Venkateswara Temple is a landmark Vaishnavite temple situated in the hill town of Tirumala at Tirupati in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, India. The Temple is dedicated to Lord Sri Venkateswara, an incarnation of Vishnu, who is believed to have appeared here to save mankind from trials and troubles of Kali Yuga. Hence the place has also got the name Kaliyuga Vaikuntham and Lord here is referred to as Kaliyuga Prathyaksha Daivam. The temple is also known by other names like Tirumala Temple, Tirupati Temple, Tirupati Balaji Temple. Lord Venkateswara is known by many other names: Balaji, Govinda, and Srinivasa.
Tirumala Hills is part of Seshachalam Hills range. The hills are 853 meters (2,799 ft) above sea level. The Hills comprises seven peaks, representing the seven heads of Adisesha. The temple lies on the seventh peak -Venkatadri, on the southern banks of Sri Swami Pushkarini, a holy water tank. Hence the temple is also referred to as "Temple of Seven Hills". Tirumala town covers about 10.33 sq mi (26.75 km2) in area.
The Temple is constructed in Dravidian architecture and is believed to be constructed over a period of time starting from 300 AD. The Garbagriha (Sanctum Sanctorum) is called Ananda Nilayam. The presiding deity, Venkateswara, is in standing posture and faces east in Garbha griha. The temple follows Vaikhanasa Agama tradition of worship. The temple is one of the eight Vishnu Swayambhu Kshetras and is listed as 106th and the last earthly Divya Desam. The Temple premises had two modern Queue complex buildings to organize the pilgrim rush, Tarigonda Vengamamba Annaprasadam complex for free meals to Pilgrims, hair tonsure buildings and a number of pilgrim lodging sites.
Architectural style: Dravidian architecture
Address: S Mada St, Tirumala, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh 517504
Contact No. 0877 227 7777
- It is the richest temple in the world in terms of donations received and wealth.
- The temple is visited by about 50,000 to 100,000 pilgrims daily (30 to 40 million people annually on average), while on special occasions and festivals, like the annual Brahmotsavam, the number of pilgrims shoots up to 500,000, making it the most-visited holy place in the world.[not in citation given]. In 2016, it was reported that 27.3 million pilgrims visited the temple.
- There are several legends associated with the manifestation of the Lord in Tirumala. According to one legend, the temple has a murti (deity) of Lord Venkateswara, which it is believed shall remain here for the entire duration of the present Kali Yuga.
- At present only three pujas are performed in Tirumala Temple daily which includes UshaKala puja, Madhyahna puja, Nisi puja. All the Aradhana is done by hereditary Vaikhanasa priests, who have performed the services for generations. Only priests from Gollapalli, Peddintti, Paidipalli, and Tirupathammagari family have the right to offer services to the Lord inside sanctum sanctorum.
How to Reach:
BY AIR: The nearest airport to Tirumala is near Renigunta about 15 km from Tirupati. This domestic airport has direct flights to Hyderabad, Visakapatnam, Chennai, New Delhi and Bangalore and is now being upgraded to an International airport.
BY RAIL: Tirumala does not have its own railway station. The nearest railway station is in Tirupati, which is about 26 km from Tirumala. Tirupati railway station is a major railway station and is well equipped with five platforms and an escalator. It is well connected to major cities across India.
BY ROAD: Tirumala has direct bus services from Tirupati with a frequency of a bus in every 2 minutes. It also has direct buses from Chennai, Bengaluru and Vellore. Paid taxis and private bus operators also ply buses from nearby cities such as Chennai, Hyderabad, Visakapatnam and Bangalore to Tirupati.
Other nearby temples to visit:
There are many ancient temples nearby Tirumala.
- Sri Padamavathi Temple is temple dedicated to Padmavathi, the wife of Venkateswara, situated at Tiruchanur which is 5 km from Tirupati.
- Srikalahasteeswara Temple is the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva which represents "Vayu"(air) form of elements of Nature, is situated at Srikalahasti which is 38 km from Tirupati.
- Sri Varasiddhi Vinayaka Temple, situated at Kanipakam town, is a 10th-century Temple dedicated to Lord Vinayaka at 75 km from Tirupati.
Other than these, temples like Govindaraja Temple, Kalyana Venkateswara Temple(Srinivasa Mangapuram), Kodandarama Temple, Kapila Theertham are situated within the Tirupati city.