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Tirupati is a pilgrimage city in the extreme southeast of the state of AP in Chittore district. It is often referred as a synonym to Tirumala which is a sacred temple town of Sri Venkateswara, also known as Balaji, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.At a distance of 592 Kms from Hyderabad and 150 Kms from Chennai, Tirupati is one of the most ancient and sacred pilgrimage spots in India. Tirumala, the home of Lord Venkateswara is at a distance of 20 Kms from Tirupati. However, Tirupati is the town and transport hub to Tirumala at the bottom of the hill. Tirumala is said to be the busiest in the world, eclipsing even Rome, Jerusalem and Mecca in the number of pilgrims visiting it. The initial temple at Tirumala was built by the Tamil king Thondaimaan. The Pallavas of Kanchipuram (9th century), Cholas of Tanjore (10th century), Pandyas of Mathura and Vijayanagara Kings (14th & 15th centuries) regularly visited the temple and contributed largely to the temple. Especially, Sri Krishna Devaraya of Vijayanagara Empire contributed a lot to the temple. The statues of Sri Krishna Devaraya and his spouse stand in the premises of the temple. Also known as the 'Lord of the Seven Hills', the 2 meter high standing idol of Venkateswara on a lotus flanked by his consorts Bhudevi and Sridevi. The most striking feature of the awe-inspiring black idol is its fabulous diamond crown, which is said to be the most precious single ornament in the world.
At a distance of 1 kms from Tirupati Railway Station, Sri Govindaraja Swami Temple is one of the important temples in Tirupati, located in heart of the city. The temple has two main shrines dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna. It is said that Saint Ramanujacharya ordered the temple in 1130 AD. The temple has an impressive outer gopuram. The inner most gopuram was constructed in 14th / 15th century. This temple complex includes museum and smaller shrines like Sri Parthasarathi Swami Temple, Sri Kalyana Venkateswara Swami Temple, Andal Temple, Salai Nachiyar Ammavari Temple, Ramanuja Temple, Vyasaraya Anjaneyaswami Temple, Tirumangai Alwar Temple, Kurath Alwar Temple, Madhurakavi Alwar Temple, Chakrathalwar Temple, Mudal Alwar Temple, Manavala Mahamuni Temple, Vedantha Desikar Temple, Woolu Alwar Temple, Anjaneyaswami Temple. The annual Brahmotsavam is celebrated in the month of Vaisakha.Timings: 9:30 AM to 8:45 PM.
At a distance of 2 kms from Tirupati Railway Station, the Kodandarama Swami Temple is situated in the heart of Tirupati town. The presiding deities are Sita, Rama and Lakshmana. This temple was constructed by the Cholas in 10th century AD. The temple of Anjaneyaswami, which is directly opposite, is a mini shrine situated in the temple complex. According to legend, this temple commemorates the visit of Sri Rama to Tirupati. The festivals of Ugadi and Sri Ramanavami are celebrated in this temple on a grand scale. Every year the temple celebrates the Brahmotsavams to the Lord Sri Rama. Timings: Not Available
Situated at a distance of 2 Kms from Tirumala Bus Station, Chakra Theertham is the site for a water body near Sila Thornam and is associated with an interesting legend. According to the legend, Lord Brahma wanted to observe penance and to clean this place, Lord Vishnu plunged his Sudershana Chakram, thus creating a crater. Visiting this site is considered as good as touching the Lotus Feet of the Lord, which will deliver the devotees from their travails. The waterfall here is an amazing sight to behold and is the location where the idol of Lord Venkateswara is brought during the Brahmotsvam celebrations.
At a distance of 4 kms from Tirupati Railway Station, Kapila Theertham located at the foot of Sheshadri Hill is the adobe of Kapileswara, dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of Linga. It is the only temple dedicated to Lord Shiva within a radius of 50 Kms from Tirupati. There is a cascading waterfall here which falls in the pond just beside the temple from a height of more than 100 feet.Saint Kapila Maharshi was said to have lived here, worshipped, and meditated in this very cave before the idol of Lord Shiva and hence the name Kapila theertham. Lord Shiva is said to have blessed Sage Kapila with a vision of himself and his consort. This temple received very good patronage from the Kings of Vijayanagara in the 13th thru 16th centuries, especially from Krishna Devaraya. The Shiva Lingam is made of brass at this place. Kartika Purnima in the month of November is celebrated with glory here.
At a distance of 5 kms from Tirupati Railway Station, Tiruchanur also called as Alivelumanga Puram is famous for Alivelu Manga Temple is dedicated to goddess Padmavati, the consort of Lord Venkateswara. It is believed that pilgrimage to Tirupati is incomplete without a visit to Sri Padmavati Ammavari temple at Trichanur.Padmavati, a manifestation of Goddess Lakshmi had risen from Padma (lotus flower). Goddess Lakshmi gave darshan to Lord Venkateswara on a red Lotus flower in Padma Sarovar Lake at Tiruchanur after his deep penance for twelve years.This temple was initially constructed by Pallavs in 8th century. As Lord Venkateswara Temple at Tirumala was not easily accessible, a new temple called Tiruvalan Koil was constructed at Tiruchanur to house Lord Srinivasa. The temple was later dedicated to Padmavati Devi by Yadava Rayas in 12th century.This place can be reached by Bus/Auto from Tirupati Bus Station.Timings: Not Available
At a distance of 12 Kms from Tirupati, Srinivasa Mangapuram is famous for Sri Kalyana Venkateshwara Swami Temple. It is located towards Chandragiri town.According to legend, Lord Venkateshwara stayed here after his marriage with Sri Padmavati Devi, before proceeding to Tirumala. Annual Brahmotsavam and Shakshatkara Vaibhavam are celebrated in grand manner here.
