Visit And Explore Tirupathi – A Paradise On Earth
The town of Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh is famous for its temples, the most famous and popular of which is Sri Venkateswara Temple sitting atop one of the seven peaks of Tirumala Hills. The town is famous for footfall of pilgrims from around the country as well as the world. Home to centuries old temples whose architectural splendours have an aura of themselves apart from the aura of their presiding duties.
Top 11 Places To Visit In Tirupathi
- Sri Venkateswara Temple
- Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam Garden
- Talakona Waterfall
- Deer Park
- Sri Vari Museum
- Sri Govindarajaswami Temple
- Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple
- Kapila Teertham
- Srinivasa Mangapuram
1. Sri Venkateswara Temple
The temple that has put Tirupati on the world map as a unique destination for travellers is Sri Venkateswara Temple, and it is among the most compelling places to see in Tirupati. The temple is dedicated to Lord Sri Venkateswara, believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. People also refer to this temple as Tirupati Temple, Tirumala Temple, Tirupati Balaji Temple, etc. It is situated on the seventh peak of Seshachalam Hills range at a height of 2799-feet above the sea level. It is the most popular of all tourist attractions in Tirupati.
Known to be one of the richest temples in the world owing to the huge sum of donations that it receives every day, Sri Venkateswara Temple is thronged by around 30 to 40 million people every year. On special occasions like on the occasion of annual Brahmotsavam, the number of pilgrims goes up much higher.
Since there is a huge footfall in the temple on a regular basis, the authorities have built 2 modern queue complexes to organize the rush. It also offers free meals to all the pilgrims. There is also a building meant for tonsuring heads since it is mandatory for pilgrims to tonsure their head before entering the temple. There are a number of lodging sites for pilgrims too.
2. Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam Garden
The organization that organizes the affairs of Sri Venkateswara Temple is known as the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam. It also has a spectacular garden spread over an area of 460 acres adjacent to the main building of the temple. The impressive range of more than 200 varieties of flowers of different colours and shapes blooming across the garden is a sight to behold and appreciate. The garden also has several tanks and ponds, which are used as a source of water for the locals as well as for the temple. It is one of the popular places to see in Tirupati. The flowers from this garden are used for ornamenting the deity and the temple every day. The garden also supplies flowers to other temples. On average, about 500 kilograms of the flower is supplied from this garden.
3. Talakona Waterfall
With a height of 270-feet, the Talakona Waterfall is the highest waterfall in Andhra Pradesh and one of the best scenic waterfalls in India. The waterfall originates 30 kilometers inside the forest, and to witness the waterfall you need to trek for around 2 kilometers. However, the stress of trekking will go up in thin air when you witness this spectacular waterfall in its natural ensemble. During the rainy season, it radiates a wonderful aura. The irresistible and cascading beauty engulfs most of its stony base during the rainy season and falls down on the stony bed with a continuous chatter. The crystal clear and cold water may lure your senses into an enjoyable boat ride. You may also go for a walk on the canopy rope if you love adventure.
4. Deer Park
This is a natural park maintained by TTD, i.e. Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam. The garden features much more than just deers and is one of the popular tourist attractions of Tirupati. Deer Park boasts of a huge range of flora and fauna including deer’s. There are a large number and variety of deer’s in the park, but the enclosures are fenced. Nobody is allowed inside the enclosures. The deer park itself is immersed and surrounded by nature with all its elegance. Here you can enjoy not only the sight of different types of deer’s but also a veritable piece of nature in full flow. This is why the deer park is one of the most popular and attractive places to see in Tirupati.
5. Sri Vari Museum
Sri Vari Museum is spread over an area of 1.25 lakh square feet and is situated opposite to one of the Queue Complexes of Tirupati Balaji Temple. There are many reasons to make it one of the most exciting places to see in Tirupati. In fact, it is located in such a way that it complements the surrounding of the magnificent temple, which also contains the TTD garden. This museum boasts of a rich repository of Vaishnavism, Traditions of Tirumala, and Hinduism.
There are over 6000 items of historical interest in this museum and they range from archaeology to contemporary items. Also, there are valuable antique materials like Varahaswamy Copper inscription, Original copper plates of Annamayya’s, etc. You may even be overpowered by a nostalgic feeling when you come across the offerings and donations of as far back as middle age dynasties like the Cholas of Tanjavur, Pallavas of Kanchi, Pandyas of Madurai, Vijayanagara of Hampi, etc. displayed in the umpteen galleries of the museum. The museum keeps open from 10:00 in the morning to 6:00 in the evening every day and the entry is free.
6. Sri Govindarajaswami Temple
Sri Govindarajaswami is believed to be an elder brother of Sri Venkateswara, and the Sri Govindarajaswami Temple was founded by none other than one of the greatest souls of Vaishnavism – Saint Ramanujacharya. These are the compelling facts about the temple that make this one of the must place to see in Tirupati. It is certainly one of the most important temples in Tirupati. The tower or the gopuram of the temple is its most notable feature. On the walls of the gopuram, Ramayana and Bhagavad Gita have been laid out in miniature art. People here believe that if one visits this temple, they can remove all obstacles from their path and earn a fortune. The entry fee is INR 10, but for special darshan, you have to pay INR 25.
