The very name Tirupati is enough to evoke strong spiritual feelings, and while the name ‘God’s Abode’ indeed does justice to the place, Tirupati has quite a few other tourist attractions as well that make it a city worth visiting. Situated in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, Tirupati is one of the most popular pilgrimage centres in the country. Home to many heritage sites, and a plethora of ancient temples and monuments, Tirupati is one of the oldest cities of India, and finds mention in plenty of ancient texts.
The primary attraction of Tirupati is, of course, the Sri Venkateshwara Temple, which is the highlight of the town. The non-stop chanting of ‘Om Namo Venkatesaya’, the mad pilgrim rush, the heavy security surrounding the entire area, and the awe-inspiring 8-feet tall idol of Lord Venkateshwara – everything about the Sri Venkateshwara Temple is majestic and overwhelming. Spread over an area of 26 kilometres, the temple is also commonly referred to as the Temple of Seven Hills, as it is located in Tirumala, a little hill town home to the Tirumala Hills, which comprise of seven peaks. The Sri Venkateshwara Temple is situated on the seventh hill and is a religious landmark where thousands of people come to pay their respects every day. This temple is the wealthiest temple in the entire Indian subcontinent, owing mainly due to the fact that it receives a staggering number of donations each day. Standing under a gilded dome and looking up at the gigantic idol of Lord Venkateshwara adorned with flowers, gold and diamonds is a marvellous spiritual experience in itself – it is much like chancing upon serenity amidst a lot of chaos, and it is a feeling you won’t forget anytime soon.
There are other temples in Tirupati too that you can visit, including the Sri Kalahasti temple, Sri Govindarajaswami Temple, the Kondandarama Temple, the Parashurameshwara Temple, and the ISKCON temple.
Tirupati is home to a unique geological wonder that you shouldn’t miss out on. The Silathoranam is a natural arch formed out of rocks and is located at the Tirumala Hills. This natural rock formation is one of the only three of its kind in the entire world and is an important archaeological landmark.
Tirupati celebrates all its festivals with great pomp and show, so try and visit the place during one of their celebrations to get a feel of the vibrant culture and tradition of the city.
Be it the laddu prasadam from the Tirupati Balaji Temple, some authentic South Indian fare from a local restaurant, or a steaming cup of delicious filter coffee, Tirupati is a food lover's paradise. The local cuisine of the city is a blend of Telegu and Tamil cuisine, owing to the fact that Tirupati was earlier a part of Tamil Nadu before it was incorporated into Andhra Pradesh.
Being a city of religious significance, Tirupati has plenty to offer by way of shopping when it comes to pictures, idols, pendants, and other religion-related souvenirs.
Though there are number of ways to reach Tirupati, you can experience the best only when you go by a car. Winters are the best time to travel to this destination. On the way to the main temple, I saw other places like deer park, which is attractive for animal lovers. Take a bunch of bananas or other fruits to feed the monkeys on the way. The route is going to be rugged, and therefore I had pain in my ears and stomach ache as well. You can take required medicines beforehand. Finding accommodation is easy and caters to the needs of all sections of society. There are a number of cottages founded by TTD[ Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam] which are available at reasonable cost starting from Rs.100 per day. Private cottages are also available.
The holy town of Tirupati is one amongst the 8 most scared places of Lord Mahavishnu and is highly revered, glorified and worshiped. A temple town, Tirupati is God's abode. The Sri Venkateshwara temple is a must visit in Tirupati and is most often what Tirupati is identified with. With Akasaganga Teertham, and Sri Veda Narayanaswami Temple as the other famous temples of Tirupati, the nearby areas are famous for their beauty and serenity. The area is an essential in the list of pilgrimages and is defined by the religious and spiritual significance it accounts for. The same has made Tirupati a popular tourist spot and perhaps this is where Andhra Pradesh receives its most popular and vibrant side as a religious destination.
- Beware ofÃ¥ÃŠPick pocketing. Certain areas near the bus terminal and railway stations may not be a good place for women moving around alone in the nights.
Highly revered site for pilgrims. Safe and well connected to major cities in South India.
Hot and humid climate, water crunch in few sectors of the city. Very crowded, especially during the festive seasons. Very difficult to get darshan or getting inside the temple without online booking or VIP access.
Tirupati is a heritage city of immense religious importance. This attracts pilgrims from all corners of the country.
The beauty of the Tirumala Hills is something which tourists to Tirupati cannot miss. Surrounded by the Seshachalam Hills of the Eastern Ghats, the area is rich in flora and fauna and also boasts of the highest waterfall in the state, Talakona. The region reveals several natural creations like the Silathoranam which surprises a lot of explorers. Tirupati also boasts of a unique zoo, also the second largest zoo in Asia, which houses a lot of animals including the big cats. The ancient city holds several mysteries and one can experience the charm of the hills in the air itself.
