Tirumala

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For other uses, see Tirupati (disambiguation).
Tirumala
తిరుమల
suburban
Lord Venkateswara Temple
Lord Venkateswara Temple
Tirumala is located in Andhra Pradesh
Tirumala
Tirumala
Location in Andhra Pradesh, India
Coordinates: 13°39′00″N 79°25′12″E / 13.6500°N 79.42°E / 13.6500; 79.42Coordinates: 13°39′00″N 79°25′12″E / 13.6500°N 79.42°E / 13.6500; 79.42
Country India
State Andhra Pradesh
Region Rayalaseema
District Chittoor
Area
 • Total 27 km2 (10 sq mi)
Elevation 976 m (3,202 ft)
Population (2001)
 • Total 17,789
 • Density 660/km2 (1,700/sq mi)
Languages
 • Official Telugu
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 517 504
Telephone code +91–877
Vehicle registration AP-03

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 World's top 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 Vijayawada, 160 kilometres (99 mi) north-west of Chennai and 573 kilometres (356 mi) from Hyderabad.

Geography[edit]

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[1] is on the seventh peak (Venkatadri).

At 12 km point on the Tirupati - Tirumala Ghat road, there is a major discontinuity of stratigraphic significance that represents a period of remarkable serenity in the geological history of the Earth. This is referred to as Eparchaean Unconformity. This Unconformity separates the Proterozoic Nagari Quartazite and Archean granite representing a time gap of 800 Ma.[2] In 2001, the Geological Survey of India(GSI) declared the Eparchaean Unconfirmity to be one of the 26 "Geological Monuments of India".

Silathoranam(Natural arch) at Tirumala Hills, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh

Silathoranam, a Natural arch and a distinctive geological wonder is located in Tirumala Hills at a distance of 1 km from Tirumala Venkateswara Temple. The Arch measures 8 metres in width and 3 metres in height and is curved out of quartizite of Cuddapah Supergroup of Middle to Upper Proterozoic(1600 to 570 Ma) by waethering agents like water and wind.[3]

Etymology[edit]

Tirumala is the combination of two words: Tiru meaning 'holy' or 'sacred' and mala meaning 'hill' in Tamil, translating to holy mountain.[4][verification needed]

Legend[edit]

Main article: Legend of Tirumala

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. In Varaha Purana, 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.[5]

Demographics[edit]

As of 2001 India census,[6] 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 is the major language.Hinduism is the only religion in Tirumala.[citation needed]

Culture[edit]

Dhotis and Sarees are the traditional popular attire. The practices of tonsure and using tilaka are popular among devotees of Lord Venkateswara.

Festivals

Lord Venkateswara on Gaja Vahanam

The city celebrates all major Hindu festivals including Sankranti, Ugadi etc., with great splendour. While, the Sri Venkateswara Brahmotsavams celebrated every year during October is the most important festival in Tirumala when it receives millions of devotees over a short span of a week.[citation needed] Vaikunta Ekadasi, the day on which it is believed that Vaikunta Dwarams will be opened and the most important Vasihnavite festival, is celebrated in Tirumala.[7] Rathasapthami is another festival, celebrated during February, when Lord Venkateswara professional deity, (Malayappa) is taken in a procession around the temple on seven different vahanas from early morning to late night.[8]

Cuisine

Tirupati is known for world famous Tirupati Laddu. It is the prasadam at Venkateswara Temple, Tirumala. Tirupati Laddu had got Geographical indication tag which entitles only Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams to make or sell it.[9][10]

Arts, crafts and architecture

Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams established Sri Venkateswara Musueum, one at Tirumala and the other at Tirupati. It has a wonderful collection of Tirupati temple architecture and historical artefacts, such as ancient weaponry, pooja items and idols. It has a comprehensive photo gallery that gives a unique insight into the Tirupati region's culture and traditions. It also boasts a meditation centre.[11]

Attractions[edit]

Sri Venkateswara Temple[edit]

Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple is a landmark vaishnavite temple situated in Tirumala. The Temple is dedicated to Lord Venkateswara, an incarnation of Vishnu, who is believed to be appeared here to save mankind from trails and troubles of Kali Yuga. Hence the place has also got the name Kaliyuga Vaikuntham and Lord here is referred to as Kaliyuga Prathyaksha Daivam. The temple is also known by other names like Tirumala Temple, Tirupati Temple, Tirupati Balaji Temple. Venkateswara is known by many other names: Balaji, Govinda, and Srinivasa.[12]

Natural stone arch[edit]

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.

