|Location||Tirupati, 67-kms From Chittoor in the state of Andhra Pradesh|
|Famous as||World’s Richest Temple|
|Dedicated To||Lord Venkateswara or Venkatramana|
|Significance||Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam|
|Also Known as||Tirupati Tirumala Balaji Temple|
The town of Tirupati is located at a distance of 67 km from Chittoor in the southern part of Andhra Pradesh. Tirupati is popular due to the temple of Sri Venkateswara, the Lord of Seven hills. The shrine located atop a hill in a place called Trirumala has a cluster of seven hills known as Seshachalam and is positioned at an elevated height of nearly 3000ft above the sea level.
Believed to be the richest temple in the entire world, the Tirupati temple premises are filled with a vibrant culture having a glorious history to recall. Pilgrims from all over are seen standing in queues in the wee hours of the early morning to have a glimpse of the Presiding deity and get his blessings.
The Tirupati temple with its Gorupam or the tower showcases a superior example of the Dravidian architecture. Existed since the ancient times different dynasties from the Pallavas of Kachipuram to the Cholas of the Tanjore and the Pandyas of Madurai endowed the shrine with their offerings. Even the Vijayanagara chiefs were among its great devotees. Several delicately-carved mandapams and doorways are there within the Sri Venkateswara Temple.
Saint Ramachandra laid down the rituals and mode of worship of the Deity which are still followed in the temple.The idol is decorated with camphor and the pilgrims are seen shaving their heads as a form of offering to the deity.
The Cupola or the Sanctum sanctorum is completely decorated with gold plates and called the Ananda Nilayam. The shrine in the temple consists of three enclosures by the name of the Prakarams. The outermost ones contains the Dhvajastambha post with the statue of Vijayanagara king Krishnadevaraya. along with Todarmal, a renowned minister of Akbar.
The Idol of Lord Venkateswara or Srinivasa also known as Balaji has the attributes of both Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva that depicts the preserving and the destroying aspects of the Hindu Trinity. The Sastras, Puranas and Sthala Mahatyams as well, as the Alwar hymns all state that, in the Kali Yuga, peoples can attain mukti through the devoted worship of Venkata Nayaka or Sri Venkateswara.
The Daily Chores in the Temple
The early morning prayers starts at 3 am with the Suprabhatam or the awakening of the Lord and ends with the Ekanta Seva by laying the deity to rest at one in the midnight. There are daily, weekly and periodic Utsavams performed in the name of the lord. Gifts and donations are offered in the Hundi, which is the main source of income of the temple.
The annual festival, Brahmotsavam is celebrated with great pomp and festivity for nine days in the months of September. The festival attracts pilgrims from all parts of India and abroad. The fifth and the ninth day holds the Garudostavam and the Rathotavam festivals respectively.
How to Reach
By Air: The nearest airport is at Renigunta 15 km from the temple. Tirupati is connected by air with Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore.
By Rail: Tirupati temple is well connected by roads and proper transport services to the nearest railway station situated at Tirupati. It is connected with Hubbi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolhapur etc.
By Road: Tirupati temple can be reached from Tirupati by bus services. It is linked with important cities like Hyderabad, Banglore,Chennai,, Vijayawada,and Lepakshi through good roadways.