Visiting Places in Tirupati


Tirumala Tirupati  Balaji Temple                                                                                  
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      The town of Tirupati Balaji is one of the most sacred places in India. It is famous for Lord Venkateshwara Deity. The name Tirupati-Balaji means the 'lord of Lakshmi'. The shrine is located on a hill at Tirumala, a cluster of seven hills known as Venkatachalam with an elevation of 853m above the sea level. It is said to be the richest temple in the world, this temple is a vibrant cultural and philanthropic institution with a grand history. The architecture of the temple is such that the Cupola over the sanctorum is covered entirely with gold plate and is known as "the Ananda Nilayam". The shrine consists of three 'Prakarams'or enclosures.

 Tirupati town is 67-km from Chittoor, 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.

Everyday is a day of festivity at Tirumala. The most famous is the annual festival called 'Brahmotsavam', which is celebrated on grand scale for nine days in September, attracting pilgrims and tourists from all parts of the country. The fifth and ninth days of the festival are especially significant in as much as Garudostavam and Rathotavam takes place on those days.

 

 

Temple History

There is ample literary and epigraphic testimony to the antiquity of the temple of Lord Sri Venkateswara.All the great dynasties of rulers of the southern peninsula have paid homage to Lord Sri Venkateswara in this ancient shrine. 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 and contributions. It was during the rule of the Vijayanagar dynasty that the contributions to the temple increased. Sri Krishnadevaraya had statues of himself and his consorts installed at the portals of the temple, and these statues can be seen to this day. There is also a statue of Venkatapati Raya in the main temple.

After the decline of the Vijayanagar dynasty, nobles and chieftains from all parts of the country continued to pay their homage and offer gifts to the temple. The Maratha general, Raghoji Bhonsle, visited the temple and set up a permanent endowment for the conduct of worship in the temple. He also presented valuable jewels to the Lord, including a large emerald which is still preserved in a box named after the General. Among the later rulers who have endowed large amounts are the rulers of Mysore and Gadwal.

After the fall of the Hindu kingdoms, the Muslim rulers of Karnataka and then the Britishers took over, and many of the temples came under their supervisory and protective control.

In 1843 AD, the East India Company divested itself of the direct management of non-Christian places of worship and native religious institutions. The administration of the shrine of Sri Venkateswara and a number of estates were then entrusted to Sri Seva Dossji of the Hatiramji Mutt at Tirumala, and the temple remained under the administration of the Mahants for nearly a century, till 1933 AD.

In 1933, the Madras Legislature passed a special act, which empowered the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams(TTD) Committee to control and administer a fixed group of temples in the Tirumala-Tirupati area, through a Commissioner appointed by the Government of Madras.

In 1951, the Act of 1933 was replaced by an enactment whereby the administration of TTDC was entrusted to a Board of Trustees, and an Executive Officer was appointed by the Government . The provisions of the Act of 1951 were retained by Charitable and Religious Endowments Act, 1966.

Legend

Sri Venkatachala Mahatmya is referred to in several Puranas, of which the most important are the Varaha Purana and the Bhavishyottara Purana. The printed work contains extracts from the Varaha Purana, Padma Purana, Garuda Purana, Brahmanda Purana, Markandeya Purana, Harivamsa, Vamana Purana, Brahma Purana, Brahmottara Purana, Aditya Purana, Skanda Purana and Bhavishyottara Purana. Most of these extracts describe the sanctity and antiquity of the hills around Tirumala and the numerous teerthams situated on them.

The legends taken from the Venkatachala Mahatmya and the Varaha Purana, pertaining to the manifestation of the Lord at Tirumala, are of particular interest.

According to the Varaha Purana, Adi Varaha manifested Himself on the western bank of the Swami Pushkarini, while Vishnu in the form of Venkateswara came to reside on the southern bank of the Swami Pushkarini

Darshanas

There are different types of Darshans offered by TTD, most popular darshan is Sudarshan darshan, in which rupees fifty is charged for each member. Reporting time for the Darshan will be mentioned in the ticket and devotees are to be report at Q complex ( the complex is build to accommodate devotes in the queue ). Usually one has to wait for two hours ( minimum ) in the queue to have Darshan of Lord Balaji. Different types of Darshan has different queue systems and different waiting time. In side the Q Complex good facility like drinking water, toilet , tea stalls are available.

Two free Ladus of Balaji are given as Prasad to each member after the Darshan. The Ladus are popularly known as Tirupati Ladu.

After the Darshan one can drop the offerings at the Hundi inside temple known as Srivari Hundi. Devotees offerings at Hundi are collected and counted inside a glass house within the complex. Devotees offer ornaments to cash and many other valuable items in the Hundi.

There is a free darshan also available usually with longer waiting period.

Free food coupons are given to each devotee after the darshan. Millions of devotees get free Prasad ( food ) here daily.