This place has more historical and religious significance than many other places in the temple town of Tirupati. In fact, Srikalahasti itself is a temple town, but the temples here are dedicated to Lord Shiva. At a distance of about 38 kilometres from Tirupati, you can find this very ancient temple town. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and it dates back to ancient times. The temple is also said to be associated with Rahu and Ketu, two fearsome celestial bodies in the realm of Indian astrological scheme of things. The religious significance of this place accrues from its other name – Dakshina Kailasam, meaning Kailash of the South. The Kailash Mountain being the abode of Lord Shiva is a revered place for Hindus. People take great pains and undertake arduous treks to reach the Kailash Peak in the Himalayas. You can surely draw a parallel between the significance of this place for Hindus and the name of this temple, the namesake of abode of Lord Shiva. This is the reason why it is one of the top tourist attractions of Tirupati. There are many mythological stories that explain the name given to it.
8. Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple
It is one of those temples, which is not yet complete although its construction started all the way back in the 11-century during the reign of the Chola Dynasty. Even the idol of the presiding deity is not yet complete. The temple is still being built, and that is a compelling reason to make it one of the top tourist attractions in Tirupati. At present devotees can see only up to the abdomen of the idol. The idol is situated in a well with an eternal spring. Holy water from this spring is offered to devotees. The temple is well connected to other parts of the state. There are trains and APTDC buses that to go to this temple. The temple is kept open for a long time, i.e. from 4:00 in the early morning to 9:30 in the night.
9. Kapila Teertham
At a distance of about 25 kilometres from the Tirupati Balaji Temple, there is Kapila Theertham, a popular and famous waterfall and one of the often visited tourist attractions in Tirupati. This is a unique waterfall located at the foot of Sheshadri Hills. The water is falling from a height of more than 100-feet into a large pond inside the Kapileswara Swamy Temple premises. The beautiful natural water body culminating in the pond inside the temple is one of the compelling tourist attractions near Tirupati as well as a major pilgrimage place in Tirupati. There is a brass Shiva Linga inside the temple and a huge stone statue of a bull at the entrance of the temple. The temple also has some sub shrines for Gods and Goddesses like Vinayaka, Kamakshi Devi, Subhramanya, Sri Krishna, etc. For pilgrims, both the waterfall and the temple are highly sacred. A dip in the pond is considered to be holy. This makes it one of the best places to see in Tirupati, especially during monsoon when the waterfall provides a breathtaking view. The temple is open from 5:00 in the morning to 8:00 in the evening.
About 15 kilometres from Tirupati lies Chandragiri, an ancient town which used to be the fourth capital of the Vijayanagar Kingdom. It is a major heritage site in Andhra Pradesh and one of the most popular tourist attractions near Tirupati. There are many places to see here and this includes an excellent fort and two magnificent palaces built by the Vijayanagara rulers. The fort sits atop a huge rock at a height of 183 metres. The castle is fortified by strong walls on the southern side and a ditch for preventing intruders from entering into the fort. There are eight temples inside the fort, which are lying in ruins.
While the fort is a robust piece of architecture, the palaces- Raja Mahal and Rani Mahal – are exquisite examples of Vijayanagara architecture. These are three-storied buildings made with brick, stone, and lime mortar. There is no use of timber in the whole building. The central tower of the palace contains the durbar hall, which rises till the second floor and is supported by pillars. The marvel of architecture and wonder of decoration makes this place one of the most compelling places to see in Tirupati. The place is open from 10:00 in the morning to 8:45 in the evening, and you need to pay INR 10 per person as an entry fee.
11. Srinivasa Mangapuram
About 12 kilometres from Tirupati lies Srinivasa Mangapuram also known as Sri Kalyana Venkateswara Swami Temple, a significant place of pilgrimage and one of the must-visit tourist attractions near Tirupati. The temple is under the control of Archaeological Survey of India but is maintained by TTD, i.e. Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams. Despite being under the control of ASI, rituals and festivals are still performed and celebrated in this temple. This temple is considered to be one of the most sacred temples of Venkateswara. If you cannot make it to the Sri Venkateswara Temple, you can have a darshan of the Lord Sri Kalyana Venkateswara Swamy, and fulfil your desire of seeing Tirupati Balaji. Annual Brahmotsavam Festival is a major festival celebrated in this temple.
Although Tirupati is known to be the abode of Sri Venkateswara or Balajee, it also has other places of tourist attraction. There is no doubt that the primary attraction of Tirupati is the Sri Venkateswara Temple on Tirumala hills. Yet, once you have had a darshan of the deity, there is ample scope to broaden your horizon about places to see in Tirupati. Monuments of religious significance are not the only tourist attractions of this sacred town. If you are visiting as a tourist, Tirupati will not disappoint you. It offers an ensemble of natural niches, historical monuments, archaeological relics, opportunity to engage in adventurous activities as well as beautiful gardens.