Tirupati

Tirupati

 
Tirupati, the holy city is located in the southeastern part of Andhra Pradesh, in Chittoor district. Known as the abode of the 'Kaliyuga' deity Lord Venkateswara popularly known as Balaji, Tirupati is famous for the Venkateswara temple in the sacred Tirumala hills at an elevation of 860m. One of the most important pilgrimage centers in India, the temple draws millions of pilgrims and is believed to be the busiest pilgrimage centre in the world. In fact, the government has proposed to give special status to the town on the lines of the Vatican. Lying at the southern tip of the Eastern ghats in Andhra Pradesh, the district has a number of perennial water falls and vast forest cover. Tirupati town itself, has several temples and is famous for its red wooden toys, copper and brass idols. Tirupati has for centuries remained a destination divine and this feeling grows on one as one goes round the various temples and spots of natural beauty surrounding this major town.
 
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TirupatiTirupati, the holy city is located in the southeastern part of Andhra Pradesh, in Chittoor district. Known as the abode of the 'Kaliyuga' deity Lord Venkateswara popularly known as Balaji, Tirupati is famous for the Venkateswara temple in the sacred Tirumala hills at an elevation of 860m. One of the most important pilgrimage centers in India, the temple draws millions of pilgrims and is believed to be the busiest pilgrimage centre in the world. In fact, the government has proposed to give special status to the town on the lines of the Vatican. Lying at the southern tip of the Eastern ghats in Andhra Pradesh, the district has a number of perennial water falls and vast forest cover. Tirupati town itself, has several temples and is famous for its red wooden toys, copper and brass idols. Tirupati has for centuries remained a destination divine and this feeling grows on one as one goes round the various temples and spots of natural beauty surrounding this major town. Around 700 kms from Hyderabad, Tirupati is situated amidst the lush green Eastern Ghats in Chittoor district.

General Information
Population: 189,000
Temperature:Max.Min.
Summer43C22.30C
Winter32C13C
Best Season : Throughout the year
STD Code : 08574

Lord Venkateswara Temple
Nestled among high Eastern Ghats, Tirumala can be reached only after covering the range of hills. The presiding deity Lord Venkateswara is also referred to as Lord of the Seven Hills. Patronized by Pallavas, Pandyas, Cholas, Vijayanagar kings and later by the king of Mysore, the temple finds a mention in the Sastras and Puranas. The main temple is a magnificent example of the fine Indian temple architecture. Both the Vimana over the sanctum sanctorum and the Dhwajasthambam (temple flag-post) are plated with gold.

Sri Venkatesvara Museum
This museum is situated at the Sri Govindarajaswamy Temple compound, Tirupati. Visit: 0800 - 2000, Entry fee -Re.1. This museum contains exhibits of temple arts. The entrance of the Tirumalai temple exhibits an interesting collection of Indian musical instruments.

Sri Venkatesvara University Oriental Research Institute
The Institute has the collection of stone images, wood and metal images, pottery, coins and inscriptions. Visit : 1000 -1630. Free.

Akasa Ganga
About 3 kms north of the main temple is a perennial stream that is said to flow from the feet of the deity. The Akasa Ganga, as it is called, is considered sacred as the Vedas describe it as flowing from the feet of Lord Vishnu. The water from here is used for the daily rituals in the temple.

Chandragiri Palaces and Fort
Located 11 km from Tirupati, in Chittoor district, Chandragiri was the former capital of the mighty Vijayanagar Empire. The fort here was built on a 180m high rock. The fortifications, 'Raja Mahal' with its romantic lily pond and the 'Rani mahal' are well preserved. The Museum in Raja Mahal contains Chola and Vijayanagara bronzes.

Goddess Alamelumanga Temple
The temple of Goddess Alamelumanga, the divine consort of Lord Venkateswara, is at Tiruchanur near Tirupati. One more temple is dedicated to the Goddess at Srinivasa Mangapuram, 12 kms from Tirupati.

Govindaraja Swami Temple
One of the most important temples in the heart of Tirupati is Sri Govindaraja Swami Temple, which was consecrated by Saint Ramanujacharya in 1130 AD. It is built by the Nayakas, the successors to the Vijayanagar empire. The temple has an impressive outer gopuram. The inner most gopuram is the earliest dating from the 14th-15th centuries. The main shrines are dedicated to Vishnu and Krishna.

Horsley Hills
Horsley hills, situated at an altitude of 1,265m is a hill resort located 151-km from Tirupati and named after WD Horsley, who was the collector of Cuddapah district. Horsley chose this spot for his summer residence. The place is luxuriously green and cool, with a maximum summer temperature of 32C, and minimum of 20C.

Kanipakam
The present temple of Lord Ganesha was constructed in the 11th century by king Kullottunga of the Chola dynasty and further developed in 1336 by the kings of Vijayanagar. One peculiarity of the Idol is that it eternally grows in size. To testify the fact that the Lord is growing, the Silver "Kawacham" that was manufactured 50 years ago is now too small for the idol.

Kailasanathakona
This perennial waterfall located in the Nagari valley near Tirupati in Chittoor district originates from a fracture in a sheet rock. The water is clear and is considered sacred. Said to be of substantial mineral value, the water is believed to have curative powers. APTDC Punnami hotel here has cottages.

