Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanam, or the abode of the Lord Tirupati, is probably Hindu India’s most visited holy place. Situated amidst lush greenery atop a hill surrounded by outcroppings of red rock, the Tirupati temple which attracts the devout in thousands everyday, is dedicated to Sri Venkateswara - one of the incarnations of Vishnu. The temple is the reason that this town gets visitors, usually pilgrims who’ve travelled hundreds of kilometres to undertake this sacred pilgrimage to ask a wish of the Lord.
Tirumala’s Balaji shrine is among the more famous pilgrimage temples of India and attracts the largest number of pilgrims for any shrine in India. Tirupati is also known for being one of the richest shrines in the world. So plan your next holiday in Tirupati and pay homage at one of the richest shrines in the world.
How to Reach Tirupati?
By Air : Tirupati Airport is located 14 km from the town and has regular flights from Delhi and Hyderabad. It is a domestic airport and Jet Star and Kingfisher have daily flights from Hyderabad, except on Tuesdays and Indian Airlines operates daily flights from New Delhi. The airport has one terminal.
By Rail : Tirupati Railway Station is located in the town itself on Katpadi-Renigunta rail route. There are train connections like Kanyakumari Express, Ernakulam-Hyderabad Sabari Express, Tirupati Express, Krisna Express and Venkatadri Express from many places in the region including Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore.
By Road : There are a lot of bus connections from within Andhra Pradesh and from Tamil Nadu. Express buses are much faster than the ordinary variety. Cabs are a comfortable road travel option though somewhat expensive. The distance from Chennai is 137kms and driving time is around 3 hours by road.
Best Time to Visit Tirupati
There is no good or bad time to pay your respects to the Gods, however Tirupati, weather wise is best visited during the winter months between November and March. The summer months of May and June get very hot with the mercury touching 45 degree Celsius and monsoons arrive end June early July.
Things to do in Tirupati
The list of things to do in the holy town of Tirupati are naturally centered around the religious. An early morning visit to the main temple to witness the suprabatham ritual when the deities are bathed and dressed in their finery and jewels is a wonderful ceremony to watch. This is a very peaceful time and it is difficult to get into the main hall for this ritual so you are advised to buy your tickets early for this.
After your darshan to the deities, you could go buy some of the prasadam ladus to take back home as also get your head shaved and give them as offering to the Lord.
Places Near Tirupati
Some of the places near Tirupati are Goddess Padmavati Temple that is situated at a distance of just 4 kms from Tirupati and the Kalyana Venkateshwara Swamy Temple which is situated at a distance of 11 kms at Srinivasamangapuram. Also worth visiting is Talakona Waterfalls, a beautiful waterfall located at a distance of 49 kms from Tirupati.
Hotels in Tirupati – Choice is Yours
There are numerous hotels in Tirupati ranging from 3-star, 4-star and 5-star deluxe to budget hotels.