Tirupati

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Tirumala Sri Venkateswara temple - Front view on a well lit night

Tirupati is in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is most famous for its Sri Venkateswara Temple dedicated to Vishnu, also known as Balaji in North Indian and Govinda in South Indian. The temple is located on top of Tirumala hills, while the town is located on the foothills. The Tirumala hill has seven peaks ("Sapthagiri"), said to represent the seven hoods of Adisesha, the serpent under whose hoods Vishnu resides in Vaikuntha.

Understand[edit]

Tirupati is situated in the southern part of Andhra Pradesh. Tirumala is located in the eastern ghats, a mountain range that runs along the south-eastern India. The temple of Lord Venkateswara is located on the seventh peak Venkatachala. The nearby town called Tiruchanoor (also known as Alamelu-Mangapuram) is covered in this page too.

History[edit]

Lord Venkateswara is also called the Lord of the Seven Hills. This temple has acquired a special sanctity in the Hindu religion. The benefits that accrue by a pilgrimage to this holy town is mentioned in the Vedas and Puranas. Hindus all over the world believe that in Kali Yuga its possible to attain mukti by worshiping Lord Venkateswara. Around 50,000 pilgrims visit the temple every day.

The Pallava, Chola, Pandaya and Vijayanagar rulers were known to give funds and jewels as temple offerings.

Venkateswara Vishnu temple

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

tirupati was well connected by airways from different parts of the country. King Fisher operates daily flights to Hyderabad @ 08.10 Hrs; Indian Airlines operates daily flights to Hyderabad (New Delhi) @ 14.20 Hrs; Jet Air Ways operates daily flights except on Tuesdays to Hyderabad @ 13.50 Hrs; King Fisher operates daily flights except on Tuesdays to Hyderabad(Vizag) @ 13.50 Hrs

The nearest international airport was chennai. From Chennai airport to Tirupati: Use this route if you have little luggage and are comfortable walking for short distances (and want to try a cheaper, alternative route to Chennai Central). From Chennai airport, you can walk over to the local suburban railway station (Tirusulam, about 5 minutes away) and take a local train to Park Station (₹7, about 30 minutes). Chennai Central is a 5-10 minute walk from Park Station. From Chennai Central, there are frequent long distance train services to Tirupati.

By train[edit]

Tirupati is a major junction in South Central Railways. Indian Railways [1] operates direct trains from near by metro cities - Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and other major Railway stations to Tirupati. Trains can be boarded at nearby cities - Renigunta (10 km from Tirupati) and Gudur (100 km) as well. Frequent bus service is available between Tirupati, Renigunta and Gudur.

By Road[edit]

National Highway NH 205 passes through Renigunta and hence is accessible from Chennai (3-4hrs), Bangalore (5+ hours), Hyderabad (10-12 hours) and other nearby cities.

  • Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation [2] (APSRTC) - from Hyderabad or from within Andhra Pradesh
  • Tamil Nadu State Express Transport Corporation [3] (SETC) - from Chennai
  • Karnataka State Road Transport Coroporation [4] (KSRTC) - from Bangalore

Package tours[edit]

It is possible to go on a package tour from various places to Tirupati, with the operator taking care of transport, accommodation and sight-seeing.

From Chennai

Going from Chennai is not a bad idea as it is the nearest Airport which has international & Domestic connections.

  • TTD Information Centre, V V R Dharmasala, 198 & 199, Peters Road Chennai - 600 014, 2) Manager TTD Information Centre 50, VenkataNarayana Road T Nagar Chennai – 600 017.) offers a package tour, but the person going on the tour has to do the reservation personally (and submit a photograph and fingerprints!) from one of the many TTD offices around the country
  • Swarnandhra tours, from AP tourism +91 44 2433 3010, +91 44 2433 1977 (from Chennai. You will have to personally go and do the reservations.) [5] offers a two-day package tour from various places in the country, particularly from Bangalore and Chennai. ₹1,300 (For Chennai package tour, inclusive of accommodation and darshan at various temples.). Enquire clearly before booking because entry fee for temples other Tirumala is on your own cost.

From Bangalore

  • TTD Information Centre 16th Cross, Vyalikavel, Bangalore - 560 003, Ph:080-23445432/23315361

Get around[edit]

Divya darshan - Reach temple by walk from foot of tirupathi

You can reach the main temple by walk. It is called Divya Darshan. Reach Tirupathi by any means. Then take local bus to Alipiri. You can start the walk from there. The walk way is open all day. No timing restriction. It consists of 3550 steps. An average person takes 3 - 4 hours to reach the top. The last 100 to 200 steps are steep. After the walk you can take a bath at the free bathrooms. You have to deposit the luggauge and enter the divya darshan queue.

before starting climbing steps to the seven hills you can deposit your luggage at Alipiri and take a token, so that the temple authorities will bring the luggage to the top of hills by the time you reach there at free of cost. along the steps way to hills shelter is provided to protect from sun light. further drinking water supply is provided throughout the way. In addition to this there is a zoo park on the way that will please the pilgrims. Those who came to hills by walk have another facility in Darsan also.

There are two step ways to the top of the seven hills. The first one starts from Alipiri at Tirupati as discussed above. The another steps way starts at Srivaari meTTu near chandragiri, the historical fort town. This way is a very short route. An average man can climb all the steps and reach the top within hundred minutes. The temple authorities playing free buses from Alipiri to Srivaari mettu the second steps way.

See[edit]

Tirumala[edit]

Tirumala is a world in itself, millions of pilgrims from all over India and abroad visit the temple of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala round the year. In addition to various shrines scattered all over Tirumali and beyond there are holy water falls, sacred rivers and archaeological wonders. It is regarded as one of the most ancient temples which were mentioned in Puranas and Sastras.

