Official Site of Thirunallaru Temple


The Balipitha in a temple usually faces the sanctum at a distance directly in front of the Lord.

But the one here is not facing the sanctum directly but is a little away from the line of the usual possition and thereby hangs a tale. A milkman was supplying milk in the temple daily on the orders of the local king. But the accountant of the temple asked the milkman to deliver the milk at his house and enter it in the temple accounts. But the honest milkman who demurred to the instructions of the accountant was threatened with drastic action by the latter.

The helpless milkman could only seek justice from Lord Darbharanyeswara, who irked by the accountant’s malfeasance wished to punish him and released his lance in his direction. And as the Balipitha was in line with the coures of the lauce it is said to have moved a little away from its position to clear the way for the passage of the hurtling lance.

Bali_pitha is an indispensable associate of the sanctum. It is an altar or the dispensing seat of the deity. It is a small but stylized stone seat that is installed directly in front of the icon and very near the sanctum. It is the seat on which offerings to deity are placed.

The chief (pradhana) Bali_pitha will be directly in front of the icon and often near the Dwajasthamba. It is usually made of hard granite and will be highly stylized, ornate, and majestic, with several limbs such as the base, cornices, wall-surface with door-lets or niches. Most texts suggest that the size of the altar should be 1/8, 1/7 or 1/5 of the dimension of the sanctum. Depending on their sizes and shapes, the altars are classified into several types such as Sri-bandha, Sri-bhadra, and Sarvato-bhadra and so on.

The Pradhana Bali-pitha will often be covered metal sheets .The more affluent temples as the one at Tirumala, give the Pradana Bali-pitha a metal covering with gold polish.

It is on this Bali_pitha that the food offerings, in the form of vermilion colored rice, and rice mixed with pepper are offered to the attendant divinities and the guardian goblins. These offerings are placed only after the main food offering to the presiding deity, in the sanctum, is completed.

While the main (pradhana), Bali_pitha will be directly in front of the icon; there will be several such other altars, located in the prakara, positioned in eight directions, around the sanctum. Their positions are determined in accordance with the prescriptions of the canonical texts that the temple follows. Some suggest that the yupastambha (Sacrificial post) and the balipitha (sacrificial pedestal) of the Vedic age have metamorphosed into the dhvajastambha and the balipitha of the present day.