It is said that Lord Kubera credited money to the god Venkateshwara (a form of the god Vishnu) for his marriage with Padmavati. In remembrance of this, the devotees going to Tirupati donate money, gold in Venkateshwara's Hundi ("Donation pot"), so that he can repay Kubera.
Etymology and other names
The name Venkateshwara can be split into multiple parts in Sanskrit: Ven (sins), kata (destroyer), and ishwara (Supreme Lord). Using this etymology, Venkateshwara refers to the Supreme Lord who destroys sins, and he is one of the main deities among 108 divya desams or Tirupathy (www.srivari.com). A more probable origin is that it is a translation of the Tamil word Venkatamalaiyudaiyaan (he who has mount venkata). This is attested in the Sangam literature where Venkatamalai (nediyon kundam) is said to be the northern border of Tamizhagam: வடவேங்கடம் தென்குமரி ஆயிடைத் தமிழ்கூறு நல்லுலகு (The great Tamil nation that stands between Venkatam in the north and Kanyanumari in the south).
He is also worshipped with the name Tirupati Thimmappa all over Karnataka by traditionally Shiva-worshipping communities. The presence of seven hills in the area influenced alternate names for the deity: such as Edukondalavadu in Telugu and as Ezhumalaiyan in Tamil, both of which mean "Lord of the Seven Hills". According to legend, the temple has a murti (deity) of Lord Venkateswara, believed to have resided there for the entire Kali Yuga. In Sri Vaishnava tradition, the temple is considered one of the 108 Divya Desams or 108 Tirupathys.
In his mangala sloka in 'Sri Bhashya', the Lokaguru Shrimath Ramanuja declares the glory of Lord Venkateswara:
akhila bhuvana janma sthema bhangAdi lIle
vinata vividha bhuta vrAta rakshaika dikshe |
Sruti Sirasi vidIpte brahmaNi SrInivAse
bhavatu mama parasmin Semushi bhakti rUpA ||
May my intellect assume the form of Bhakti in Srinivasa, the highest Reality, revealed in the Vedanta as the Lord who creates, protects and destroys the whole universe with sportive ease and who has taken a vow to protects all creatures who seek him.
Kamban, in his celebrated Ramayana, makes an explicit reference to the Thiru Vengadam Hills; he says the truth enshrined in the four Vedas stands out as the eternal satya on the Vengada Hills. 'Silappadikaram', the great Tamil classic, calls the Holy Hills, 'Nediyon Kunrams'. The Alvars wrote poems of praise expressing devotion to the Lord.
The Venkatam hill is believed to be a part of the celestial Mount Meru brought to the earth from Vaikuntam by Garuda (Lord's vehicle), say the Puranas. The Hills are said to be a manifestation of Adi Sesha (the cosmic serpent). The Seven hills of the Tirumala are said to represent the seven hoods of Adi Sesha.
Many Alvars, Vaishnavacharyas and saints have praised the Tirumala Hill with great devotion. Tirumala Mambi, a descendent of the great ascetic Narada, spent his whole life in serving the Lord.
References to the tirumala also found in several of Puranas. Tirumala is one of the 108 sacred shrines of the Sri Vaishanava tradition. According to the Puranas, Lord Vishnu stayed on the earth for some time in the Avatar of Swetha Varaham and rose out of pushkarini as Swayambhuva. His spouse Lakshmi Devi appeared in Thirucharnur. This Swwtha Varaha Avatharam was installed in the temple situated to the west of Swamy Pushkarni. The great religious leader Ramanujacharya visited this shrine on a pilgrimage and systematised the process of worship in accordance with the SriVaishnava that continues to date.
ALWARS Nammalvar (3000 B.C) extols Lord Venkateswara as the veritable aushadam (medicine) for curing the disease of samsara in the areas of birth and death. Saint Kulasekhara Alvar prays to the Lord Srinivasa to grant him even the lowest birth in the holy Tirumala Hills—as a fish in the sacred Swami Pushkarini, or as a tree, or as anything on the golden hills of Lord Venkateswara (emberumaan ponmalai mEl EdhEnum avEnE).