There is a tradition to offer hair or tonsure at Tirupati. There is a complex known as Kalyanakkatta where hundreds of barbers are engaged by TTD for a free tonsuring. In the guest houses and cottages this can be done by paying rupees ten. After tonsure one should go for Darshan of Tirupati Balaji.

Places of Interest



 

 

1.Sri Padmavathi  Temple, 


 

Venkateswara The temple of Sri Padmavathi Devi, the consort of Lord Sri is situated in Tiruchanoor, also known as Alamelumangapuram about 5 km from Tirupuati.It is said that a visit to Tirumala is fulfilled only after visiting the Sri Padmavathi  temple. 

 

The presiding deity in Padmavati temple is none other than Mahalakshmi Devi. Whilst Lord Venkateshwara decided to stay on the Tirumala with both Mahalakshmi and Padmavati on both sides of His chest, He wished Lakshmi Devi’s  Amsha to stay in Tiruchanoor and bless the devotees. In return, every day after midnight He visits her temple and returns to Tirumala before day break.

 

 

2. Govindaraja Perumal Temple


 

Lord Srinivasa borrowed huge amounts from Kubera to get married to Padmavati. His agreement with Kubera was that only interest will be paid till the end of Kaliyuga and principal will be paid in the next yuga. Kubera agreed and Srinivasa immediately called His brother Govindaraja to receive the money and start spending on marriage and accommodation. Govindaraja had a special wealth line on His palm according to which He will receive four times of whatever He spends. Govindaraja was counting with Ser (Unit of measurement of weight)  the gold coins received from Kubera but became so tired that He slept with Ser as a pillow.

Witness in Govindaraja Perumal Temple how the Lord has gone to sleep counting money.

 

 

  3.Kapilatheertham

 

Kapilatheertham is the divya theertham which is said to be flowing down the holy hills of Tirupati from the lotus feet of Sri Venkateswaraswamy.  It is believed traditionally, a dip taken in this theertham makes one’s ascent to the holy hill easy. Kapilatheertham is also known as Alwartheertham. 

 

As per sage Kapila’s wish, Siva - Parvathi, the divine couple appeared at this place in an archa form to enable the devotees to worship them .Before going to the holy hills one should take a dip  In the Kapilatheertham.This place is named as Kapilatheertham in memory of  Kapila Muni.

 

Sri Kapileswaraswami Temple is the only temple dedicated to Lord Siva in Tirupati.

 

 


 

 

 

4.Varahaswami Temple

 

 

 There was an Asura by name Hiranyaksha who hid this planet under the ocean. All the rishis & devas prayed to the Lord to bring the planet back from the Ocean and save them. The Lord took the form of Varaha ( pig) , killed Hiranyaksha , went below the ocean and with His sharp horns brought back the earth on the surface of the ocean. The Rishis requested Varahamoorthy to stay on the earth and protect His devotees. Lord Varaha chose Seshachalam as His residence. When Srinivasa descended on earth, He requested Varahamoorthy to give Him a place. In return Lord Srinivasa  promised that all His devotees will first visit  Varahaswami & then see Him. Even today devotees first go to Varahaswami temple before taking Balaji darshan.

 

 

5.Sri Venkateswara Temple



 

The ancient and sacred temple of Sri Venkateswara is located on the seventh peak, Venkatachala of the Tirupati Hills. That is how He earned the name  Venkateshwara (Lord of the Venkata Hill) and He is also called the Lord of the Seven Hills.

 

Lord Vishnu assumed the form of Venkateshwara in Kaliyuga to bless His devotees. He fulfills the desires of the devotees and protects His devotees in distress. That is why He is also called ‘PRATHYAKSHA DAIVAM’. The benefits acquired by a pilgrimage to Venkatachala are mentioned in the Rig Veda and Asthadasa Puranas. In these epics, Sri Venkateswara is described as the great bestower of boons.

 

The sanctum sanctorum which houses the awe-inspiring deity of the Lord of the Seven Hills is situated in the main temple complex of Tirumala.

 

6 .Srivaari Padam 



 

Wonder where the Lord first set His foot on the hills before stay put in one place! That place is known as Venkata Padam .

 

 

7.Akash Ganga





For the ceremonial bath of Lord Venkateswara, three silver potfuls of water from Akash Ganga are brought to the temple each morning by one of the seven families of Acharyapurusas who also recite Mantra Pushpam before the Deity.

 

According to legend there was  a great devotee by name Nambi  who was getting water daily from Papavinasham and perform abhisekam for the Lord. Looking at His devotee struggling to fetch water from a far off place, Srinivasa took pity and created Akash Ganga with His arrow very near to Nambi's house. According to Agastya Muni whoever takes bath in this place with devotion to the Lord will be relieved of all sins.

