The universally known temple of Lord Venkateswara situated at Tirumala is known as Balaji in the North and Srinivasa Perumal in the extreme South. Tirumala has seven magnificent hills and hence the God is called "Edukondalavadu", the God of seven hills. It is one of the oldest pilgrim centres in India with an average of 40-50 thousand pilgrims visiting daily. Dotted with natural waterfalls and endowed with divine beauty, the place has well-laid gardens.
Lord Venkateswara or Balaji is considered to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu himself. It is believed that he came to reside on the southern bank of Swami Pushkarni, a tank that is in the center of Tirumala. The seven hills around Tirumala-Tirupati are also known as Sapthagiri after the seven hoods of Sheshnag – the cosmic serpent. The temple of Sri Venkateswara is located on the seventh peak, Venkatadri. According one legend, as Saint Ramanuja born in 11th Century AD climbed the seven hills of Tirupati, Lord Srinivas- another name for Lord Venkateswara- appeared before him and gave him his blessings. And after that Vishnu is believed to have been blessed to live till the ripe age of 120 years to spread the gospel of Sri Venkateswara. People are encouraged to visit Tirumala on the day of Ekadasi in the month of Vaikunta, at which time all pilgrims in the abode of God will be forgiven of all their sins. They also would definitely attain salvation after they die, it is believed.
The history of the temple dates back to as far as 9th Century A.D, when Pallavas, the rulers of Kancheepuram, patronized this shrine. But it was not until the time of Vijayanagara dynasty in 15th Century AD that the temple got recognition, and the contributions started pouring in.
The Varahaswamy temple, situated near the Venkateswara temple on the banks of Pushkarani Tank is said to be even more ancient. This shrine is dedicated to Lord Vishnu in the form of Varahaswamy. Other famous shrinesin Tirupati town include the shrine of Govinda -raja Swamy temple and the sacred Kapila Teertham.
Inside the Temple Vie
Places you can see in Tirupati
Lord Venkateshwara Temple
It is an ancient temple that has witnessed the rise and fall of powerful dynasties. The Pallavas, Cholas and Pandyas Queue for Darshan all patrons of the shrine and they endowed it with jewels and wealth. Later in the 16th century the great Vijayanagar kings enriched & embellished the temple and gave it a new lease of life. The temple is perfect example of the Dravidian style of temple architecture. Within the three prakarams or enclosures of the temple complex is the main shrine with its exquisitely worked and glided vimang above it. Within the sanctum is the majestic "Swayambhu" or naturally formed image of the Lord Venkateswara. He is seen standing on a lotus with his symbols, the shankh (conch) and the chakra (discus) in his hands and on the chest are the image of the goddesses Lakshmi & Padmavati. The figure is laden with jewels.
Padmavati Devi Temple
Tiruchanoor, also known as Alamelumangapuram, is about 5 km from Tirupati. The temple of Sri Padmavathi Devi, the consort of Lord Sri Venkateswara is situated here. It is said that a visit to Tirumala is fruitful only after visiting the Sri Padmavathi Devi temple.
You may wonder why Sri Padmavathi Devi's temple is away from Lord Sri Venkateswara's. Legend has it that the Lord (Sri Maha Vishnu, who later took on the incarnation of Sri Venkateswara) showed his reverence towards the sage, Bhrigu Maharshi, even though the sage had insulted Vishnu by kicking Him on the chest.
Sri Govindarajaswami Temple
This Temple is the main attraction for pilgrims at Tirupati and the biggest in town. The earliest of the records belong to the year 1235 AD. The Guruparampara accounts of the Vaishnavas ascribe the foundation of the shrine to Ramanuja.
There are two shrines and not one, as usual, in the center of the innermost enclosure. An outer wall encloses these two shrines. The shrine to the South is that of Krishna, popularly known as Parthasarathi, while the shrine to the North is that of Govindaraja. The Krishna shrine is presently closed for worship. The earliest record found on the innermost gopura belongs to the fifteenth year of the Yadavaraya chief, Viranarasingadeva of 1224 AD.
Located in the centre of the Tirupati town, the presiding deities over here are Sita, Rama and Lakshmana. The Chola built it during the 10th century AD. The temple of Anjaneyaswami, which is directly opposite, is a sub-shrine of this temple.
Sri Kapileswaraswami Temple
Situated about 3-km to the north of Tirupati, at the foot of the Tirumala Hills, is the only temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, in Tirupati. The sacred waterfall called "Kapila Teertham " (also known as "Alwar Teertham") is located here. It is also the venue of many festivals.
Sri Kalyana Venkateswaraswami Temple
This sacred temple is located 12-km to the west of Tirupati at Srinivasa Mangapuram and it is believed that Lord Venkateswara stayed here after his marriage with Sri Padmavati Devi, before proceeding to Tirumala.
Also known as Alamelumangapuram, Tiruchanur is situated at about 5 km from Tirupati. Here one can find a temple of Sri Padmavathi Devi or Goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Lord Sri Venkateswara. It is said that a visit to Tirumalai is fruitful only after visiting the Sri Padmavathi Devi temple. The sub-temples in its premises include the Sri Krishnaswamy Temple, Sri Sundara Rajaswamivari Temple, and Sri Suryanarayana Swamivari Temple.
