¤ A Sacred Monument
Considered as the most sacred and the richest temple in the world, Tirupati temple is situated in the town of Tirupati. It is located 67-km away from Chittoor in Chittoor district of southern Andhra Pradesh. Also known as Tirupati Balaji Temple, it is a major pilgrimage center of south India. Besides, Tirupati also focous on other attraction of this place, the ancient and famous shrine of Sri Venkateswara, the Lord of Seven Hills are worth a viist.
The temple is located on a hill at Tirumala. It is a conglomeration of seven hills known as Seshachalam or Venkatachalam having an height of 853m (2,800ft.) above the sea level. The temple boasts of a vibrant and colorful culture also speaking volumes about its grand past. It is an important pilgrimage center, where devotees stand for long hours waiting to get a glance of the presiding deity.
¤ Highlight of The Temple
The temple is the most popular and most visited temples in India. Being situated on a hill of Tirumala, it is climbed up by pilgrims, which is not an easy task.
Sri Venkataswara temple or the Tirupati temple is the richest temple in India. It is said that people drop bags of diamonds at the feet of Sri Venkataswara. Devotees flock this temple in huge numbers. In fact there are two lines to enter the temple, one is a free line, where you don’ t pay anything to get a view of the deity. But, for the second line, which takes less time to get a glance of the deity, you have to pay a minimum amount of Rs. 50.
¤ Temple Architecture
The ancient Tirupati temple follows the Dravidian style of architecture. The gopuram of this temple is its highlight. The ‘Vimana’ or Cupola, named the “the Ananda Nilayam” is placed over the sanctum sanctorum. It completely veiled with gold plate.
There are three ‘Prakarams’ or enclosures in the temple, among them the outermost enclosure boasts of the ‘Dhvajastambha’ or the banner post. Apart form these, other highlights of the temple are the statues of Vijayanagara king, Krishnadevaraya and his spouse. There is also an idol of Todarmal, the minister of Akbar.
The image of the temple deity represents both Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. Lord Vishnu is considered as the preserver whereas the Lord Shiva is considered as the destroyer in Hindu religion.
¤ A Day At Tirupati Tirumala
A day at Tirupati Tirumala temple begins with ‘Suprabhatam’ (awakening the Lord) as early as three in the morning. The day ends with the ‘Ekanta Seva’ ( putting the Lord to sleep) at around 1 O’clock in the night.
Prayers are offered daily, weekly and periodically in the form of ‘Sevas’ and ‘Utsavams’ to the Lord. Devotees who want to pay homage to the Lord can do it by giving a small amount in return of the Sevas or Utsavams done on their name. The gifts and donations offered to the deity, is known as the ‘Hundi’. It is the main source of income of the Temple.
Tirupati Tirumala Balaji Temple celebrates many festivals but the annual festival of ‘Brahmotsavam’ is particularly important. This festival is celebrated extravagantly for nine days in the month of September every year. The Garudostavam and Rathotavam rituals take place on the fifth and sixth day of the festival.Thus, attracting flocks of tourists and devotees to the temple.
¤ Reach Tirupati Temple
By Air : The nearest airport is at Renigunta(15 kms). Tirupati is connected by air with Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore. From the airport you can hire a taxi or an auto rickshaw or you can take a bus to reach the temple.
By Rail : Tirupati temple is well connected by roads and proper transport services to the nearest railway station situated at Tirupati. This place is connected by rail with Hubbi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolhapur , Mumbai, Puri, Tiruchirapalli, Varanasi and Vijayawada.
By Road : To reach Tirupati temple, one should first reach Tirupati. It is linked with important cities like Hyderabad (617), Banglore(248), Chennai(151 km), Vijayawada(380 km) and Lepakshi (379 km) through good roadways.