 


8.Sri Kodandaramaswami Temple, Tirupati 


 

This temple was built by a Chola king during the tenth century AD and is situated in the heart of Tirupati town. The presiding deities are Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana.

 

According to legend, this temple commemorates the visit of Sri Rama to Tirupati. The festival of Sri Ramanavami is celebrated in this temple on a grand scale . 

 

 


 

 

 

 

9.Chandragiri Fort 




Chandragiri is at a distance of 12 km from Tirupati . It is famous for the historical fort built by rulers of Vijayanagara empire. In the 16th century, the Aravidu dynasty of Vijaynagar shifted their capital to Chandragiri. The 11th century fort that was there was renovated. They were later defeated by the Golconda sultans in the 17th century and Chandragiri was taken over by them.

 

The site of the fort is protected and developed as a tourist location by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation.

 

Feel history breathe and push its way steadily into the present through light & Sound music show which is performed every evening after sunset.

 


 

 

 

10.Sri Kalahasti Temple


 

This ancient temple dedicated to Shiva is one of the Pancha Bhoota Stalams (temples celebrating Shiva as the embodiment of the primary elements), air being the element  here, the other five temples being Tiruvannamalai (Fire), Chidambaram (Space),Tiruvanaikkaval (Water) and Kanchipuram (Earth) respectively.

 

This temple is also associated with Rahu and Ketu, (of the nine grahas or celestial bodies in the Indian astrological scheme).

 

A spider, a snake and an elephant is believed to have worshipped the Siva Linga here. The spider worshipped the Lord by spinning a web over Him, the snake by planting flowers and the elephant by washing the Linga with water …. unknown to each other.  One day it resulted in a fight between the three and they would have died . In time appeared Lord Shiva and gave mukti to all of them.

 

One can also see the idol of great Siva bhakta Kannappan whose devotional life is also linked with Sri Kalahasti.The Linga is said to be a Swayambhu (self-manifest).

 

 


 

 

 

11.Sri Kalyana Venkateswaraswami Temple(Srinivas Mangapuram)


 

Kalyana Venkateswaraswami temple is located At Srinivasa Mangapuram  about 12 km from Tirupati.

 

Lord Venkateswara stayed here for sometime after his marriage with Sri Padmavathi Devi, before proceeding to Tirumala. Every day there is Kalyana Utsavam in the morning and oonjal seva ( Joolan Seva) in the evening .

 

  

 

 

 


 

 

 

12.ISKCON Tirupati

 


See the splendid beauty of Radha Govinda in the new ISKCON temle.It will be hard to take your eyes away from them.See the Goshala with more than 100 healthy cows and a vedic school for nearly 100 children.

 

The lotus shaped temple with a high dome and the paintings of dasha avataras is equipped  with a special kitchen to feed thousands of poor children in and around Tirupati.The temple hall comprises of richly illustrated exhibits with best comprises of richly illustrated exhibits with best collections of art which are self descriptive of Lord's pastimes.An audio visual theatre to a capacity of accommodating 350 persons. 

 

Varasidhi Vinayaka Swamy, Kanipakam.

 

 

At the very sight, three persons got rid off their handicappedness and become perfect. When persons of the surrounding villages and of the village began to dig, to their astonishment the statue of Ganapati was found out !! But when they tried to dig even very deep they could not find full posture of Lord, realising that it was Shambhoo-idol, their joy knew no bounds.

 

 

Talakona Water falls



 Talakona -  Waterfalls is 40 km from Tirupati. This Waterfall is considered as the entrance to the hills of Tirumala on which Lord Venkateswara is located. This 270 ft Cascade is a perennial one and famous for its medicinal effects. 

Horsley Hills

 

HORSLEY HILLS (Introduction)

  Horsley Hills , the famous hill Station in Andhra Pradesh is 144 km from Tirupati. It is named after W.D. Horsley, the Collector of Cuddapah district, who chose this spot for his summer residence. Situated at an altitude of 1,265 m. The shady slopes are wooded with luxurious vegetation.The journey to Horsley Hills is exciting as one gets to see thick verdure of various species of plants and wild animals. Covering the entire stretch of narrow road are dense growth of Eucalyptus, Jacaranda, Allamanda, Gulmohar and many other species. The natural beauty of the Horsley Hills is indeed irresistible. The Horsley Hills have been a popular refuge for the sun-scorched souls since long. The Chenchu tribes largely inhabit the Horsley Hills that are so rich in flora and fauna.


HORSLEY HILLS (Sightseeing)

  In Horsley Hills one can experienced the Fragrance spread through Sampangi flower on the slopes of Horsely Hills. In forest area one can witness a wide variety of flower like Reeta, Shikakai, Amla, Beedi leaves, Bay leaves, Sandalwood, Red sanders, Blue gum, Mahogany to Bamboo. there are aminals like bears ,wild dogs , jungle fowl etc.

