Tirupati is a world-famous pilgrimage town in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. Located at the foot of the hills of Seshachalam, of Eastern Ghats, the town is famous as the abode of Lord Venkateswara – the Lord of Seven Hills. An ancient town dating back to the 5th century AD, Tirupati hosts millions of devotees every year from all over the world. Hindus believe that worshiping Lord Venkateswara brings salvation from the mortal life and its tribulations. Here’s all you need to know about pilgrimage in Tirupati.
A Guide to Your Trip to Pilgrimage in Tirupati
The Richest Temple in the world
There is never a bad time to make a pilgrimage to the Temple of Lord Venkateswara, one of the oldest temples in India. It is also one of the richest temples in the world. The gold covering of the temple is a representation of its wealth and devotion. The masses, kings and Emperors of yesteryear’s and the current day business maharajas to the Lord.
As per tradition, devotees are required to pray at the Sri Varahaswami temple before proceeding to Tirumala. Any of the locals or the devotees will be more than happy to share the popular legends associated with Lord Venkateswara and Tirumala Tirupati.
All Hindu festivals are celebrated with fervour, Srivari Brahmotsavam is the most important one. Celebrated over nine days during September and October, the temple of Tirumala is visited by millions of devotees to witness the procession of Lord Venkateswara with his consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi on elaborately designed and decorated carriages or mounts. The other major festivals are Vaikunta Ekadasi and Gokulashtami.
You can either book a Special Entry Darshan tickets online for the same day at least 3 hours prior to the time of entry, subject to availability; or book the ticket well in advance, especially during festive times.
There is, of course, the option of free entry. The difference is how long it takes for you to see the Lord. Inside the temple, you would find ancient inscriptions in several languages; and men inside a cage counting the donations of devotees.
Other places to visit nearby
There are many other temples to visit as well during your pilgrimage in Tirupati . You can start with the Padmavathi Temple and go on to the Govindaraja Temple; the Kapileswara Temple; the temple of Goddess Gangamma; and the Sri Kodandaramaswami Temple.
There is the 11th century Chandragiri Fort and archaeological museum, Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park, the second largest zoo park in Asia, Talakona waterfalls and Silathoranam, an 8 m long natural arch formed by wind and water to visit too. On the way to Chandragiri fort, do stop by to see the home for Cattles received as a donation by the Sri Venkateswara temple.
How to reach Tirupati
Trains connect Tirupati junction to key metros and major cities of the country. Sri Venkateswara Airport is 15 km from the city centre and connects Tirupati to major cities in India. The closest international airport is Chennai, approximately 130 km from Tirupati. You can drive or take a taxi to reach pilgrimage in Tirupati from Hyderabad or Chennai or Bangalore Airport using the excellent national and state highways. Vellore call taxi is another option. An excellent Ghat road connects Tirumala to Tirupati. Hiring a taxi in Tirupati is also an efficient alternative to visit all the temples, historical and religious wonders in the vicinity.
Tirupati is known for the famous Tirupati Laddu. Devotees can get their special laddus after offering prayers to the Lord Venkateswara. Make sure you get yours before leaving for home.