About TirumalaTirumala is home to Tirumala temple, which is one of the most popular religious tourist attractions in India. Tirumala itself is a hill town situated in Tirupathi Metropolitan area in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Tirumala temple which is popularly known as Sri Venkateswara Temple is said to be the holiest shrines for Hinduism. Tirumala is derived from Tiru and Mala, which mean holy and hill in Tamil. It is also referred to as Nedion Kunram, where Nedion means Lord Vishnu and Kunram means hill.
Geography and Location of TirumalaTirumala is located 26 km north from Tirupathi, 86 km northeast from Chittoor, 405 km south from Vijayawada, 160 km north-west from Chennai and 573 km from Hyderabad. It has an average elevation of 980m and covers an approximate area of 26. 8 sq. km.
Given below is the location guide of Tirumala:
History of TirumalaExperts believe that in ancient literature Tirupathi is mentioned as Aadhi varaha kshetra. The Puranas also associate this place with Lord Varaha, one of the 10 avatars of Lord Vishnu. Tirumala is also one of the 108 Divya Desams. Historians say that Venkatadri is believed to be a part of Mount Meru, which was brought on to the earth from Vishnu's abode Vaikuntam by his mount Garuda.
Demographics of TirumalaAs per 2001 census the total population of Tirumala was recorded to be 17,789; out of which 52% were males and 48% were females. The average literacy rate was 72.8 %. Male literacy rate is 57.1% and the female rate is 42.9%.
Tourist Attractions of TirumalaTirumala is one of the most popular religious attractions of South India. The Tirumala temple itself draws millions of devotees each year. The other places of interest in and around Tirumala include the following.
Sri Govindrajaswami Temple
Sri Govindarajaswamy temple is an important shrine in Tirupathi. The foundation stone of the temple was laid by Ramanuja way back in 1235. The architecture is traditional style of Vaishnav sect. There is a gopuram and two shrines within the temple in the north and south directions. The shrine in the north is dedicated to Lord Parthasarathy and the shrine in the south is dedicated to Lord Govindaraja.
Timings – 9:30 am to 8:45 pm, everyday.
The beautiful Talakona Waterfalls are located in Sri Venkateswara National Park in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. These falls are 270 feet high and the highest waterfalls in the state. Situated amidst sandalwood forests, Talakona Waterfall are perfect for nature lovers. Tourists can also enjoy bird watching, trekking, jungle safari, boating and canopy walk around the waterfall. Lord Siddheswara Swamy Temple is also located near the waterfall and is a popular tourist attraction. Experts believe that the water of the waterfall is enriched with minerals and it has healing properties as well.
Srivari PaadamuluSrivari Paadamulu (the Lord's footprints) are believed to be the footprints of Lord Venkateswara formed when he first stood on Tirumala Hills. These footprints are located on the highest point on the hill which is about 15 km from the temple.
Japali TeerthamTirumala is surrounded by numerous sacred water bodies called teerthams. Japali Teertham is the most popular among all of them. It is visited by most pilgrims. The main attraction of Japali Teertham is the temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. It is believed that Lord Rama with his wife Goddess Sita, brother Laxman and Lord Hanuman stayed here. There is a small pond called Rama Kund in the temple premises was the the source of drinking water for Lord Rama and his family during the stay. It is believed that a dip in the pond will wash away your sins and evil doings.
Sri Venkateswara MuseumSri Venkateswara Museum is situated just a stone throw away from Tirumala temple. The structure of the building and its architecture resembles a temple that’s why most tourists mistake it to one of the many temples in the region. The museum houses a wide collection of artifacts from the region. The entire museum is divided into sections. One section has broken idols found nearby, while another has paintings of Tirumala, collected over the years. The most interesting section of the museum is the geological section which depicts the geological formation of Tirumala, and the link between geology and mythology. There are paintings depicting the merging of continents, rising of mountains, and the resemblance to the myth of Varaha lifting Bhudevi from the bowels of the sea. A must visit to know about the glorious past of the region.
