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An overview about Tirumala
Tirumala, situated in the district of Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh, is known all over the world for its famous Tirupati Temple. Here, the presiding deity is Lord Vishnu’s form of Balaji (also known as Venkateshwara, Govinda and many more names). Devotees visit in lakhs to this temple every day and they wait for days together in the queue to have a darshan of the Lord. Such is the power of Lord Balaji who is present in this temple. Big business magnets and VIPs from all over the globe visit this temple and provide crores of donations, which is why the Tirumala temple is the richest in the world. The Gopurams of the temple and parts of the interiors of the temple walls are made out of pure gold, which have been donated by loving devotees to the Lord.
History of Tirumala
Tirumala or Tirupati, as it is widely known, is the first of the 108 Tirupatis dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This hill temple is believed to be a part of the sacred Meru Mountain that is found in Lord Vishnu’s heavenly abode, Vaikuntam. A piece of this divine mountain, known as Venkatadri was brought down to earth and is now serving as reputed Tirupati temple, according to legends. There are seven hills around the Tirumala temple, which are considered to be dreaded snake, Adi sesha’s heads. There is a shrine dedicated to Lord Varaha here. Varaha was considered to be one of the ten divine avatars of Lord Vishnu. According to history, this shrine is considered to be older than the main Tirumala temple itself, as in the earlier days, this area was addressed as Adi Varaha Kshetra. Tiru denotes respected or holy and Mala means hill, therefore Tirumala is one of the most respected sacred hills in the world.
Tirumala is based in the district of Chittoor in the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is located at around 26km, 86km, 160km and 573km from the main places of Tirupati, Chittoor, Chennai and Hyderabad respectively. It is easily accessible from all the major cities of the country and is located 13.65 degrees towards the North and 79.42 degrees towards the East.
How to reach and local transport
Air- Tirupati Airport is the nearest to Tirumala Hills.
Rail – Renigunta Railway Junction is the nearest railway station available to get to Tirumala.
Road – There are lots of buses operated by the Road Transport Corporation of Andhra Pradesh state from Tirupati to Tirumala at regular basis. These buses go up the hill, which is about 11km in length. Most of the devotees prefer to climb the steps that lead to the temple.
Local mode – Buses and climbing on foot are the local modes of transport for commuting within Tirumala. For devotees who want to climb all their way up and down the hills, it might take anywhere close to 2 to 4 hours for a one-way journey depending on their health, age and experience.
Tourist Attractions and Things to do
Kalayani Dam, Talakona and Kailasanathakona waterfalls, Gurramkonda Fort and Chandragiri Fort are some of the major tourist attractions near Tirumala. In addition to this, there are quite a few temples in this area for the religiously inclined tourists. Tourists who come here can climb up and down the hills before and after darshan, bathe in the waterfalls and sink in the beauty of the marvellous forts found nearby, when they come to Tirumala.
Famous restaurants and local cuisine
Since Tirumala is a temple town the restaurants in and around, this area serve only vegetarian food. Some of the good places to eat are restaurants like Maurya, Saptagiri Woodlands and Vrinda. All South Indian food and the local specialities of this area like Pesarattu and Avakaya pickle are loved by tourists.
Where to stay
The accommodation facilities operated by TTD (Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanam) are the best in the areas of Tirupati and Tirumala. These are priced reasonably and offer various facilities like single and double rooms, cottages, dormitories and many more that suit the needs of people who come in large numbers as well. Hotel Fortune Kences is a star hotel that is situated within 2km radius of Tirumala Temple. This place offers wonderful services to the tourists and is maintained in a very neat condition.
STD, PIN code and Emergency Contact
The STD and PIN codes of Tirumala are 0877 and 517504 respectively. In addition to the normal helplines of 100, 101 and 108 for Police, Fire and Ambulance services, tourists can reach out to the Fire station at 0877 2220101 and the common helpline number for travellers at 0901334033.
Banks, Hospitals and Tourist Office
Banking Complex, Tirumala, Chittoor district
Ph: 0877 2277256
Opposite to Padmavati Guest House, Tirumala – 517404
Ph: 0877 2277477
District Hospital, Chittoor district,
Alipiri, Tirupati – 517507
1 - Tourism Corporate Office of Andhra Pradesh State
No.3-5-891, Tourism Office, Himayatnagar, Hyderabad – 500029
Ph: 040 23262151
2 - Tourism Information Centre,
Srinivasam Complex, Tirupati
Ph: 0877 2289219