The holy city of Tirupati draws tourists and religious pilgrims alike, who flock to the Ancient Lord Venkateswara Temple, known for its elabourate Dravidian style and gold-plated cupola. Prayers are offered daily at this popular temple, which sits high in the Tirumala hills. Several other temples dot the town, and the lush countryside contains numerous waterfalls. Tirupati is also home to a rare, naturally-occurring pre-Jurassic stone arch that is 25 feet long and 10 feet high, one of only three of these geological features in the world.
HOW TO REACH
The Tirupati airport is a well connected domestic airport. The nearest international airport is located in Chennai.
The Tirupati Main is a major railway junction and can be used to access the city from most major metros of the country.
One can reach Tirupati by road from Chennai (142 km), Bangalore (250 km) or Nellore (135 km).
WHAT TO SEE
Tirupati Balaji Temple:-
The main attraction of Tirupati is the Sri Venkateshwara Temple which is located at the hilltop of the Tirumala hills. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, it has a mesmerizing idol of the Lord, completely made out of pure gold and ornamented with a magnificent crown. It is made on the basis of Dravidian architecture. This temple claims to be one of the richest temple of the world.
Sri Govindrajaswamy Temple:-
The most visited shrine after the Balaji temple is Sri Govindrajaswamy Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Vishnu’s incarnation, Lord Krishna. Within its premises, there are temples of Sri Andal, Sri Parthasarathy and Sri Venkateswara also. In the year 1130, this temple was sanctified by Saint Ramanujacharya, since then devotees are being attracted towards this temple.
Sri Kapileswaraswami Temple:-
This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is one of the three Gods that form the Hindu trinity. This temple is located at the base of the Tirumala hills and one of the major aspects of this temple which is the most admirable is its exquisite architectural beauty. Tourists also visit it for the beautiful natural waterfall here, know as the Kapila Teertham.
Sri Kodandaramaswami Temple:-
Dedicated to the ‘Ram Parivar’ (comprising of Lord Rama, Mata Sita and Sri Lakshmana), this temple is located at the middle of Tirupati and was built in the 10th century. It is said that this temple was built to commemorate Lord Rama’s journey to Tirupati. Exactly opposite stands the Sri Anjaneyaswami (Hanuman) in order to complete the ‘Ram Parivar’.
Sri Kalyana Venkateswaraswami Temple:-
As the name suggest, this temple is dedicated to Sri Kalyana Venkateswara Swami. It is located at a distance of 12 km from Tirupati, on the Titupati-Madanapalli road, in Srinivasa Mangapuram. If the ancient history is to be believed, it is said that Venkateswaraswami resided on the banks of the Kalyani River for six months in his journey to Tirupati.
This popular attraction is located at a distance of 5 km from the main city. It is believed that the trip to Tirupati is incomplete without visiting the home temple of Sri Padmavathi Devi (goddess Lakshmi), which is located here. Tirupati is also known for its famous practice of Tonsure, in which people either cut their hair or go bald in showing respect to the Lord and symbolizing the renunciation of worldly fashion. This is a very popular practice, tourists and devotees perform this activity often.
This traditional city offers various handicrafts like woodcarving and kalamkari crafts, whitewood toys, traditional Tanjore style gold leaf paintings, and books and periodicals on Hindu religious treatises.
Tirupati offers only pure vegetarian food. But the variety in cuisine and food items surely appeals everybody. Idly, Vada, Dosa, Upma, Pongal, Pulav and Meal Thalis, are available in every nook and corner of the town. Rayalaseema delicacies include Akukura Pulagura, Aalasananda Vadalu and Ragi Sangati with Groundnut Oribindi. The Tirupati Laddu is the most sought after sweet, with Semia Payasam, Halwa and Kaja being amongst the favourites. Food is available for every budget.