Situated on the Tirumala Hills, the second oldest rock mountains in the world, the city of Tirupati is known as the 'Spiritual Capital of Andhra Pradesh'. Scattered with ancient temples and shrines, Tirupati is famous for the world's richest Vaishnavite temple. The intricate designs and marvellous architecture of the several temples influenced by several dynasties, traditions and religion is an evidence of the Heritage city's rich history. The city is fascinating for tourists who wish to explore and know more about Hinduism. The tranquil and serene ambience of the city imparts a natural calmness to the conscience and is a rejuvenating experience for the mind and soul.
The Tirumala Venkateswara Temple is a very popular tourist destination, believed to attract almost 60,000 to 100,000 pilgrims every year and receives in donations a sum of Rs.650 crores annually. Located on the hills of Tirumala in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, it is undeniably one of the most visited pilgrim locations in the world. It is believed that the construction of the temple began in around 300 AD. Built in the Dravidian architecture, most of the ruling dynasties of South India contributed generously to its construction over the years, dedicated to Sri Venkateswara, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. If you wish to visit and be a part of this beautiful homage, you need to plan well in advance.
It is also a good idea to book the tickets online for the Tirupati Darshan - Tirumala Tirupati Devasathanams (TTDs), in advance. The tickets cost INR 300, and special options are available for the senior citizens and physically handicapped. The tickets can be booked up to 3 hours before the darshan, subject to availability, but it is a good idea to book it in advance. The bookings can be done a maximum of 60 days before. Digital photo and any one ID proof (PAN, Aadhar, Passport, Voter ID) is required for booking the tickets online. More information, including the daily schedule and timing of activities, and booking options can be accessed through the official site - http://www.tirumala.org/Home.aspx.
The most popular legend associated with the temple is that it is the abode of Lord Vishnu, who shall guide his devotees to the end of the present Kali-yuga age. The Lord does this for the emancipation of the troubles of mankind, along with the Goddesses Lakshmi and Padmavati. Lakshmi resides on the left side of his chest, and Padmavati on the right. It all started when the sage Bhrigu decided to visit the Trimurtis (Lords Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) during the Kaliyuga age. When he visited Lord Vishnu, the Lord did not give him immediate attention which angered the sage who kicked the Lord on his chest, where Goddess Lakshmi resided. This angered her and she left for meditation to the Tirumala hills. The Lord followed her to appease her in the human form of Srinivasa.Lords Shiva and Brahma accompanied Him in the form of a cow and a calf. Goddess Lakshmi saw them and handed the cow and calf to the ruling Chola king. However, the cow would only provide milk to Srinivasa daily. The cowherd saw this and tried to injure the cow, but Srinivasa intervened and bore the injury. Angered by this, he cursed the Chola king to be born as a demon.Upon hearing the king's plea for mercy, Srinivasa said that the king would get redemption when he would marry his daughter Padmavati with Srinivasa. Thus when the marriage was going to take place, Goddess Lakshmi heard about this and confronted Vishnu. Lore has it that the Lord turned into stone when thus intercepted by both Lakshmi and Padmavati. However, Lords Brahma and Shiva intervened and explained Lord Vishnu's ultimate motive - the Lord's desire to end his people's perpetual troubles during the Kaliyuga by being present on the hills. Hearing this, both the Goddesses also turned into stone deities to be with their Lord.
Start off your tour with the darshan of Lord Balaji in the Venkateswara Swamy Temple early morning. It's best to have e-booking done before reaching Tirupati, otherwise, the queues are typically very long and it might take a whole day just to visit this temple. If time and energy permits, you can visit other temples in the nearby region including Kapila Teertham which has a holy waterfall too.
One will find instances of Tamil, Andhra and Hyderabadi cuisines on the town's platter, giving the visitors a flattering number of choices for food. However, Tirupati, being a site of much religious significance, offers only vegetarian food. One can find garnishing and distinct flavors of Peppers, Cinnamon, Chili, Peanuts, Oil, Tamarind and coconut in the preparations here.
The popular items of Tirupati are Sweet Rice, Dosas, Rava Khichdi, Tomato Rice, Lemon Rice as well as sweets like Halwa, Payassam, Sheermal, Ladoo, Kaja and lots more. The town is also known for a number of refreshing beverages such as Badam Milk, Masala Paal, Mango Lassi
It is best to go in bus to tirupati yatra.. sunday is the best time.