Coordinates: 13°40′51″N 79°21′02″E / 13.680916°N 79.350600°E / 13.680916; 79.350600
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Kaliyuga Vaikuntham
A view of the Maha Dvaram and the Ananda Nilayam Garbha Griha of the Sri Venkateshvara Swami Vaari Temple
A view of the Maha Dvaram and the Ananda Nilayam Garbha Griha of the Venkateshvara Temple
Tirumala is located in Andhra Pradesh
Location in Andhra Pradesh, India
Coordinates: 13°40′51″N 79°21′02″E / 13.680916°N 79.350600°E / 13.680916; 79.350600
Country India
StateAndhra Pradesh
MandalTirupati Urban
 • TypeTirupati Municipal Corporation
 • Total32.21 km2 (12.44 sq mi)
976 m (3,202 ft)
 • Total30,035
 • Density930/km2 (2,400/sq mi)
 • OfficialTelugu
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
517 504
Telephone code+91–877
Vehicle registrationAP-03, AP-39

Tirumala is a spiritual place in Tirupati district of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is one of the neighbourhoods of the Tirupati city. The town is a part of Tirupati Urban Development Authority and located in Tirupati (urban) mandal of Tirupati revenue division.[4] It is a hill town where Tirumala Venkateswara Temple is located, a popular shrine of Vishnu. The town is strictly vegetarian.


The word Tirumala is of Dravidian origin. The term “Tiru”, means sacred or holy and “Mala”, means mountain or hill.[5]


Spotted deer in the park

Tirumala is located 980 metres (3,200 ft) above sea level and covers an area of approximately 26.8 square kilometres (10.33 sq mi). Surrounding the hills are seven peaks of Seshachalam range, Eastern Ghats namely Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrushabadri, Narayanadri, and Venkatadri. The temple of Venkateswara[6] is on the seventh peak (Venkatadri).

At the 12 km (7.5 mi) 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 the Eparchaean Unconformity. This unconformity separates the Nagari Quartzite of the Proterozoic from the granite of the Archean, representing a time gap of 800 Mya.[7] In 2001, the Geological Survey of India (GSI) declared the Eparchaean Unconformity 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 (0.62 mi) from Tirumala Venkateswara Temple. The arch measures 8 m (26 ft) in width and 3 m (9.8 ft) metres in height and is eroded out of quartizite of Cuddapah Supergroup of Middle to Upper Proterozoic (1600 to 570 Mya) by weathering agents such as water and wind.[8]


Deer park near Alipiri Mettu

Tirumala has a humid subtropical climate designated Cwa, with dry winters under the Köppen climate classification. As the hill shrine is situated amidst the hills, the temperature will go below 10 degrees in winter. Summers are not as hot here, especially compared to Tirupati. The southwest monsoon season starts from June, but rains are not heavy. Occasionally, thunderstorms form and downpours may persist for hours. Pertaining to orographic relief, the northeast monsoon remains active over the region for 2 months. It causes flooding. The highest 24-hour rainfall on record was 459 mm (18.1 in) on 23 November 2005, followed by 307 mm (12.1 in) on 9 November 2015.

Climate data for Tirumala (1987–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 31.1
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 22.9
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 12.8
Record low °C (°F) 7.3
Average rainfall mm (inches) 7.2
Average rainy days 0.5 0.2 0.8 1.2 3.5 5.4 8.3 7.7 7.8 10.4 10.8 5.5 62.1
Average relative humidity (%) (at 17:30 IST) 74 63 54 58 58 66 69 70 72 79 84 85 69
Source: India Meteorological Department[9]


In ancient literature, Tirupati is mentioned as Adi Varaha Kshetra. The Puranas associate the site with Varaha, one of the Dashavatara of Vishnu. In the Varaha Purana, Venkatadri is believed to be a part of Mount Meru, which was brought on to the earth from Vishnu's abode Vaikuntham by his mount Garuda. The seven peaks represent the seven heads of Adishesha.[10]


As of 2001 India census,[11] Tirumala has a population of 7,741. 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.[12]


Ganga temple, Papavinasanam
Museum in Tirumala

The town of Tirumala is strictly vegetarian. Consumption of non-vegetarian food, alcohol, and tobacco products is strictly prohibited in Tirumala, and smuggling any of these is considered a serious offence.[13] Dhotis and Sarees are the traditional popular attire. The practices of tonsure and using tilaka are popular among devotees of Venkateswara.


Venkateswara on Gaja Vahanam

Srivari Brahmotsavams is the most important festival in Tirumala that is celebrated every year during September/October and receives lakhs of devotees over a short span of a nine days.[14][15] The city celebrates all major Hindu festivals including Sankranti,[16] Ugadi[17] etc. Vaikuntha Ekadashi, the day on which it is believed that Vaikuntha Dvarams will be opened, is celebrated in Tirumala.[18] Rathasapthami is another festival, celebrated during February, when Venkateswara processional deity, (Malayappa) is taken in a procession around the temple on seven different vahanas from early morning to late night.[19][20]


Tirupati is known for the Tirupati laddu. It is the prasadam at the Venkateswara Temple, Tirumala. Only the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams manufactures and sells this product.[21][22]