The temple is patronized by the Pallavas, Cholas, Pandyas, the Vijayanagar Rulers and the later kings of Mysore. Hastakalaramam Papanasanam, Akasganga, Gogarbham, Shilathoranam, View Point, S.V. Museum are the other places worth seeing at Tirumala. Kapilatheetham, Hare Rama Hare Kishna Mandir, Regional Science Centre, S.V.Zoological Park, Srinivasa Mangapuram, Kalyani Dam, Chandragiri Fort, Tiruchanur, Govindaraja Swamy Temple are the other places worth seeing in and around Tirupathi.

Do[edit]

  • Visit the Sri Varahaswami temple before taking the darshan of Sri Venkateswaraswami. As per traditions and legend, Varahaswami owned the seven hills and agreed to give them to Sri Venkateswaraswami with the stipulation that he too is worshiped. Therefore, Sri Venkateswaraswami asked his pilgrims to visit the Sri Varahaswami temple before visiting him.
  • Carry Extra locks for your vehicle as well as rooms.

Respect[edit]

While in Tirumala, DO NOT:

  • Wear inappropriate clothing.
  • Consume alcohol.
  • Eat Meat, Egg and Fish (non-vegetarian food) Considered as Meat in Hindu religion.
  • Wear flowers - all flowers are for the Lord only.
  • Spit or litter or create any kind of nuisance.
  • Carry mobile phone/camera/pager/video camera etc. while going for darshan. They are banned inside the temple (inner) sanctum.

Buy[edit]

The local markets here, like in most other temple towns of India, sell photos of the deity idol in frames of various sizes, statues and other items considered sacred & symolic of the deity.

Many Tirupati related articles/souvenirs can also be purchased and a shopkeeper shall be only too happy to assist you with that.

The SAPTHAGIRI magazine was started as a TTD bulletin in 1949. Currently, it is circulated all over the country as an illustrated, religious magazine It is a monthly edition and available in five languages - Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Hindi and English.

After seeking the darshan of Lord Venkateshwara, you get free meal coupons at the SriVari temple. The simple meal consists of rice, sambhar (heavily dal/lentil veg soup), chutney, rasam (light soup), and vegetable curry.

Drink[edit]

Tirupathi and Tirumala is a pilgrimage town. People on pilgrimage don't drink or eat Meat (non-vegetarian food) including Egg and Fish. Consumption of liquor is prohibited in Tirumala. Smoking is also not allowed in Tirumala.

For Drinking it is advisable to use bottled mineral water only as the water available here might be sour in taste. As mentioned in the later section, the laddu of Tirupati is considered to be "nearly" as famous as the deity himself.

  • Bhimas
  • Mayura

Tirupati[edit]

Private Accommodation is available in Tirupati city with numerous hotels catering to the pilgrims. TTD provides for paid and free accommodation in Tirupati for pilgrims

Paid: Sri Venkateswara Dharmasala (Opp. Tirupati Railway Station), Sri Venkateswara Guest House (North of Railway Station), Sri Kodandarama Dharmasala (South of Railway Station), Srinivasam (near Bus Station) and TTD Alipiri Guest House (near foothills) offer non air-conditioned accommodation. Sri Padmavathi Guest House (on Chittor Road) offer air-conditioned accommodation

Free: Sri Govindaraja Dharmasala, Sri Kodanda Rama Dharmasala and Sr

  • bhopal18 gautam nagar bpl (bhopal),  9589670927. 300.

Tirumala[edit]

TTD has built cottages in Tirumala that can be rented by pilgrims. There are 3 categories of accommodation, based on location:

  • Sri Padmavathi Guest House Area (₹100 to ₹250 for Non-AC accommodation, ₹500 to ₹2500 for AC accommodation, )
  • Sri Venkateswara Guest House Area (₹100 to ₹250 for Non AC accommodation, ₹600 to ₹750 for AC accommodation)
  • Sr Varahaswami Guest House, Rambagicha, HUDC, Travellers Bungalows Cottages Area (₹15 to ₹150 for Non AC accommodation).

TTD also provides free accommodation in Choultries. Pilgrims can contact Central Reception Office near Bus Stand for free accommodation.

Reservation for AC accommodation and Non-AC accommodation above ₹100 per day can be made only at the Central Reception Office, Tirumala. For reservation of Non-AC accommodation up to ₹100 per day, Pilgrims can make reservations up to 30 days in advance. Reservations can be made in person at TTD Information Centres in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pondicherry, Visakhapatnam and other district Head Quarters in AP, by paying the requisite amount.

Alternately reservation can be made by sending a Demand Draft (DD) for ₹100 drawn on any Indian nationalised bank in favor of 'Assistant Executive Officer'. The DD has to be posted to Assistant Executive Officer (Reception-I) TTD, Tirumala - 517504. For multiple rooms, it is advised to take multiple DDs for ₹100 each.

TTD online booking details [6]

Be warned that at times of the year, and around festive occasions you have to book in advance. If you are travelling budget, your best bet is to stay with the TTD, the rooms tend to be clean, well lit and the housekeeping facilities are acceptable. Suggested places, , Kanchi Mutt another than TTD lodges are the Kashi Mutt, Ahobila Mutt among several others (all are close to each other on a ring road, and can be approached by foot from the temple). Be warned though that priority is given to people associated with the mutt's community and you will neither get room service nor air conditioned rooms - but the rooms are well maintained, clean and come with clean beds and sheets. For the Mutt maintained lodges, prior registration is strongly advised. However, do not have high expectations on cleanliness when staying in these mutts. Some of the examples by various travelers that cleanliness of these mutts aren't guaranteed.

Connect[edit]

Go next[edit]

Towards Visakhapatnam:

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