Rishi Valley School is also a touristic spot at horsely Hills, this school is run by Jiddu Krishnamurthy foundation.The Mallamma temple is another major tourist attraction at Horsley Hills that is worth visiting. The Chenchu tribes who inhabit the Horsley Hills keep the renowned Pungannur cows. The Pungannur cows are known for their milk yielding capacity and low appetite. 
Kaundinya wild life sanctuary
  Kaundinya wildlife sanctuary is 87 km from Horsley Hills one may plan an excursion to the Kaundinya wild life sanctuary. At the Kaundiya Wild life sanctuary one may spot the Cheetal, Four horned Antelope, Sambhar, Mouse Deer, Hare, Porcupine, Wild boar, Jungle Cat, Jackal, Sloth Bear, Panther, Jungle Fowl, Pea Fowls and Elephants. The Sanctuary is rich in flora too and boasts of Albizia Amara, Ficus Religiosa, Ficus Tomentosa, Ficus Bengalensis and Bamboo, Santalum Album etc.


HORSLEY HILLS (Best Seasons)

  The Horsley Hills have a delightful cool climate. The hills abound with rich flora and fauna. It is a charming little hill station at an altitude of 1,265 metres above sea level and forms the most elevated table land in the south of Andhra Pradesh. This is the coolest place and is a summer resort.

Location
  The hill resort of Horsley Hills stands at an altitude of 1,265 meters above sea level on the southwest border of Andhra Pradesh.

HORSLEY HILLS (How to get There)

By Air: The airports at Tirupati and Bangalore at a distance of 160 km and 165 km respectively cater to the air travel to Horsley Hills.

By Rail: The railhead at Madanapalle Road is the nearest to the Horsley Hills. From the Madanapalle Road station Madanapalle is at a distance of 13 km and Horsley Hills 43-km.

By Road: State transport buses of Andhra Pradesh and taxis ply to the hill resort of Horsley Hills. There are daily buses to Horsley Hills from Madanapalle and Tirupati

Accommodation
Accommodation is easily available in Horsley Hills at the  Governors' Bungalow, and in Chittoor Cooperative Society guest house.


Golden Temple

 

  
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‘Golden’ temple: A view of the Sri Lakshmi Narayani Temple near Vellore.

VELLORE:
The Sri Lakshmi Narayani Temple located in ‘Sripuram’ (spiritual town)
in Thirumalaikkodi, about seven km from here, was consecrated by Sri
Sakthi Amma, head of the Sri Narayani Peedam, Thirumalaikkodi, on
Friday.

 

A large number of devotees gathered for the occasion.

 

Unique structure :

 

It is a unique temple whose ‘Vimanam’ and ‘Ardha Mandapam’ have been coated with gold both in the interior and exterior.

 

Twelve layers of gold foils have been pasted on copper sheets embossed with the designs of Gods and fixed on the walls.

 

One-and-a-half
tonnes of gold has gone into the design of the Sri Lakshmi Narayani
Temple, which has been built at a cost of Rs.300 crore.

 

100-acre site :

 

According
to Sri Sakthi Amma, the decision to have the temple coated with gold is
only to attract visitors and enable them to get wisdom through the
messages of the Vedas, which they will have to read before reaching the
temple located on sprawling a 100 acre-site.

 

The temple has
been designed in such a way that visitors can reach the golden temple
only after going through a star-shaped pathway, which has the messages
from the Vedas on both sides.

 

Tamil Nadu can boast of its own Golden Temple now

 

Vellore: If you see the temple, you might even think that the temple is made of gold. And your guessing will be correct.

 

The Golden Temple is about 140 km from Chennai at Tirumalaikodi in Vellore district.

 

Sri
Narayani Peedam, a private religious charitable organisation, built the
temple. And the glittering monument also boasts of some glittering
figures.

 

"The actual estimate is about 300 crores. The amount of
gold that went into it's making is 1,500 kilos," says head, Sri
Narayani Peedam, Sri Sakthi Amma.

 

A breathtaking wonder of
intricate designs, the temple dedicated to Goddess Narayani is in the
midst of lush greenery spread over 100 acres.

 

Except the
pathways, even the roofs and the pillars of the temple are made of gold
as about 1.5 tonnes of the metal went into its making.

 

The Peedom says the funds for building the temple were collected from NRIs.

 

 

 Copyrights Reserved © Sri Tirumala Yaatra

 

 

 
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Visiting Places In & Around Tirupati
 
Padmavathi Temple
Govinda Raja Swamy Temple,
Kapila Theertham
Kodanda Rama Swamy Temple
Zoo Park
ISKCON
Sri Kalahasti
Srinivasa Mangapuram
Chandragiri Fort
KANIPAKAM (VINAYAKA TEMPLE)
GOLDEN TEMPLE ( VELLORE)
 
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