I'm currently visiting India, and I just went to the world-famous Tirumala Venkateshwara temple in Tirupati. I noticed something interesting in the Nadimipadi Kavali, the white inner Gopuram of the temple which contains the Vendi Vakili or silver entrance. (Although the silver entrance is far more recent than the Gopuram itself.) On the top of the Gopuram you can see a lion face, which I assume represents Vishnu's incarnation Narasimha. Just below it, there are seven male figures. They're clean shaven and they're wearing sacred threads.
My question is, who are these figures? When I showed it to my family they offered three guesses: the Vasus, the Saptarishis, and the Sanatkumaras. But the Vasus are eight in number, the Saptarishis are bearded, and the Sanatkumaras are four in number. So who are they, and what is their story?
I would give a picture of the seven figures, but I can't seem to find a close-up picture of the inner Gopuram. If anyone can find one, I'd appreciate it.