Potu


The Potu or main kitchen where the food-offerings for the main temple are prepared, is to the south of the Varadarajaswami shrine. Inside the Potu, there is a small shrine dedicated to Sri Mahalaxmi, who is also called Potu Amma (lady of the kitchen) or Madapuli Nachiyar. She is identified with Vakulamalika, who was, according to the Puranas, sent by Varahaswami to be the housekeeper of Sri Venkateswara, when he resided on the hill. Vakulamalika is said to have arranged Lord Sri Venkateswara's marriage with Padmavathi. In reality, she is regarded as Sri Mahalaxhmi, and is worshipped as such. She is worshipped during Varalaxhmi Vratam, in the month of Sravan. There is a similar icon of Sri Mahalaxhmi in the Padi Potu, another kitchen located in the Sampangi Pradakshinam. Rice prasadam is prepared in the inner Potu, while other Panyarams like laddus, vadas appams etc., are prepared in the Padipotu.