The Two Wells, Two Trees and other Features:

We shall now relate the details about the two wells and the two trees in the Sri Venkateswara Temple at Tirumala.

The Poolabhavi (Flower Well): The second chap­ter of the second section of Varaha Purana states that early in this Kali age the emperor Thondaman was rul­ing his kingdom with fairness and justice and was enjoy­ing the immense wealth afforded by the kingdom. He was deeply devoted to the lotus feet of Sri Venkateswara and was going to the temple daily by the underground pas­sage called Sri Narasimha Cave revealed to him by Srinivasa.

Once when the king was worshipping the Lord in His shrine, powerful enemy kings besieged his capital. As is mentioned in chapter 7 of the Brahma Purana the king attacked the several princes who surrounded his city and drove them away. He followed the retreating princes but the princes turned back and finding the king vulner­able they defeated him. Put to shame thus, the king ran back to his country and entered the Narasimha Cave to

take refuge in the Lord. It was an odd hour when the Lord was engaged in sport with His consorts.

Noting the entry of another person intruding on their privacy the consorts wanted to run away in their shyness. Sri Devi disappeared into the jewel Vanamala called Sri Vaijayanthi on the Lord’s chest. Bhudevi, on the other hand jumped into the well nearby which had been dug by the devotee Rangadasa to water the plants in the adjoining flower garden and disappeared. Hearing this story related by the learned as well as the common people, Sri Ramanuja decided to consecrate the well and establish Srinivasa and Bhudevi inside the well. That the consorts of Srinivasa ran away on the king’s approach at an odd hour is mentioned in other Puranas also, in con­nection with the story of the brahmin Veera Sarma who started to go on a bathing pilgrimage to the Ganga.

Chapter 10 of the second of Varaha Purana states that this Veera Sarma left his pregnant wife under the care of King Thondaman and proceeded on his pilgrimage. When he returned to take her back the king went into the harem to fetch her, but found her dead. Immediately he rushed to the Narasimha Cave, worshipped Sri Narasimha at the entrance and went into the temple. Be­cause of his sudden and unexpected appearance the la­dies hid themselves. The king on being asked about the purpose of his visit related the death of the pregnant woman and begged the Lord to save him out of the pre­dicament. In the popular story related earlier the circumstances under which the king approached Srinivasa all of a sudden are different. Such incidents might have oc­curred on different occasions in different ages (kalpas).

This well is related in the Puranas as Tirta sacred to Bhudevi. So it is believable that Bhudevi entered the well. So that She could play with the Lord without any hindrance or disturbance. Sri Ramanuja established the Lord in idol form with Bhudevi inside the well and gave credence to the story related earlier. He ordained that daily pujas be performed to the two deities enshrined therein and that the flower and Tulasi garlands used to decorate Srinivasa (Sri Venkateswara) should be depos­ited into the well every day. Because flower garlands are deposited into this well everyday it is called “Poola Bavi” (Flower Well).