TIRUPATI – TIRUMALA
ABOUT TIRUPATI - TIRUMALA:
- Sacred abode of Lord Venkateswara or Balaji is one of the oldest and richest Hindu pilgrim centres of the country.
- Tirupati, literally the ‘Lord Lakshmi’ is the town and transport hub set in the foot hills of Tirumala.
- Sacred Tirumala hill in the Eastern Ghats has seven peaks, representing the seven headed serpent Adisesha, on whose coil Lord Vishnu sleeps.
MODE OF COMMUNICATION:
- Airport: Tirupati Airport, Renigunta (TIR), 15 kms away from Tirupati city centre.
- Rail: Tirupati Railway Station, Tirupati, 1 km away from Tirupati city centre.
- Road: Well connected by road.
SIGHTSEEING AT A GLANCE
Lord Venkateswara Temple Swami Pushkarni Akasa Ganga Sri Govindrajaswamy Temple Goddess Alamelumanga (Padmavati) Temple Sri Kalahasti
Sri Venkateswara Wildlife Sanctuary
ATTRACTIONS OF TIRUPATI - TIRUMALA
- Lord Venkateswara Temple:
- Majestic shrine of Lord Venkateswara nestling amidst the Tirumala Hill.
- About 700 metres above the town is one of the most popular Hindu temples in the world.
- Visited by over 25,000 pilgrims a day and the number reach up to 1,00,000 on festival days.
- Temple staff alone accounts to a number of about 18,000.
- Popularity of the temple can be judged by its annual income, which is over two billion rupees.
- Sacred temple finds mention in the ancient religious texts and was perhaps built during the 9th century.
- Masterpiece of Dravidian architecture has a huge outer courtyard or sampangi pradakshinam, which is dotted by several interesting mandapams.
- Glittering gold Vimanam, known as Ananda Vimanam rises protectively over the sanctum sanctorum.
- Enshrines the ‘swayambhu’ or naturally formed two metres high jet-black stone idol of Lord Venkateshwara.
- ‘Brahmotsavam’ (September/ October) is the main temple festival celebrated in a grand way for nine days and attracts a large number of devotees.
- Swami Pushkarni:
- Many pilgrims take holy dip in the sacred tank before having a darshan of the Lord.
- Akasa Ganga:
- Perennial stream flowing 3 kms north of the main shrine is regarded as one of the sacred Thirthams.
- Stream is said to be flowing from the feet of Lord Vishnu.
- Its sacred water is used for the daily rituals in the temple.
- Sila Thoranam:
- Arch lake natural rock formation just 1 km north of Venkateswara temple.
- Only one of its kind in Asia and a must visit site.
- Sri Govindrajaswamy Temple:
- Largest shrine of Tirupati town and is dedicated to Krishna and Vishnu.
- Temple was consecrated I 1130, by saint Ramanujacharya.
- Present structure was built by the Nayaks.
- Goddess Alamelumanga (Padmavati) Temple:
- Shrine dedicated to Padmavati, the consort of Lord Venkateswara lies at Tiruchanur, 4 kms from Tirupati.
ATTRACTIONS AROUND TIRUPATI - TIRUMALA
- Sri Venkateswara Wildlife Sanctuary:
- 10 kms away from Tirupati.
- Spread over an area of 505.94 sq. kms in Chittoor.
- Cuddapah district with rich variety of plant and animal species.
- Sanctuary is inhabited by very rare slender loris, endangered, golden gecko, Indian giant squirrel, tree shrew and flying lizard.
- It also home to panther, sloth bear, sambar, wild boar, hyena, civet cat etc.
- Sri Kalahasti:
- Important Hindu pilgrim centre is located between two steep hills on the banks of Swarnamukhi River.
- Sri Kalahasthisvara temple here is dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of Vayulinga.
- According to a legend, spider (Sri) spun a web over the linga, a snake (Kala) placed a gem atop it and an elephant (Hasti) brought the water to wash the linga.
- All three were ardent devotees of Shiva and the shrine is named after them.
- Flame of the temple deepam (lamp) flickers regularly as air (Vayu) is said to be constantly emanating from the Shivalinga.