Alipiri

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Coordinates: 13°38′49.46″N 79°24′21.3″E / 13.6470722°N 79.405917°E / 13.6470722; 79.405917

Alipiri entrance way

Alipiri is the place or junction at foot hill of seven hills near Tirupati, the pilgrim city of Sri Venkateswara Swami in the state of Andra Pradesh, India. From here two road ways, one up and one down, lead to Tirumala through seven hills, and one step way leads to the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple hill temple. The hills are seven in number, as such the god is called seven hills god

the step way to hills at alipiri

ALIPIRI literally mean resting place. In olden days pilgrims used to climb all the seven hills only through the stepped way on foot, as there was no other option. Hence the pilgrims came from long distances used to take rest for some time there, cooked their food, eat there. After taking rest they started to climb the steps. In those days the untouchables are not allowed to climb the hills to see the God. In fact there was no to identify the untouchable persons to prevent climbing the hills. They them selves did not tried to climb the hills as they thought that it is sin. There is big boulder near alipiri. That was the last point to the untouchables to reach. They used to touch their heads to the boulder as a mark of respect and returned. The other pilgrims used to touch their knees to the boulder so that the knees would not pain while climbing the steeped steps. As the practice was since centuries back, the boulder has several dips. (see the picture) It was Mahatma Gandhi who managed to allow all the pilgrims to the hill top temple.

a temple tower at alipiri

There is a temple called locally Srivaari mettu, which means the shoes of the god. All pilgrims offer their prayer to the daity and to the shoes keeping them on their head. Nowadays all the stepped way is covered with roof to protect the pilgrims from sun light and rain. The lights are also provided. Special privilege is provided to the pilgrims who came on foot for the visit of the god.