Natural Arch in Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh, India

Srivaari Paadamulu[edit]

Srivari Paadamulu (the Lord's footprints) are believed to be the footprints of Lord Venkateswara formed when he first stood on Tirumala Hills.[citation needed] The footprints are located on the highest point of the hill, about 15 km (9.3 mi) from the temple.

Theertha[edit]

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.

Ganga temple, Papavinasanam

Akaasa Ganga is a natural waterfall believed to originate from Lord Vishnu's feet.[citation needed] Its waters are used daily in Srivari temple's activities.

Museum in Tirumala

Transport[edit]

Foot Steps

There are two paths to travel on foot from Tirupati to Tirumala. These paths are called Sopanamargas. The Devotees to fulfil their Vow to Lord Venkateswara will take this path to reach Tirumala on foot from Tirupati. Both the paths are completely roofed and passes through seven hills which are part of Seshachalam Hills.[13][14]

  • Alipiri Metlu - The first and Ancient path starts from Alipiri and consists of a total 3550 Steps which makes a distance of 11 km. At Alipiri there is a temple dedicated to Lord Venkateswara called Padalamandapam. There are Four Gopurams(Temple Towers) on the way.[15]
Spotted deer in the 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.[15] This trail has 2400 steps and is shorter than Alipiri Metlu path.

Road

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.

Rail

The nearest railway station is at Tirupati, about 26 kilometres (16 mi) from Tirumala. Tirupati Main is one of the major railway station in the South Central Railway zone of the Indian Railways, providing rail connectivity to major parts of India. It is under the jurisdiction of Guntakal railway division.[16] Renigunta Junction which lies on the Chennai - Mumbai rail corridor is 38 km away from Tirumala.

Airport

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 . The nearest major airport is the Chennai International Airport, located about 162 kilometres (101 mi) from Tirumala.

See Also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.rediff.com/news/2007/jun/08ap.htm
  2. ^ "Geological Survey of India - Monuments of Stratigraphic Significance". Retrieved 2015-07-22. 
  3. ^ "Geological Survey of India - Monuments of Stratigraphic Significance". Retrieved 2015-07-22. 
  4. ^ http://books.google.co.in/books?id=_fi1AAAAIAAJ&q=tirupathi+tamil+name&dq=tirupathi+tamil+name&hl=en&sa=X&ei=BFUFT_n6N4G0rAe3nv3YDw&ved=0CFwQ6AEwBA
  5. ^ http://www.srivaishnava.org/ddesam/ddesam.htm
  6. ^ "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. 
  7. ^ "Pilgrims throng Tirumala". Deccan Herrald. Retrieved 21 June 2015. 
  8. ^ "Rathasapthami photos". Archived from the original on 2009-10-27. 
  9. ^ "Only TTD entitled to make or sell ‘Tirupati laddu’: High Court". The Hindu. Retrieved 23 June 2015. 
  10. ^ "Now, Geographical Indication rights for 'Tirupati laddu'". Business Standard. Retrieved 23 June 2015. 
  11. ^ "Heritage in Tirupati-SV Musueum". Andhra Pradesh Tourism board. Retrieved 23 June 2015. 
  12. ^ "Tirumala Temple". Retrieved 13 September 2007. 
  13. ^ "Tirupati to Tirumala on Foot". Tirumala Tirupati Devastanams. Retrieved 2015-06-06. 
  14. ^ "By Walk to Tirumala Hills". Go Tirupati. Retrieved 2015-06-06. 
  15. ^ a b "Tirupati to Tirumala on Foot". Pedestrian path (foot way) to Tirumala. Retrieved 19 December 2012. 
  16. ^ "Tirupati Main". Indiarailinfo. Retrieved 1 June 2015. 

External links[edit]