I had read occasionally on internet that Tirupati Balaji was a Buddhist Shrine. So Was Tirupati Balaji a Buddhist Shrine ?
There's a book by K. Jamanadas "Tirupati Balaji was a Buddhist Shrine", whose preface starts with,
[This book] has potential credibility to create controversies unknown to historical writing and the Hindu common folks who flock to worship Tirupati Balaji as one of the supreme deities. It is also a new challenge to indologist at a time when politically imbued scholars are engaged to wash out their hands by proving and disproving claims of Hindus and the Muslims against each other as they did over the issue of Ayodhya Shrines.
Its conclusion is that
The image of Lord Venkatesvara was not sculptured by the artist as an image of Vishnu, but that of Avalokitesvara, sometimes in the reign of Kalabhras, after the period of Mamulanur, and before the period of Silappadhikaran, around 3rd to 5th century A.D.
The article "Is Tirupati Balaji Temple a Buddist Temple" concludes that it wasn't:
The Conclusion is that the Tirupati is a Vishnu temple all along. Since the temple has been built around 9th century AD. It is after 9th century AD that the hill is said to be holy place. So any account which says that the hill is holy(sri or Thiru venkata) is after 9th century AD. This applies any work or devote singing on Tirupati. The dispute seems to be primarily between Shivite and Vaishnavite, because of the Shiva Temple at the base of Tirupati which predate the Tirupati temple. Indologist seems to have introduced some confusion here. There are no inscriptions about Tripati temple, before 9th century AD, because the temple did not exist then, not because it was a Buddhist Shrine.
Its arguments are:
- The expression "Dig underneath every Hindu temple, there will be a Buddhist temple" is rhetoric, not always true (some new temples are built on new sites)
- The historical record (including the puranas) isn't clear
- Early (Buddhist) temples were rock-cut, whereas this is a standalone temple
- The earliest inscription mentioning this place mentions a hill but not a temple. The earliest inscription in the temple is from 830 AD.