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Tirupati travel guide

Published: 09/05/2012

Located at the foothills of the Eastern Ghats, Tirupati is a major place of pilgrimage of South India. At a distance of about 550 km from Hyderabad, only 150 km from Chennai, and 250 km from Bangalore, Tirupati is well connected by road, rail and air. The major tourist attraction of Tirupati is the Venkatswara Swami temple, situated at a distance of about 20 km from the Tirumala hills. Believed to be the richest temple after Swami Padmanabha temple of Tiruvanantapuram, Kerala, Tirupati draws millions of pilgrims from all over the world. All famous personalities from politics, films, sports, corporate sector, and academics have made it to the temple at least once in their lifetime.

Other popular tourist attractions in Tirupati are Swami Pushkarini Lake, Varaha Swami temple, Anjaneya temple, Govindaraja Swami temple, Papavinasasun tirthum, Japali tirthum, Padmavati temple, Kodanda Ram swami temple and many more.

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Venketeswara temple, Tirumala

The main tourist attraction of Tirupati is the Tirumala Venketeswara Swami Devassthanam, a temple situated on the highest peak, called Venkataadri, of the Tirumala Hills. The presiding deity at the temple is Lord Venteswara, Lord Vishnu in a different form. Lord Venteswara is also known as Balaji, Govinda and Sreenivasa. The temple dates back to 300bc and is built in the Dravidian architectural style. Covering an area of 2.2 acres approximately. The Venketeswar temple has been patronised by almost all the rulers of the royal dynasty that had rules the Southern states of India.

To get a darshan of the lord, one has to register at the temple administration counter (known as Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanams TTD) and buy a ticket. Thereafter, one has to join the queue with thousand and thousands of devotees. One has to stand for at least 4-5 hours to get a darshan of the lord.

Swami Pushkarini

Another tourist attraction is the Swami Pushkarini, considered to be the pleasure tank of the Lord at Vaikuntham. Situated adjacent to the main temple, a dip in this tank is believed to cleanse the pilgrim of all his sins.

Varaha Swami Temple

To the north of Venketeswara temple, is the Varaha Swami temple, along the banks of Swami Pushkarini. This temple is important because food is first offered to the deity, Varaha Swami, in this temple, and then offered to Lord Venketeswara of the main temple.

Anjaneya Swami Temple

Located just opposite to the Varaha Swami temple is the Anjaneya Swami temple along the North-eastern banks of the Swami Pushkarini. The presiding deity of this temple is Lord Hanuman.

Govindaraja Swami Temple

Another important temple, which is also a major tourist attraction, is the Govindarajam temple. A huge Gopuram of this temple can be seen from a great distance. Sri Govindarajaswami Temple was consecrated by Saint Ramanujacharya in 1130 AD.

Kodanda Ram Swami Temple

Built during the time of Chola and Vijayanagar Empire, the temple is dedicated to Lord Rama, Lord Lakshmana and Goddess Sita. This temple commemorates Sri Rama’s visit to Tirupati. The festivals of Ugadi and Sri Ramanavami are celebrated in this temple on a grand scale.
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