|*Tirupati City Map showing roads, hotels, hospitals and other places of interest.|
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Tirupati is an ancient holy city located in the south-eastern part of Andhra Pradesh. It is known as the abode of God Venkateswara and is located in the Chittoor district of the state. Situated at the foothills of the Eastern Ghats, there are many major cities like Bengaluru, Vijayawada, Hyderabad and Chennai near to the city. Tirupati is known for Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, which is one of the most important pilgrim sites in India and draws millions of devotees every year. The temple is located at the Tirumala Hills, which are one of the oldest rock mountains. It is believed that the temple even had devotees who belonged to the great erstwhile dynasties like the Pallavas, the Pandyas, the Cholas and the kings of Vijayanagara. Geographically, the city is located at 13° 37' N / 79° 25' E. As per 2011 Census, the population of Tirupati is approximately 2.9 lakh. It experiences moderate winters and extreme summers. Telugu is its official language; however, Tamil is also widely spoken in the city due to its proximity to Tamil Nadu.
As mentioned in the Varaha Purana, during Treta Yugam, Lord Sri Rama along with Sita Devi and Lakshmana stayed here while on his way back from Lankapuri.
Around the 5th century AD, the town became an established centre of Vaishnavism and was much praised by Alvars. It is said that in the 11th century AD Vaishnavite saint Ramanujacharya formalised the rites of the temple. At the time of Muslim invasion of South India in the 1300s, the deity of Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam was brought to this temple for keeping everything safe. Rulers like Krishna Deva Raya and Achyuta Deva Raya, Sadasiva Raya and Tirumala Deva Raya made many contributions to the temple and the town.
The Pallava Kingdom around the 9th century AD, Chola Kingdom around the 10th century AD and the Vijayanagara Empire in the 14th century AD, made many contributions to the temple, because of which the inscriptions are found in Sanskrit, Telugu, Tamil and Kannada language.
Balaji or Lord Venkateshwara is considered to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. As per mythology, Lord Vishnu came to reside on Swami Pushkarni's southern bank, which is a tank that passes by Tirumala.
There are seven hills around Tirumala, which are also known as Sapthagiri. These hills were named after the seven hoods of Sheshnag, the cosmic serpent. This temple is located on peak of the seventh temple, Venkatadri.
One legend says, Saint Ramanuja who was born in 11th Century AD, had climbed all the seven hills of Tirupati and impressed Lord Venkateswara. Following this, Lord Venkateswara appeared before him and blessed him with long life. He lived till 120 years and spread the gospel of Lord Venkateshwara.
Presently, it is believed that those who visit the temple on the day of Ekadasi in the Vaikunta month, are forgiven of all their sins. It is also believed that those people will attain salvation after their death.
Tirupati laddu, also called as SriVari laddu, is a sweet offered to Lord Venkateshwara. Devotees are offered this laddu as prasadam after their darsham in the temple is over.
It is said that only Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams are allowed to make this laddu. In the year 2014, more than 90 million laddus were distributed among the pilgrims. The concept of offering laddu to the lord at this temple has been in practice since 2 August 1715.
Besides the Hindu festivals like Diwali, Rama Navami and Janamashtami, there are other festivals that are celebrated grandly in the city. Brahmotsavam is a grand festival celebrated during the month of September in Tirumala. A temple car festival 'Rathotsavam' is also celebrated here in which the idol of Lord Venkateswara is taken in a procession on temple chariots. Gangamma Jatara is another folk festival celebrated in the city. During this festival, the devotees wear different clothes and apply colours on their bodies. They shout filthy words that are a part of the tradition to drive away the evil.
There is not only Tirumala Venkateswara temple that brings tourists but many other places of interest. There are many other prominent temples in the city like Sri Kapileswaraswami Temple, Govindaraja Swamy Temple and Alamelu Mangapuram Padmavathi Ammavari Temple to name a few. Chandragiri Fort and Palace is at a distance of few kilometres from Tirupati and is located at a 180 m high rock. The 'Raja Mahal' and the 'Rani Mahal' are well-preserved in the fort. Situated at an altitude of more than 1200 m, there is Horsley Hills, named after the collector of the Cuddapah district, WD Horsley. Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park is another tourist attraction in Tirupati that has a Mayurvani (House of Peafowls) and Mrugavani (House for Herbivores). The Papa Vinasanam Dam is situated nearby to Tirupati and is known for its serenity and beauty.
Major source of revenue in Tirupati is tourism because Tirupati is a major pilgrim destination. Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams provides employment opportunities to a lot of residents of the city along with indirect revenue sources to others. Tirupati also houses APIIC Industrial Park. Many major factories like Sri Venkateswara Co-Op. Sugar Factory Ltd., Amara Raja Batteries Ltd., and Lanco Ltd. are located in Tirupati.
It is best to visit this Hindu pilgrimage during the winters. So, November to February is the ideal time to book your tickets to this city.
Tirupati Airport is at a distance of about 15 km from the central city that has direct flights to and from New Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Visakhapatnam and some other cities. Otherwise, Chennai International Airport is the closest airport that fulfills the national and international connectivity needs. Tirupati Railway Station is directly linked to many neighbouring cities; on the other hand, there is Reningunta Junction, which lies nearby the city, offers easy accessibility option. To reach Tirupati via road is also not difficult as most of the government-aided and private bus operators in neighbouring cities offer bus service to Tirupati.
|Tirupati City Information|
|Area||27.44 km2 (10.59 sq mi)|
|Population||287,035 as per Census 2011|
|Population Density||10,000/km2 (27,000/sq mi)|
|Languages||Telugu and Tamil|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Lat Long||13.65°N 79.42°E|
|Festivals||Brahmotsavam, Adhyayanotsavam, Pavitrotsavam, Makara Sankranti, Padmavathi Parinayam, Vasantotsavam (Spring festival) and English New Year Day|
|Education||Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences, Sri Venkateshwara College of Law and Directorate of Distance Education, SV University|
|Railway Station||Tirupati Main Railway|
|Tourist Attractions||Sri Venkateswara Temple, Talakona Waterfall, TTD Gardens, Deer Park, Sri Vari Museum, Sri Govindarajaswami Temple, Srikalahasti and many more.|
|Notable People||K N Govindacharya, Palagummi Padmaraju, Nara Rohit, Roja Selvamani and Chinta Mohan.|