||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (April 2012)|
|— Hill town —|
|• Total||27 km2 (10 sq mi)|
|Elevation||976 m (3,202 ft)|
|• Density||670/km2 ( 1,700/sq mi)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Tirumala is a hill town in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, India. The town is a pilgrimage center for Hindus, with its Sri Venkateswara Temple. Tirumala is dedicated to the Shrimann Narayana, or Maha Vishnu. Tirumala is situated 26 kilometres (16 mi) north of Tirupati, 86 kilometres (53 mi) north-east of Chittoor, the district headquarters and 573 kilometres (356 mi) south-east of Hyderabad, the state capital.
Tirumala Hill is 3,200 feet (980 m) above sea level, and the town covers an area of approximately 10.33 square miles (26.8 km2). In the area are seven peaks from the Seshachalam range, part of Eastern Ghats. The seven peaks represent the heads of Adisesha and are known as Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrushabadri, Narayanadri and Venkatadri. The temple of Sri Venkateswara is on the seventh peak (Venkatadri).
"Tirumala" is the combination of two words: Tiru means 'Holy' or 'Sacred' and mala means hills/mountain in Tamil Language. Therefore it translates as Holy mountains.(Anthropological Survey of India, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Dept. of Culture, Govt. of India). It is one of the three Archavathara Vishnu temples, the other temples being at Srirangam and Badrinath. It is also one of the 108 Divya Desams sacred to Sri Vaishnavas. Members of the Chola dynasty, who were devotees of Lord Venkateswara, improved and endowed the temple.
Ancient literature (dating to the post-Mauryan and early Gupta eras) mentions Tirupati as Aadhi Varaha Kshetra. The Puranas associate the site with Lord Varaha, one of the Dashavatara of Lord Vishnu. The Varaha shrine is locally important, and is said to be older than the main sanctum of Venkateswara. The Ranga Mandapam (to the left of the temple) protected the idol (Sri Ranganatha Swamy of Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Trichy) for nearly 60 years during the invasions by Malik Kafur during the 14th century.
In the Puranas, The Venkatam Hill is believed to be a part of the Mount Meru, which was brought on to the earth from Vaikuntam by Garuda (Lord's vehicle). The Hills are said to be a manifestation of Adi Sesha.
Many Alvars, Vaishnavacharyas and saints praised the Tirumala Hill in their respective literatures.
Several references to the Tirumala were found in Puranas. Tirumala is one of the 108 shrines of the Sri Vaishanava sect of Hinduism. According to the Puranas, Lord Vishnu raised in the Avatar of Swetha Varaham from Pushkarini. This Swetha Varaha Avatharam was installed in a temple situated to the west of Swamy Pushkarni.
Sri Ramanuja Shrine 
The Shrine of Sri Ramanuja is adjacent to the Sangeeta Bhandara, in the northern corridor of the Vimana Pradakshinam. It is also known as the Bhashyakara Sannidhi.
Ramanuja(Tamil:திரு ராமானுஜர்)(1017-1137 C.E)(Holy People of the World: A Cross-Cultural Encyclopedia) born in a Brahmin family in the village of Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu,(Philosophers and Religious Leaders: An Encyclopedia of People Who Changed the World Lives & Legacies) was the architect of Tirupati and the father of the Sri Vaishnava community . Ramanuja was responsible for managing the worship and other affairs of the Sri Venkateswara temple.
The shrine was built around in 13th century A.D. and overlooks the western end of the Tirumamani Mandapam. The Pandyan emblem (two fish and a hook) is carved on the wall next to the entrance.
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.
Language and culture 
Telugu is the widely spoken language and Tamil is also spoken by some people.Telugu is the official language of the town.Vaishanava bhakti literature was an all-India phenomenon, which started in the 6th-7th century A.D. in the Tamil-speaking region of South India, with twelve Alvar (one immersed in God) saint-poets, who wrote devotional songs. The religion of Alvar poets, which included a woman poet, Andal, was devotion to God through love (bhakti), and in the ecstasy of such devotions they sang hundreds of songs which embodied both depth of feeling and felicity of expressions (Indian literature(Official Website of Govt of India), Sri Vaishnavam
On foot 
There are two paths to travel on foot from Tirupati to Tirumala-
- Alipiri Mettu- This is the most commonly used footpath used by pilgrims to reach Tirumala. It originates at Alipiri, a neighbourhood of Tirupati city situated at the foothills of Tirumala. It is 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) in length and takes a pilgrim nearly 41/2 hours to reach Tirumala. The path is a mix of gradual and steep steps and also goes along the main ghat road for a couple of kilometres. This path passes through the Tirumala Deer Park.
- Srivari Mettu- This path is the traditional, shorter and less-used footpath to Tirumala. It originates at a town named Srinivasa Mangapuram, 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from Tirupati. There are frequent Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) buses from Tirupati and Alipiri to Srinivasa Mangapuram for the convenience of pilgrims. It is 2.1 kilometres (1.3 mi) in length and takes a pilgrim 1–2 hours to reach Tirumala.
Tirumala can be accessed by road from Alipiri. There are two roads from Alipiri to Tirumala, one for vehicles coming from Tirupati and the other for vehicles going to Tirupati.
Tirumala has a bus stand maintained by the APSRTC. There are frequent buses (frequency of 2 minutes) from Tirupati and Alipiri. Tirumala is also directly connected to Bangalore, Chennai and Chittoor by bus. All buses to and from Tirumala and maintained by the APSRTC and are known as Saptagiri buses. There is no bus service to and from Tirumala between 12 am and 3 am. The nearest major bus stand is at Tirupati, where there are bus services to all parts of Andhra Pradesh as well as the neighbouring states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) also runs a free bus service within Tirumala for the benefit of pilgrims.
Tirumala does not have a railway station. 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 good rail connectivity to most 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 at Meenambakkam, about 162 kilometres (101 mi) from Tirumala which is an international airport providing direct flights to most parts of India and the world.
Pilgrims may be accommodated in TTD's guesthouses. There are many guesthouses, which are available for INR 300 a day. Pilgrims may also receive free accommodation by TTD. The process is slow; the pilgrim must pay INR 200 a day as a deposit, which will be refunded after they have left.
Other attractions 
Akaasa Ganga 
Srivaari Paadamulu 
Srivari Paadamulu ("the Lord's footprints") are believed to be the footprints of Lord Venkateswara when he first stood on Tirumala Hills. The footprints are located on the highest point of the hill, about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from the temple.
Natural stone arch 
The Natural Arch is located 1 km (0.6 mi) north of the temple. The arch is called Silathoranam in Telugu (Sila means "rock" and thoranam literally means a garland strung over a threshold connecting two vertical columns, or an arch in this case). The arch measures 8 m (26.2 ft) wide and 3 m (9.8 ft) high. It was naturally formed from the quartz of the Kadapa Supergroup of the Middle to Upper Proterozoic (1600 to 570 Ma) due to erosive forces. The arch is one of several natural arches (or bridges) in Asia.
Paapa Vinaasanam 
Paapa Vinaasanam is a temple approximately 8 km from the Tirumala Temple, and is one of the last place one may visit by road in Tirumala. The temple of Goddess Ganga is said to forgive all sins (paapam) people have committed during their lives. The temple is located in the Sri Venkateswara National Park.
There is a dam near the temple which provides electricity to Tirumala, Tirupati and nearby locations.
- "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.