Tirupati is a famous hill town in Andhra Pradesh and a major pilgrim site that’s visited by lakhs of ardent devotees every year. It is known to be one of the holiest cities in the country and the abode of Lord Venkateswara. The religious aura of Tirupati can be felt upon hearing people chanting mantras, singing melodious hymns amongst the serene seven hills surrounding the place.
There’s truly a spiritual divine ecstasy in the air here but apart from being a pilgrimage for thousands, the city has got a variety of heritage sites to see. If you’re planning to explore the charming town, continue reading our Tirupati travel guide for ideas on how to:
Tirupati’s identity is tied to the spiritual significance of the land. The most famous temple here is the Venkateswara Temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is a 45-minute drive from Tirupati city. There are 3-4 hour foot trails from the city to the temple that many devotees undertake barefoot.
This temple is situated on one of the seven peaks of the Tirumala hills. What’s interesting is that all peaks together resemble Adisesha (the mythological serpent and devotee of Lord Vishnu). This is why Venkateshwara Temple is believed to also have a divine connection with the land.
Another interesting fact is that the temple is one of the richest in the world. There’s a story behind why people are donating lakhs here. One of the many mythological stories mentions how Lord Vishnu left his home in search of his wife, Shri, who left home due to a fight. During his search, he fell in love with another woman Padmavati. Her father ruled a kingdom among the seven hills and to win Padmavati over, Lord Vishnu would have to pay a huge price.
To pay the price, he takes a big loan from Kubera (treasurer of Goddess Shri who is the goddess of wealth). Its believed that until Lord Vishnu is in debt, he can’t return home so he now stays on the seven hills. Devotees send donations to help the Lord clear his debts and believe that in return they receive his blessings of prosperity. Getting your hair cut and offering it to the feet of Lord Venkateshwara is also another belief practiced here.
Besides seeing temples and understanding the various beliefs, you can also go shopping in the streets of Tirupati. There you will find unique souvenirs like carvings from wood, kalamkari works on paper pulps, and paintings on gold leaf in traditional Tanjore style. After shopping one can head straight to fill their empty stomachs with some scrumptious eateries like Tirupati Laddu, Halwa, Sweet rice, Andhra meals loaded with spicy rasam, and sambhars. The most important is having the Prasad offered to the pilgrims and all free of cost.
Also read: Chennai Travel Guide
Considering that Tirupati is a popular religious destination undertaken by lakhs every year, the city is made pretty accessible for everyone to get to. So you will have many transport options available when it comes to reaching here. Here are a few options to look for when going on a tour to Tirupati:
The airport that you would ideally need to fly into to get to Tirupati is the Renigunta Airport which is roughly 15 km away from the city. The airport is well-connected to many major cities and you would easily get direct flights here from Visakhapatnam, Banglore, Hyderabad, Chennai, and New Delhi.
If you’re considering traveling to Tirupati by train, you can either book your tickets to Renigunta junction or Tirupati central railway station. Both these stations are equally far from the city center. Cities like Bangalore, Madurai, Mumbai, Chennai are linked well to the station.
Tirupati is connected with major cities which makes road travel feasible for many visiting the city. Two ghats connect to the city and there are several buses from Bangalore, Chennai, and Vellore that will take you to Tirupati. The distance from Chennai or Bengaluru is roughly 4-5 hours.
Being a holy pilgrimage site for many devotees of Lord Vishnu from all over India, there is no time as best for visiting Tirupati. You will find that the city is crowded with worshippers all throughout the year. But yes whether it’s a trip with loved ones or just a spiritual journey there are certain months considered to be the best time to be in Tirupati.
The most suitable time to visit Tirupati is in the anytime between November to October. January and February are also considered to be great options. March and May get unpleasant as the weather in these months is hot and humid. Even though that’s the case people from parts of India try and visit Tirupati in the summers. According to a few sources the crowd expected every year in summers is huge. Even with the temperature rising to 46°C there is a crowd going up to 50,000, people make their way to the city to seek blessings.
All in all, winters are the best times to visit Tirupati. The temperature goes down to 15°C as November month has heavy thunderstorms and by December month the weather usually is pleasant and chilly. One can enjoy exploring the Tripura waterfalls in this season. Monsoons aren't an ideal time to visit Tirupati. But still, if you are planning to then make sure to carry raincoats along. The weather is refreshing as it just cools down the warmness of Summers.
