravati was under the rule of the Kakatiyas. The Lord had told the brothers about how he could be found in a small cave atop the Krounchagiri hill. The duo discovered the Lord in a Saligrama Sila, with a head, a sankham and a chakram there.

Later, in the 14th Century, Kondaveedu rulers constructed a hall around the cave and tried to complete the statue of the Lord. However, the workers found that the heart of the statue would bleed incessantly. A voice from the sky declared that the statue should not be completed, because the Lord existed in a cosmic form, and ordered that archana be performed every day, with sandalwood paste.

This tradition from centuries ago continues to date, and priests worship the Lord with sandalwood paste every day at Vykunthapuram. The temple was reconstructed in 1750 by the then king of Amaravati, Raja Vasireddy Venkatadri Naidu, without disturbing the sanctum sanctorum. It is believed the area continues to prosper due to the Uttaravahini (northward turning) of the river Krishna at Krounchagiri hill.

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