Kapila Theertham
Lord Shiva is said to have appeared before the Saint Kapila at this historic site. The cascading waterfalls from the holy hills are a treat to the eyes.

Kodandaramaswami Temple
Located in the heart of the Tirupati town, a Chola king built the Kodandaramaswami Temple in the 10th century AD. The presiding deities here are Sita, Rama and Lakshmana. The temple of Anjaneyaswami, which is directly opposite, is a sub-shrine of this temple.

Lepakshi
It is a small village, 16 Kms away from the Hindupur railway station at Anantapur district. The beautiful temples are the main attraction of this village. The Vijayanagar styled temples have number of paintings on its wall and ceiling. The hanging tower supported from top is a surprise for the visitors. The monolithic bull mount of Shiva (Nandhi) is perhaps the largest sculpture of its kind.

Papa Vinasanam Dam
Located 5 km north of Tirupati, the Papa Vinasanam dam site is serene and beautiful. The dam is filled with fish.

Padmavati Temple
In Tiruchanur, about 3 km south of Tirupati is the temple of goddess Padmavati, the consort of Lord Venkateswara (Balaji). The large temple is also known as 'Alamelumangapuram' and it is said that a visit to Tirumala is fruitful only after visiting the Sri Padmavati Devi temple.

Narayanavanam
This famous garden is believed to be the venue of the sacred marriage between Lord Venkateswara and Goddess Padmavati.

Sila Thoranam
Situated on Tirumala, this is a rare geographical arch and the only one of its kind in the whole of Asia. Two other such arches are known to exist in the world - the Rainbow Arch of Utah in USA and the Arch of "Cut Through" of UK. This is one of the rarest 'geological faults' of India and geologists compute the age of the arch as 1500 million years. This is also a rare geological feature called 'eparchean unconformity'. This natural arch is believed to have formed due to intensified weathering and erosion of stream action and has withstood the torque of nature. The length of this arch is 25 feet and the height 10 feet.

Srikalahasti
From among the legends lying behind temples, one of the strangest is from Srikalahasti, 36 kms from the temple town of Tirupati. There is a temple of Shiva in the form of a Vayu Linga and the legend behind it is that the deity was worshipped by a spider (Sri) that spun a web over it, while a snake (Kala) placed a gem a the linga and an elephant (Hasti) washed the linga with water. The temple lies on the banks of the River Swarnamukhi in a valley. There are frequent buses to Srikalahasti.

Sri Kapileswaraswami Temple
Sri Kapileswaraswami Temple, is situated about 3-km north at the foot of the Tirumala Hills. This is the only temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, in Tirupati. Annual ' Brahmotsavams' and festivals like ' Vinayaka Chavithi', ' Maha Shivaratri', ' Skhanda Shasthi' and ' Annabhishekam' are performed in a grand manner. The sacred and beautiful waterfall, 'Kapila Teertham' or 'Alwar Teertham' is located here.

Sri Venkateswara Sanctuary
Spread over 506 sq. kms of greenery, Sri Venkateswara Sanctuary & National Park at Tirupati are an adventure's delight. The rich wildlife provides a great outing.

Swami Pushkarini
A sacred tank adjacent to the Balaji temple, a dip here is considered a custom before entering the temple. According to legend, Swami Pushkarini was a pleasure tank of Lord Vishnu in Vaikuntam and brought to earth by Garuda for the sport of Lord Venkateswara.

Sri Kalyana Venkateswaraswami Temple
Sri Kalyana Venkateswaraswami temple is located 12 km west of Tirupati at Srinivasa Mangapuram. It is believed that Lord Venkateswara stayed here after his marriage with Sri Padmavati Devi, before proceeding to Tirumala.

Sri Kalyana Venkateswaraswami Temple
Situated in Narayanavanam, 40-km from Tirupati, there is another Kalyana Venkateswaraswami temple. Lord Sri Venkateswaraswami and Sri Padmavati Devi, daughter of Akasa Maharaja were married here.

Sri Prasanna Venkateswaraswami Temple
Sri Prasanna Venkateswaraswami is situated in Appalayagunta, 4-km from Tirupati. It is believed that Sri Venkateswaraswami, after marrying Sri Padmavati Devi, blessed Sri Siddeswara and other sages here.

Talakona
This waterfall is considered the threshold of the Hills of Tirumala on which the shrine of Lord Venkateswara is located. Nestled in lush forests, the 60-metre fall is a perennial one and standing under the cascade is said to cleanse the mind and body. Local transport can be engaged from Tirupati to reach Talakona. APTDC Punnami hotel has cottages here.

Air: Tirupati airport is 15km from the city. Flights to Tirupati are available from Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Vijayawada. Indian Airlines, Opposite Central Bus stand Ph: 22349

Rail: Tirupati railway station is in the centre of the town. Good rail links with Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad etc. There are trains via Renigunta (10km from Tirupati) or Gudur nearby. From Renigunta / Gudur one can reach Tirupati by train, bus, or taxi.

Bus: APSRTC (Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation) buses run from all the important places in the south and between Tirupati and Tirumala. TTD also runs buses between Tirupati and Tirumala, free of cost. There are two bus stations, Sri Venkateshwara and Sri Padmavathy near the railway station to take the pilgrims to Tirumala.
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