Tirupati is one of the Major cultural and religious pilgrimage spots in India. The city is located at the southern part of Andhra Pradesh and is situated at the foothills of the Eastern Ghats in the Chittor district. Although the major language spoken here is Telugu, the word Tirupati is a Tamil word as saint Ramanujacharya who was a Tamil Vaishnava saint was responsible for founding this city. The town is famous for its temple dedicated to ‘Balaji’, a form of Lord Vishnu. The temples foundation history is unknown and it was expanded over the centuries by various kingdoms and dynasties including the Chola, Pallava and the Vijaynagar Empire. The temple is one of the major pilgrimage spots in India and especially in the southern India. Apart from the temples, there are various other attractions like parks and zoos. Here are some of the major tourist attractions of Tirupati:
• Sri Venkateswara Temple
• Talakona Waterfalls
• TTD Gardens
• Deer Park
• Sri Vari Museum
• Sri Govindarajaswami Temple
Sri Venkateswara Temple
The most famous temple with historical importance is Sri Venkateswara Temple on the seventh peak of Tirumala Hill. The massive temple covers an area of 2.2 acres of land. The temple is located on the south of Swami Pushkarini River. People who follow a particular faith feel at peace when they are here. It is considered most divine. It is thesecond most frequented shrine all over the world, the first being Vatican. It is alsothe richest temple in the world.
Talakona Waterfall, the highest in Andhra Pradesh falls from a height of 270 feet. The location of the waterfalls is 30km into the forest. From the base, a trekking for nearly two kilometers will take you to the waterfalls. The views here are spectacular. The right time to visit the place would be during rainy season. The water is awesomely clear and cold. You could go on a boat ride. The 240-meter long walk on canopy rope would be thrilling.
The massive 460 acre TTD Gardens are located adjacent to the main temple. The gardens have an impressive range of flowers. The garden is a visual feast, as you will find green everywhere and beautiful flowers in various colors. There are many ponds and tanks in the garden and this is a source of water supply to the natives as well as to the pilgrims. The fragrance and the colors are beyond description.
Deer Park is one of the major tourist attractions in Tirupati. Named Deer Park, it has awide range of animals. However, deer is the most commonly spotted animal here. The picturesque landscapes and the serene atmosphere enthrall you.
Sri Vari Museum
Sri Vari Museum is located in Tirumala. The museum throws light on the history of the temple with a collection of sculptures, artifacts, pictures, scriptures andphotographs. The history and the architectural background of the temple can be learnt from the presentations at the museum. A visit to this place on your tour to Tirupati will help you obtain priceless information.
Sri Govindarajaswami Temple
Sri Govindarajaswami Temple is an ancient temple and a very important shrine in the land. Idols of Lord Parthasarathy and Lord Govindaraja are found here. It is said thatSaint Ramanujacharya laid foundation to the temple in 1130 AD. The temple premises houses few other shrines as well. Sri Govindarajaswami is Lord Balaji’s elder brother. Hence, the functions and festivals conducted here strike similarity to the ones conducted at Lord Balaji’s temple.
Srikalahasti is situated on the banks of Swarnamukhi River. It is one of the most famous destinations sought by pilgrims. Shiva Linga is worshipped here as Vayu Linga. Vayu means air. Air is one of the five elements of the Universe, the others being water, earth, fire and space. An oil lamp in the sanctum constantly flickers while other lamps remain motionless.
Kanipakam is a very famous pilgrimage, as it is believed that the idol of Lord Ganeshagrows in size. The 11th century temple was built by Kullottunga, the famous Cholaking. The temple was further developed during 14th century by the kings ofVijayanagar.