About 12 km from Tirupati at the confluence of three rivers, namely, Swarnamukhi, Bhima and Kalyan, lies the Agastyaswamy Temple. The temple has three beautifully sculptured entrances that heighten the grandeur of the hall inside. A separate shrine for Goddess Parvati is also located within the temple.
Just opposite the shrine in the middle of the river is a mandap on which the statues of Balaji, Ayyappa and Ganapati have been installed. A small shrine dedicated to Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Anjaneya is located near the tank.
Nagalapuram is a small town about 65 km south-east of Tirupati. The major attraction of this town is Sri Vedanarayana Swamy Temple. The temple, believed to have been constructed by the Vijayanagar emperor, Sri Krishna Devaraja at the behest of his mother, is a fine specimen of the Vijayanagar style of architecture. The sanctum sanctorum houses an image of Vishnu in his Matsya (fish) incarnation accompanied by Sri Devi and Bhu Devi on either side. An important aspect of the temple is the Sun worship. The temple has been constructed in a way that every year in the month of March the rays of the sun pass through its gopuram and fall on the idol in the sanctum for three days.
The importance of this village is due to big temple dedicated to Lord Kalyana Venkateswara swamy. It is believed that the marriage of Lord Venkateswara Swamy with Goddess Padmavathi Devi took palce here. This is the temple where in we can see both Venkateswara Swamy along with Padmavathi Devi in one temple complex. This place is famous for handlooms.
This picturesque religious centre is famous for the temple dedicated to Vayu, the wind god. It is said that a spider worshiped the Linga, by spinning a web over it, a snake by placing gem upon the Linga and an Elephant by washing the Linga with water from its trunk and attain Mukti. Hence this place is called Srikalahasthi.
Talakona is famous for the temple of Sri Siddheswara Swamy and the scenic and picturesque water falls in the midst of thich forest. People from Chittor district and neighboring districts will gather on 1st January and Mahasivaratri festival days and week ends to pray god and enjoy the waterfalls. Puranas says that those who do not have children come here and pray god for children and name their children as Siddaiah or Siddamma. The waterfalls are four km from the temple.
The most picturesque, scenic, picnic and summer resort, Horsley Hills is situated near Madanpalli in Chittoor District at an altitude of 4200 feet above sea level. Mr.W.D.Horsley, a British member of the civil service and then the District Collector of Cuddapah, who found the climate very hot, selected this part as his summer resort on the top of the hills. He constructed two houses, the Kachari Room and Milk Bungalow and developed as summar resort. The Governor's Bungalow, the Forest Bungalow, and Microwave station, View point, Enugumallamma Temple are worth seeing here.
Events and Festivals of Tirupati
The Brahmotsavam is the most important temple festival celebrated at Tirupati-Balaji. Celebrated annually in September, the festival is especially grand every third year when it is called Navratri Brahmotsavam. On the third day of the Brahmotsavam, the temple car festival called Rathotsavam is held. Both the temple chariot and the Lord are gaily decorated and taken around the streets of Tirumala.
On the final day of the Tirupati-Balaji festival, the image of Lord Venkateswara is taken out in procession in a spectacular white horse-drawn chariot. Before returning to his shrine, the deity bathes in the Swami Pushkarini tank followed by thousands of tonsured, white-clad devotees trying to wash off their sins. During the spectacular deepakulam ceremony, this ancient temple tank is full of decorated boats and thousands of brass lamps are reflected in the water. The entire hilltop resounds with Sanskrit mantras (sacred chants) and the music of bells, drums, cymbals, flutes, and temple horns. The perfumes of camphor, sandalwood, incense, jasmine, rose, and marigold fills the air.
The Vijayanagar Festival is held for three days at the historic Chandragiri Fort near Tirupati-Balaji in the third week of October every year. The fort is a living testimony to the valour of the rulers of Vijayanagar, and the festival coincides with the annual Brahmotsavam at the Tirupati-Balaji Temple. Musicians and dancers from all over the state come here to perform during the festival. The Rayalseema Food Festival is also held at the same time. During this festival, most of the local delicacies of the state are presented.
Several other festivals are held at Tirupati-Balaji all through the year. The Kalyanotsavam (marriage of the Lord) is celebrated everyday at the Kalyanmandapam except during the Brahmotsavam and on certain other festive occasions.
Tirupati also celebrates a festival called the Kalyanotsavam (marriage of the Lord), celebrated everyday at the Kalyanmandapam except during the Brahmotsavam and on certain other festive occasions.
Tirupati airport is about 15 kms. from the city. There are direct flights from Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Bangalore and Chennai.
Tirupati is connected by rail with all citiesin India.
Tirupati is only 130 kilometres away from Chennai. Even otherwise it is well connected to Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai by road and rail transport.
Hotels in Tirupati
Tirupati hotels range from three star hotels to budget hotels. There are plenty of dharmshalas and guest houses in tirumala offering comfortable stay at reasonable rates, hence accommodation is not a problem here.
Weather Summer: 43 °C - 22 °C Winter: 32 °C - 14 °C
Best Time to Visit: September to February
Languages: Telugu, English,Hindi,Tamil
STD Code: 08574