Lord Venkateswara Temple
|• Total||27 km2 (10 sq mi)|
|Elevation||976 m (3,202 ft)|
|• Density||660/km2 (1,700/sq mi)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Tirumala is a hill town in Tirupati Metropolitan area of Andhra Pradesh, India. The town is home to Sri Venkateswara temple, dedicated to the Hindu deity Venkateswara and one of the holiest sites in Hinduism. Tirumala is situated 26 kilometres (16 mi) north of Tirupati, 86 kilometres (53 mi) northeast of Chittoor,405 kilometres (252 mi) south of the state capital Vijayawada, 160 kilometres (99 mi) north-west of Chennai and 573 kilometres (356 mi) from Hyderabad.
Tirumala is located 3,200 feet (980 m) above sea level and covers an area of approximately 10.33 square miles (26.8 km2). Surrounding the hills are seven peaks of Seshachalam range, Eastern Ghats namely Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrushabadri, Narayanadri and Venkatadri. The temple of Sri Venkateswara is on the seventh peak (Venkatadri).
In ancient literature Tirupati is mentioned to as Aadhi varaha kshetra. The Puranas associate the site with Lord Varaha, one of the Dashavatara of Lord Vishnu. The Varaha shrine is said to be older than the main sanctum of Venkateswara. In the Puranas, 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. The seven peaks represent supposedly represent the seven heads of Adisesha. Tirumala is one of the 108 divya desams.
As of 2001[update] India census, Tirumala has a population of 17,789. Males constitute 52 percent of the population and females 48 percent. Tirumala has an average literacy rate of 72.8 percent, higher than the national average of 59.5 percent. The male literacy rate is 57.1 percent and the female rate is 42.9 percent. In Tirumala, 11 percent of the population is under six years of age.
Telugu and Tamil are the major languages. Hinduism is the major religion in Tirumala. Dhotis and Sarees are the traditional popular attire. The practices of tonsure and using tilaka are popular among devotees of Lord Venkateswara.
There are two paths to travel on foot from Tirupati to Tirumala:
- Alipiri Mettu - It originates at Alipiri, situated at the foothills of Tirumala. It is 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) long and passes through Tirumala deer park.
- Srivari Mettu - It originates at Srinivasa Mangapuram, about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from Tirupati. It is 2.1 kilometres (1.3 mi) long.
Tirumala can be accessed by road from Alipiri. The distance is 23 kilometers. There are two roads from Alipiri to Tirumala, one each dedicated to up and down traffic. APSRTC operates frequent buses from Tirupati and Alipiri. Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) runs free buses for transit within Tirumala.
The nearest railway station is at Tirupati, about 26 kilometres (16 mi) from Tirumala. Tirupati is a major railway station in the South Central Railway zone of the Indian Railways, providing rail connectivity to major parts of India.
The nearest airport is Tirupati Airport, about 40 kilometres (25 mi) from Tirumala. It is a domestic airport with direct flights to Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, New Delhi and Mumbai. The nearest major airport is the Chennai International Airport, located about 162 kilometres (101 mi) from Tirumala.
Places of Interest
Srivari Paadamulu (the Lord's footprints) are believed to be the footprints of Lord Venkateswara formed when he first stood on Tirumala Hills. The footprints are located on the highest point of the hill, about 15 km (9.3 mi) from the temple.
Papavinasanam, located about 5 km (3.1 mi) from the main temple, is a reservoir as well as 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. A temple dedicated to goddess Ganga is located near the enclosure.
Natural stone arch
The Natural Arch is located about 1 km (0.62 mi) north of the temple. The arch measures 8 m (26 ft) wide and 3 m (9.8 ft) high. It was naturally formed from the quartz.
Sri Ramanuja Shrine
The Shrine of Sri Ramanuja is located adjacent to the in the northern corridor of the Vimana Pradakshinam. It is also known as the Bhashyakara Sannidhi. The shrine was built around in 13th century A.D. and overlooks the western end of the Tirumamani Mandapam. The emblem of Pandyas (two fish and a hook) is carved on the wall next to the entrance.
- "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- "Tirupati to Tirumala on Foot". Pedestrian path (foot way) to Tirumala. Retrieved 19 December 2012.