Tirupati is the spiritual capital of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is most famous for its Sri Venkateswara Temple dedicated to Vishnu, also known as Balaji in Northern India and Govinda in Southern India. The temple is on top of Tirumala hills, while the town is in the foothills. The Tirumala hill has seven peaks ("Sapthagiri"), said to represent the seven hoods of Adisesha, the serpent under whose hood Vishnu resides in Vaikuntha.
Tirupati is in the southern part of Andhra Pradesh, in the Eastern Ghats, a mountain range that runs along the southeastern India. The temple of Venkateswara is on the seventh peak Venkatachala. The nearby town called Tiruchanoor (also known as Alamelu-Mangapuram) is covered in this page too.
Tirupati is considered a major holy city for Hinduism and receives a significant amount of pilgrimage traffic. Many attractions here are geared towards religious tourism.
Venkateshwara 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 it's possible to attain mukhti by worshiping Venkateshwara. Around 50,000 pilgrims visit the temple every day.
The Pallava, Chola, Pandya, and Vijayanagara rulers were known to give funds and jewels as temple offerings.
- 1 Tirupati Airport (TIR IATA, Renigunta Airport), Renigunta Airport Road, ☏ . This airport is a domestic airport. It is possible to get connecting flights to and from Hyderabad and Chennai airport.
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.
- 2 Tirupati Central. This is a major junction in the South Central Railways system. There are direct trains from nearby metro cities of Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and others.
Trains can also be boarded at nearby cities - Renigunta (10 km from Tirupati) and Gudur (100 km). Frequent bus service is available between Tirupati, Renigunta, and Gudur.
National Highway NH 205 passes through Renigunta and hence is accessible from Chennai (3-4 hr), Bangalore (at least 5 hours), Hyderabad (10-12 hours) and other nearby cities.
- Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) - from Hyderabad or from within Andhra Pradesh
- Tamil Nadu State Express Transport Corporation (SETC) - from Chennai
- Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) - from Bangalore
- Book your bus tickets to Tirupati from any place in AP (APSRTC Bus Booking)
You can reach the main temple by walking. It is called Divya Darshan. Take a local bus to Alipiri. You can start the walk from there. The walk way is open all day. 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 luggage 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.
In addition to various shrines scattered all over Tirupati, there are holy water falls, sacred rivers and archaeological wonders.
- 1 Chandragiri Fort, Chandragiri. This fort was built in the 11th century. This site features stucco work and abundance natural light. The fort hosts a sound and light show twice a day in English and Telugu. There is a Hanuman Temple at the entrance of the fort.
- 2 Govindaraja Swamy Temple, GS Mada St, Varadaraja Nagar. This temple is a few blocks north from the Tirupati train station.
- 3 Kapila Theertham Falls. This is a holy waterfall with a temple dedicated to Venkateshwar near its base. To see the full glory of this waterfall, visit during the monsoon season when the falls are at their fullest. It can be a disappointing visit if there is not much water flowing over the falls.
- 4 Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park, Alipiri- Bypass Road, Thatithopu, ☏ . Asia's second largest zoo, with an area of 5,500 acres. It is built on the concept of Hindu mythology and exhibits only animals that are mentioned in ancient epics.
- 5 Hare Rama Hare Kishna Mandir.
- 6 Regional Science Centre.
- 7 Sri Kalyana Venkateswara Swamy temple (Srinivasa Mangapuram).
- 8 Kalyani Dam.
- 9 Tiruchanur. Tiruchanur is the abode of Goddess Padmavathi Devi. It is 5 km from Tirupati.
- 10 Mukkoti. This is Sri Agastheeswarar Swamy (Shiva) Temple along with Goddess Aanandavalli. It's near Kaloor village which is around 12 km from Tirupati.
- 11 Srivari Padalu View Point.
- 12 Sri Venkateshwara Museum (SV Museum), Tirumala. The museum features a collection of temple architecture and historical artifacts, such as ancient weaponry, pooja items and idols. It has a photo gallery that gives insight into the region's culture and traditions. It also has a meditation center.
- 13 Talakona waterfall, Sri Venkateswara National Park. The highest waterfall in Andhra Pradesh, with a 270-feet (82-m) fall. Near the falls is the Lord Siddheswara Swamy Temple.
- 14 Venkateswara Temple, S Mada St, Tirumala. Tirumala is a world in itself. Millions of pilgrims from all over India and abroad visit the temple of Venkateswara at Tirumala throughout the year. It is regarded as one of the most ancient temples.One can avail free meals at Tarigonda Vengamamba Annaprasadam complex near to Temple. The simple meal consists of rice, sambhar (heavily dal/lentil veg soup), chutney, rasam (light soup), and vegetable curry.
- 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 and rooms.
The local markets often sell photos of the deity idol in frames of various sizes, statues, and other items considered sacred & symbolic of the deity.
The Sapthagiri Magazine was started as a TTD bulletin in 1949. 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.
- Indian Coffee House, Temple complex.
Tirupati 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 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.
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
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 Headquarters in AP, by paying the requisite amount.
A 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 [dead link]
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 travellers that cleanliness of these mutts aren't guaranteed.
- Wear clothing that is conservative. Women will having an easier visit if they wear long, loose fitting bottoms (such as ankle length skirts) and shirts that cover the shoulders and everything below the collar bone.
- Avoid consuming alcohol, especially in public.
- Do not eat meat, egg or fish (non-vegetarian food, considered as meat in the Hindu religion).
- Don't spit or litter or create any kind of nuisance.
- Don't carry a mobile phone, camera, pager, video camera, etc., while going for darshan. They are prohibited inside the temple (inner) sanctum.