Museums in India
Sri Venkateswara Museum Of Temple Art information

Sri Venkateswara Museum Of Temple Art

The temple is the most significant monument of Indian art and architecture, which sums up and represents subtle values of Indian culture. The elaborations of the temple structures followed from establishment of image worship and accompanying development of the rituals took time to crystallize. From the early times, Hindu temples came into being under the royal patronage of great emperors of South and North. Later, the spirit was caught up by mercantile corporations and artisan guilds, resulting in constructing a chain of temples, great and small. Temples became very hub of rural and urban life in all aspects. Temple was the centre for religious, cultural, social, economic and educational activities and thus it became repository of all that was the best in fabric, architecture, sculpture and other arts. S.V.Museum on Temple Art in Tirupati is the first attempt at gathering traditions in Hindu art and architecture under one roof and presenting it to the visitors. Kacheri Nammalwar temple was a Ramanujakutam, in the north Mada street of Govindaraja Swamy temple in Tirupati, where two thousand Srivaishnavas were fed every day. This holy place is converted into Museum of Temple Art by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams in 1983. The museum is divided into two sections A and B. Section A deals with temple architecture, from choosing a place for building a temple to ways of erecting a temple. The temple is the replica of cosmic man and the architecture, iconography, rituals and worship in a temple help us understand the limitations of human mind and see the aspects of Cosmic Consciousness, of which human being is a repository. The Nagara, Vesara and Dravida and umpteen styles in designing pillars, prakaras, steps etc are shown in this section with miniature models. The iconometry, the science and technology of measurements of icons and temple structures elaborate on the technicalities of designing an icon and temple structure. The stone gallery contains more than 80 wonderful images retrieved from across the region dating from 8th century AD to 19th century AD. Most of these stone sculptures speak of history of Vaishnavism in the region. The gallery of musical instruments has collected a wide range of instruments of bygone ages. Alaya vastu is the way a Hindu temple is planned and executed. This museum will take you through the technicalities of building a temple respecting all the practices accepted by agamas. Stapati is a person who supervises the building of a temple. Takshaka and Vardhaki are assistants to Stapati. Ornaments that decorate the icon are multitude in number. Yet, they are depicted here. Your visit to the museum would be a memorable one. Section B deals with Srivari Vahanams, vehicles of Vishnu, used during Brahmotsavams, wood carvings, one hundred and eight Divyakshetras or holy places for Vaishnavites, Mudras of Bharatanatya, traditional dance form of India, musical instruments, Kalamkari and other art expressions. In the rituals section, an attempt has been made to bring out the significance of ritualistic obligations known as Samskaras and comparison of Tirumala temple with Vedic altar. An interesting collection of vessels used in Agama is displayed. The museum is located near the Govindarajaswamy temple and very close to Tirupati Railway Station. The guide lecturers and gallery attendants of the museum will be happy to guide you through the galleries. This museum also contains a good library with books on history, temple art and architecture, rituals, inscriptions, Hinduism and Vedic literature. Pilgrims can recline in the meditation halls on the roof of the museum in serene atmosphere and experience bliss in the lap of the lord. Note:The museum is open EVERY DAY from 10 am to 6 pm. Entry is free and works seven days a week.

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