Tirupati, one of the richest temples in the country, is the
most venerated Vaishnavite shrine of Lord Venkateswara. It was
patronised by the Pallavas, the Cholas, the Pandyas and the
Vijayanagar kings. 130 kms from the city of Madras (Chennai),
this temple is located in the southern Chittoor district of
Andhra Pradesh. Tiru' in Tamil means `Sri'. Hence Tirupati translates
to Sripati or Sri Maha Vishnu.
According to the Puranas, the range of Tirumala hills represent
the body of the serpent Adisesha, on which Lord Vishnu, the
protector of the world, rests. The seven hills represent the
seven heads of the serpent.
Tirupati was developed mainly by the contributions made by
kings during their rule. Almost all the kings from great dynasties
of the southern peninsula have paid homage to Lord Sri Venkateswara
in this ancient shrine of Tirupati. The Pallavas of Kancheepuram
(9th century AD), the Cholas of Thanjavur (a century later),
the Pandyas of Madurai, and the kings and chieftains of Vijayanagar
(14th - 15th century AD) were devotees of the Lord and they
competed with one another in endowing the temple with rich offerings
During the rule of the Vijayanagar dynasty contributions made
to the temple increased enormously. Krishnadevaraya had statues
of himself and his consorts installed at the portals of the
Tirupati temple, and these statues can be seen to this day.
There is also a statue of Venkatapati Raya in the main temple
Location 67-km From Chittoor, Chittoor District, Andhra Pradesh
Famous For : Tirumala Balaji Temple, theWorld's Richest Temple
Famous As : A Pilgrimage Centre
Nearby Attractions : Sri Kalyana Venkateswaraswami Temple, Sri
Venugopalaswami Temple, Srikalahasti.
Tirupati town is 67-km from Chittoor in Chittoor district,
the southern portion of Andhra Pradesh. The most important place
of interest at the place is the historic shrine of Sri Venkateswara,
the Lord of Seven Hills, who is famous all over the country.
Air : Direct flights to Tirupati are available
from Hyderabad and Chennai .
Rail : Tirupati is the nearest railway station. There
are trains that travel via Renigunta or Gudur, but do not touch
Tirupati. In such cases, Renigunta or Gudur, are convenient
points to alight. From Renigunta / Gudur one can reach Tirupati
by train, bus, or taxi.
Buses : APSRTC buses run from all the important
places in the state and between Tirupati and Tirumala. TTD also
runs buses between Tirupati and Tirumala, free of cost. Convenient
package tours are operated by AP Tourism and Tamil Nadu Tourism
from Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore. For further information
please contact the nearest India Tourism office.
Pilgrimage Attractions of Tirupati
Tirupati Tirumala Balaji Temple
The ancient and sacred temple of Sri Venkateswara is located
on the seventh peak, Venkatachala (Venkata Hill) of the Tirupati
Hill, and lies on the southern banks of Sri Swami Pushkarini.It
is by the Lord's presidency over Venkatachala, that He has received
the appellation, Venkateswara (Lord of the Venkata Hill). He
is also called the Lord of the Seven Hills.
Padmavati Devi Temple
In Tiruchanur, 5-km from Tirupati , is this large temple dedicated
to goddess Padmavati, the consort of Lord Venkateswara or Venkateshwara
(Balaji). It also known as "Alamelumangapuram" and
it is said that a visit to Tirumala is fruitful only after visiting
the Sri Padmavati Devi temple.
The deity, Sri Padmavati Devi is seated in 'Padmasana', holding
a lotus in both of her upper hands. Her lower hands are in poses
of 'Abhaya', fearlessness, and 'Varada', benediction. Also in
this temple are the Deities of Sri Krishna, Balarama, 'Sundararaja
Swami', and 'Surya-Narayana Swami'. It is traditional to first
worship Sri Krishna and then to take darshan of Sri Padmavati.
Only Hindus are allowed in the temple.
Sri Govindarajaswami Temple
One of the very important temples in Tirupati , Sri Govindarajaswami
Temple was consecrated by Saint Ramanujacharya in 1130 AD. It
is located in the heart of the Tirupati.
The Main Shrines
In this temple there are two main shrines. In the northern
shrine is 'Sri Govindaraja', who is Lord Vishnu lying on 'Ananta'.
He is considered to be Lord Venkateswara's brother. The other
main shrine has Deities of 'Sri Parthasarathi' (Krishna as the
charioteer of Arjuna), 'Rukmini' and 'Satyabhama' (Krishna's
wives). Few parts of the inner shrine date back to the 9th and
10th centuries. The original temple had Sri Parthasarathi on
the main altar. 'Sri Ramanuja' added the Sri Govindaraja deity
Located in the centre of the Tirupati town; the presiding deities
over here are Sita, Rama and Lakshmana. Chola king 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. Annual Brahmotsavams and festivals like Vinayaka
Chavithi, Maha Shivaratri, Skhanda Shasthi and Annabhishekam
are performed in a grand manner. The sacred waterfall called
"Kapila Teertham " (also known as "Alwar Teertham")
is located here.
Sri Kalyana Venkateswaraswami Temple
12-km to the west of Tirupati at Srinivasa Mangapuram one
can find Sri Kalyana Venkateswaraswami temple, where it is believed
that Lord Venkateswara stayed here after his marriage with Sri
Padmavati Devi, before proceeding to Tirumala.