Alamelu (Tamil: அலமேலு, Telugu: అలమేలు) also known as Alamelmanga and Padmavati (often spelled "Padmavathi" or "Padmavathy"), is a Hindu devi. Believed to be a form of Lakshmi, the Hindu devi of wealth and good fortune, Alamelu is the consort of Sri Venkateshwara. The name Padmavati is Sanskrit for "she who emerged from lotus". The Tamil name of the deity is 'Alar-mel-mangai அலர் மேல் மங்கை' which means 'Lady seated on the lotus' which later became அலமேலு in Tamil and అలమేలు in Telugu. The main temple to Sri Alamelu is situated at Thiruchanoor, also known as Alamelu-Mangapuram, a suburb of Tirupati City. Tradition dictates that every pilgrim to Tirupati must offer obeisance at this temple after visiting the temple at Tirupati-Tirumala balaji.
Alamelu Manga is a major deity in Hinduism worshipped as an aspect of Goddess Lakshmi.The Tenkalai (Southern sect) Iyengars believe that her intercession is indispensable to gaining the favour of the lord. On the other hand, the Vadakalai sect believes that Lakshmi is co-omnipresent, co-illimitable and the co-bestower of moksham along with Lord Vishnu. Sri Alamelu is the mother-goddess figure for staunch Sri Vaishnavites in particular and Hindus in general.
The great Vaishnavite saint and Telugu Bhakti poet Sri Annamacharya, was a staunch devotee of Sri Alamelu Mangamma. Indeed, it is a rare composition of the great saint that does not invoke the benedictions of the goddess and sing her praises. Many of the most famous and popular Kritis of Annamacharya eulogize in loving adulation the many graces of his Ishta devata and the many boons she is wont to bestow with facile benevolence on her devotees.
The name Alamelu Manga or, more correctly, Alarmel Mangai is a Tamil term which translates to Sanskrit Padmavati. The name is a conjoint of the words alar (flower) and mel (aloft or up); Mangai means "(auspicious) lady" in pure Tamil. Thus, Alarmel Mangai softened over time to Alamelu Manga translates to "Lady of the Lotus" which is the same meaning as the Sanskrit word Padmavati.
The name Alamelu has traditionally been a surpassingly popular one in south India. Apart from that basic name, several variations are popular.
The word Mangai / Manga / Mangamma (auspicious lady) very commonly forms part of many names. Occasionally, this is replaced by the word Valli (literally: creeper or heather; compare Lata in Sanskrit), a metaphor for gentle lady in Tamil, to create the popular names Alarmel Valli and Alamelu Valli. The name Alamelu is very generally used as a stand-alone name for girls.
- Sri Padmavati Mahila Visvavidyalayam, a university named after Padmavati
- Tirumala - Tirupati
- The Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanam website
- Sri Venkatdhvari Kavi's Sri Lakshmi Saharam Praising Alarmelmanga Thayar
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