Sri Padmavati Amravathi TempleAmravathi Temple is one of the Panchrama Kshetras located in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh. The temple is situated is just 5km from Tirupathi temple. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Padmavati, Lord Venketeswara’s consort. It is believed that your visit to Tirupathi is considered successful only when you visit Sri Padmavati Amravathi Temple first. Legend has it that the Lord Vishnu showed his reverence towards the sage, Brighu Maharishi.
Brighu Maharishi had insulted Lord Vishnu by kicking him on the chest. In anger, Goddess MahaLakshmi (Lord Vishnu’s consort) reached Patala Loka, where she heard a divine voice stating that a pushkarini was dug on the banks of the river Swarnamukhi, and here she immersed herself in penance for 12 years. In the 13th year Sri Padmavati emerged from a golden lotus. It is believed that Goddess MahaLakshmi herself emerged as Sri Padmavati. There is a big festival celebrated once a year that is the marriage of Lord Venkateswara to Goddess Padmavati Devi.
Papavinasanam is located just 5km from Venkateswara Temple. It is a reservoir and a temple. The name originates from the legend that a bath in the water from this reservoir clears one for all sins (Papam). Originally a waterfall flowing from a tributary of the Swarnamukhi River, the river was later dammed to control the water flowing out of the area. A part of the water flows to Papavinasanam temple where seven lion-headed channels open from a height for deities to bathe below them. It is believed that those who bathe in Papavinasa receive the blessings of lord.
ISKCON TirupatiISKCON Temple Tirupathi is a must visit when you are in and around Tirumala. It is a splendid temple that is known for its intricate architecture. It is situated in the foothills of Tirumala. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) needs no introduction. It has been spreading the love and teachings of Lord Krishna all over the world.
The highlight of ISKCON Tirupathi is the beautiful interiors and the Krishna Radha deities. The temple was inaugurated in 1984 and ever since it has been a popular religious tourist attraction. The temple not only attracts travelers from different parts of India, but also the world. During the year 1997 the plan of the existing structure was conceived under the budget of RS.15 crore. It was inaugurated in 2005 and was one of the largest Sri Krishna Temple complex in the world.
Sri Varahaswami TempleSri Varahaswami Temple is situated to the left of Sri Venketeswara Temple and on the banks of Swami Pushkarini. The temple is dedicated to Lord Varaha, the third incarnation of Lord Vishnu and is represented in the form of a boar. When the demon Hiranyaksha stole the earth and hid her, Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of Lord Varaha to save the earth.
Lord slew the demon and retrieved earth (Bhudevi) from the ocean. Lifting the earth on his tusks, Lord Varaha restored the earth’s place in the universe. The idol of Sri Varahaswami in Tirumala is that of Adi Varaha, as it resembles the description of the Adi Varaha murti in Vaikhanasa Agama texts.
The other tourist attractions around Tirumala are -
- Papavinasanam Dam
- Kapila Teertham
- Chakra Teertham
- Deer Park
- Sri Ramanuja Shrine
- Rock Garden
- Tumbhuru Teertham
- Akasganga Teertham
How to Reach TirumalaBy Road
Tirumala can be easily accessed from neighboring cities like Tirupathi and Chittoor. Travelers can book private taxis from Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore etc to reach Tirumala. Frequent buses from Tirupati and Alipiri are operated by APSRTC. Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) runs free buses for transit within Tirumala.
The closest railway junction is at Tirupati, about 26 km. It is a major station for most south India bound trains. It comes under the South Central Railway zone of Indian Railways.
Tirupathi Airport is the nearest airport from Tirumala, just 40 km. It is a domestic airport and has direct flights from Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi. The nearest international airport is Chennai International Airport, 162 km from Tirumala.
Fact File of Tirumala
- State: Andhra Pradesh
- Region: Rayalaseema
- District: Chittoor
- Total Area: 27 sq. km
- Elevation: 976 m
- Official Language: Telugu
- STD Code: 0877
- PIN Code: 517504
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