The best way to get around Tirupati is by renting a cab or taxi. You can travel the whole temple area and also other nearby convenient places. All you will need to do is hire paid taxis and private bus operators so you have a smooth no hassle time getting around within the city. Nearby cities like Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Bangalore provide direct bus services to Tirupati. If you’re a huge group of people, do consider renting the bus, tempo traveler for the number of days you will be in Tirupati, it would be more economical.
"Tirupati is a place only for holy people."
Disagreed! Apart from being a place to worship, Tirupati as a city has so much to show for. It invites people openly with warmth and love, giving everyone a feeling of home. There is so much if you just burst the bubble, you will see that there are a number of popular places worth visiting in Tirupati.
If you love exploring forts and heritage sites you’ll enjoy visiting Gurramkonda Fort. Any of you traveling with kids will have a ball of a time at the beautiful Sri Venkateswar Zoological Park. The city is also home to Sri Venugopalswamy Temple, a 12th-century religious site, great for people who are keen on seeing old historical structures. For all, you amateur or should we say budding artists out there who love experiencing new art forms will surely never get bored being in Sri Venkateswara Museum.
Also read: 5 Best Road Trips From Bangalore
One of the most admired temples in the city is Srikalahasti Temple which is especially dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is visited for Vayu Lingam (that is a Wind Lingam) that’s one of the five prime elements in nature. There are 5 temples in India, dedicated to earth, water, fire, air, and aether. The temple in Tirupati is dedicated to the divine energy of wind. The temple is carved out of a rigid hill and has a perfect place to sit peacefully as the air is filled with enchanting rhythm and spiritual ambiance. The best time to visit is from morning 6:00 am to 9:00 pm.
Also read: 8 Foods In Leh Ladakh That You Must Try.
Talakona Waterfalls is considered one of the highest waterfalls in the country with water falling from the height of around 82 meters. It is said that the water has healing properties and is hence visited by many. The place itself is a tourist attraction for all the nature lovers out there that wish to sit back and relax by a waterfall. So go on a date with nature enjoying the flora and fauna around diving straight into the waterfalls experiencing freshness, purity, and calm.
Also read: Mussoorie Travel Guide.
For all the upcoming archeologists and historians, you can't miss visiting the Srivari Museum. The Museum portrays the history of the city taking us back to the golden days with photographs, scriptures, artifacts, and sculptures. The museum is open and welcoming to visitors throughout the year. The timing to visit the museum is 8 am to 8 pm and the entry fee is free of cost.
Also read: Must-Try Street Food In Kolkata
An ancient town in Tirupati, Chandragiri is said to be served as the 4th capital of the Vijaynagar dynasty. The Chandragiri Fort which was built in the 11th century is very famous, it is a huge fort built on a big rock and the height is around 83 meters. Eight temples surround the fort area. You must also know that there is also a Raja Mahal which has been turned into a museum here which is a must-visit for history buffs. Tourists can also visit the light and sound show over here which is quite popular and is in two languages English and Telugu.
Also read: 9 Places To Visit In Darjeeling.
Why Was Tirumala Temple Closed For Twelve Years?
There are word-of-mouth stories that the temple was closed down straight for twelve years because an unknown King had killed and hung twelve people for a crime they had committed. The criminals were hanged to death on the gates of the temple.
Why Tirupati Balaji's Eyes Are Covered?
Lord Balaji’s eyes are said to be covered only because of the huge white bindi-shaped mark on his forehead which tends to cover his eyes and thus because of which Balaji’s eyes can’t be seen clearly.
How Can I Get A Quick Darshan In Tirupati?
Getting a quick darshan is possible by going online to the temple website and booking your darshan at least 60 days in advance. Plan for your darshan tickets in a timely manner depending on the dates of your travel.
How Many Devotees Visit Tirupati Per Day?
The crowd is in large number whichever the season it may be, the total number is said to be around 50,000 to 1,00, 000 per day of devotees visiting all over India, especially on special occasions like Brahmotsavam.
Is Tirumala And Tirupati Same?
No Tirumala and Tirupati both are different. Tirumala is a hilly town and home to the seven peaks where the temple lies in the district named Chittoor while Tirupati is a city in the same district.
Who Built The Tirupati?
The Pallava Kings were the ones who built and developed Tirupati around the 6th century.
What Is Famous In Tirupati?
Sri Venkateshwar Temple is the most famous spot in Tirupati.
Is Tirupati Temple Made Of Gold?
The Tirupati Temple has gold reserves and the amount of gold used for the temple is about over 9000 kg.