Arts, crafts and architecture

Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams established Sri Venkateswara Museum, 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.[23]


Arjuna's chariot in Geethopadesam park

Venkateswara Temple is an abode of Venkateswara situated in Tirumala. It is also known as Tirumala Temple.[24] Natural Arch is located north of the temple, which measures 8 m (26 ft) wide and 3 m (9.8 ft) high and was naturally formed from the quartz. Srivari Padamulu (the footprints of Lord) are believed to be the footprints of Venkateswara formed when he first stood on Tirumala Hills.[25] Papavinasanam is a waterfall flowing from a tributary of the Swarnamukhi River. It also has a 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. Akaasa Ganga is another natural waterfall in Tirumala.[26]


Srivari Padalu steps

Foot Steps

There are two paths to travel on foot from Tirupati to Tirumala. These paths are called Sopanamargas. Devotees ritually 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.[27]

  • Alipiri Mettu[28] – 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 Venkateswara called Padalamandapam. There are Four Gopurams(Temple Towers) on the way.
  • Srivari Mettu[28] – It originates at Srinivasa Mangapuram, about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from Tirupati. It is 2.1 kilometres (1.3 mi) long. This trail has 2388 steps and is shorter than Alipiri Metlu path.


Tirumala can be accessed by road from Alipiri. The distance is 23 kilometres (14 mi). There are two roads from Alipiri to Tirumala, one each dedicated to up and down traffic. The state government-owned Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) operates frequent Saptagiri and Saptagiri Express buses from Tirupati and Alipiri and also from nearby places. 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 Main railway station 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.[29] Renigunta Junction is another important railway station which lies on the ChennaiMumbai rail corridor is 38 kilometres (24 mi) away from Tirumala.


The nearest airport is Tirupati Airport, about 40 kilometres (25 mi) from Tirumala. It is a domestic and International airport with direct flights to Visakhapatnam and New Delhi. The nearest major airport is the Chennai International Airport, located about 162 kilometres (101 mi) from Tirumala.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Vaishnava Divya Desha Darshana Kaipidi". 2000. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  2. ^ "Astabandhanam to be held from April 22". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  3. ^ Krishna, Nanditha (2000). Balaji-Venkateswara, Lord of Tirumala-Tirupati: An Introduction. Vakils Feffer & Simons. ISBN 9788187111467. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  4. ^ a b "District Census Handbook - Chittoor" (PDF). Census of India. p. 14,226. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  5. ^ Oppert, Gustav Salomon (1893). On the original inhabitants of Bharatavarsa or India. Cornell University Library. Westminster : A. Constable & Co. ; Leipzig : O. Harrassowitz.
  6. ^ "AP bars propagating other faiths near shrines".
  7. ^ "Geological Survey of India - Monuments of Stratigraphic Significance". Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  8. ^ "Geological Survey of India - Monuments of Stratigraphic Significance". Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  9. ^ "Station: Tirmalai (Tirumala) Climatological Table 1981–2010" (PDF). Climatological Normals 1981–2010. India Meteorological Department. January 2015. pp. 743–744. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2020. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 4 July 2011.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 16 June 2004. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  12. ^ "WELCOME TO CENSUS OF INDIA : Census India Library". www.censusindia.gov.in. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  13. ^ Raghavan, Sandeep (13 May 2020). "Scribe smuggling liquor and non-veg food to Tirumala nabbed by TTD vigilance". The Times of India. Tirupati: The Times Group. Retrieved 24 November 2021.
  14. ^ "Annual Brahmotsavam starts at Tirupati-Tirumala, 1,400 CCTV cameras to keep eye on crowds". Indian Express.
  15. ^ "Over 7 lakh Devotees Take Part In Tirumala Brahmotsavam On Concluding Day". Sakshi Post.
  16. ^ "Sankranti festival: Devotees rush at Tirumala temple". The Hans India.
  17. ^ "Ugadi celebrated at Tirumala temple". Deccan Chronicle.
  18. ^ "Pilgrims throng Tirumala". Deccan Herrald. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  19. ^ "Pilgrims throng Tirumala". The Hindu.
  20. ^ "Gear up for Rathasapthami: TTD EO to staff". The Hans India.
  21. ^ "Only TTD entitled to make or sell 'Tirupati laddu': High Court". The Hindu. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  22. ^ "Now, Geographical Indication rights for 'Tirupati laddu'". Business Standard India. Business Standard. 28 February 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  23. ^ "Heritage in Tirupati-SV Museum". Andhra Pradesh Tourism board. Archived from the original on 23 June 2015. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  24. ^ "Tirumala Temple". Archived from the original on 11 October 2007. Retrieved 13 September 2007.
  25. ^ "Scratch-proof glass case to cover Srivari Padalu on Tirumala". The New Indian Express. Tirumala. 18 September 2013. Archived from the original on 20 September 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  26. ^ "Cascading waterfalls enliven Tirumala". Deccan Chronicle. Tirupati. 11 November 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  27. ^ "Tirupati to Tirumala on Foot". Tirumala Tirupati Devastanams. Archived from the original on 13 June 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  28. ^ a b "TTD cuts down on darshan tokens till October 21". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  29. ^ "Tirupati Main". Indiarailinfo. Retrieved 1 June 2015.

External links[edit]