The Tallapaka family of poets, music composers and scholars in Telugu and Sankrit popularized the Srivaishnava faith in Andhra Pradesh in the 15th and 16th centuries. Annamacharya, the greatest of them, it is said, had a vision of Lord Venkateswara when he was 16 and then spent the rest of his life composing kirtanas and padams on him, which totalled 32,000. Of these only 14,000 are available now engraved on copper plates which were hidden for centuries in a niche of Sri Venkateswara temple at Tirumala.
Annamayya was born in 1408 A.D. in TallapAka, a village in Cuddapah district. Born with a gift for poetry and song, the boy Annamayya would improvise songs on Venkateswara and was always preoccupied by him. He ran away to Tirupati and fell asleep on a rock after and exhausting climb of the first steep hill at Tirumala. He dreamt of alamelumanga and composed a Shataka in her praise. Upon reaching the lord of Seven Hills he burst into a song of ecstatic praise.
He lived in Tirumala for some time and was initiated into Sri Vaishnava faith. Sometime later his people sought him out and took him home where he was married. His marriage did not interfere with his spiritual interests and he became a disciple of the saint Shathakopayati of Ahobalam and studied all the sacred texts. Although he propitiated other deities like Rama, Krishna, Narasimha and Vitthala, he viewed them as forms of Venkateswara, the Ultimate Reality. He spent the rest of his life in his service and devoting his time between Tallapaka and Tirumala. Annamayya breathed his last in 1503.