|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
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 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.
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 and contributions.
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 at Tirupati.
Attractions of Tirupati
Tirumala Balaji Temple
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 around 1130.
- Kodandaramaswami Temple
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.
Direct flights to Tirupati are available from Hyderabad and Chennai
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.
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.