At a distance of 12 Kms from Tirupati & 545 Kms from Hyderabad, Chandragiri is an ancient town & the seat of Yadavaraya Kings from 11th to 13th centuries. Chandragiri came in to prominence during the Vijayanagara Period. It is famous for Fort and Raja Mahal within the Fort. The Fort here is said to have been built in 11th century AD by Yadavarayas and was later improved by the Vijayanagara Kings. The Fort is built on a huge rock at an altitude of 183 meters. It was capital of Vijayanagara Empire for sometime.There are two Palaces in the Fort called Raja Mahal and Rani Mahalwhich were used by the members of the Royal Family. The palaces present good example of Vijayanagara Architecture. The Raja Mahal Palace is now an archeological museum. The palace is three storied, is an example of Indo-Sarcen architecture of Vijayanagar period. The crowning towers represent the Hindu architectural elements. The palace was constructed using stone, brick, lime mortar and devoid of timber.
At a distance of 12 Kms from Tirupati Agasthya Temple is located at the confluence of three rivers, Swarnamukhi, Bhima and Kalyan. The temple has three beautifully sculptured entrances that heighten the grandeur of the hall inside. A separate shrine for Goddess Parvati is also located with in the temple. Just opposite the shrine in the middle of the river is a mandap on which the statues of Balaji, Ayyappa and Ganapati have been installed. A small shrine dedicated to Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Anjaneya is located near the tank.
At a distance of 15 Kms from Tirupati, the Prasanna Venkateswara Swami Temple is located at Appalayagunta. The idols of Goddess Padmavathi and Sri Andal are also seen in this ancient temple. The temple was constructed by the Rajas of Karvetinagar. The temple also houses a shrine for Anjaneya. The imposing mammoth image of the wind-god is worshipped by devotees for relief from 'Chronic Diseases'. The presiding deity in this temple, unlike in the main temple, is in the Abhaya Hastha pose.The annual Brahmotsavams and Teppotsavam are celebrated in a grand manner.
At a distance of 18 Kms from Tirupati, Kalyani Dam is a picturesque dam constructed on the river Kalyani. The dam is situated in the Rangampet forest on Tirupati-Madanapallee Road. This beautiful dam is the main source of water supply for Tirupati and Tirumalai.
Tirumala, adobe of Sri Venkateswara (also known as Balaji - an incarnation of Lord Vishnu) is one of the most celebrated pilgrimage centers in India. The temple of Lord Venkateshwara was built by the Tamil king Thondaimaan. At a distance of 612 Kms from Hyderabad, 170 Kms from Chennai, 20 Kms from Tirupati, Tirumala is the richest and most visited temple (of any faith) in the world.The 2 meter high standing idol of Venkateswara on a lotus flanked by his consorts Bhudevi and Sridevi. The most striking feature of the awe-inspiring black idol is its fabulous diamond crown, which is said to be the most precious single ornament in the world. This temple draws millions of pilgrims from all parts of India. The Sanctorum 'Ananda Nilayam' has a glittering gold covered 'Vimana' and gold covered gates. The initial temple was built by the Tamil king Thondaimaan. The Pallavas of Kanchipuram (9th century), Cholas of Tanjore (10th century), Pandyas of Mathura and Vijayanagara Kings (14th & 15th centuries) regularly visited the temple and contributed largely to the temple. Especially, Sri Krishna Devaraya of Vijayanagara Empire contributed a lot to the temple. The statues of Sri Krishna Devaraya and his spouse stand in the premises of the temple. Accommodation is provided by TTD near the temple, which is always crowded. No private accommodation is available. Several devotees walk to Tirumala from Tirupati through 3500 well laid steps with roof through forest (4 hours one way).
At a distance of 25 Kms from Tirupati, Narayanavanam is famous fro Sri Kalyana Venkateswara Swami Temple. This is the place where Lord Venkateswara got married to Sri Padmavathi Devi.The temple complex also includes separate shrines for Sri Padmavathi Temple, Sri Andal Temple, Sri Sita Rama Lakshmana Temple, and Sri Ranganayakula Temple.Giri Pradakshina is one of the important festivals conducted during the end of Sankranthi, once a year, with the idols of Sri Parasareswaraswami and Sri Champakavalli Ammavaru, and Sri Agastheeswaraswami and Sri Markathavalli Ammavaru. Navarathri festival and annual Brahmotsavams are celebrated here.Few other temples of Narayanavanam include Sorakaya Swami temple, Parasareswara Swami temple, Renuka Parameswari temple, Aghastheswar Swami temple, Avanaksh Amma temple, Venugopala Swami Temple, Skanda Pushka Rani, etc.
Srikalahasti is one of the ancient and most important Shiva Kshetras situated in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. At a distance of 35 kms from Tirupati, 114 Kms from Chennai and 562 Kms from Hyderabad, Srikalahasti is famous for Kalahastheswara Temple built in 10th century. The entire temple was carved out of the side of a huge stone hill. Srikalahasti got its name from three words - 'Sri' meaning a spider, 'Kala' meaning a serpent, and Hasti meaning an elephant, as these three creatures are believed to have worshipped Lord Shiva at this place and attained salvation. It is located on the banks of the river Swarnamukhi, which is a tributary to Pennar, one of the major rivers in South India. It has an ancient Shiva temple that finds reference in the three ancient epics the Skanda Purana, Shiva Purana and the Linga Purana. Several Tamil Shaivite saints have also sung hymns in praise of the deity of this temple. It is believed that a visit to this temple will provide relief to those who have the planet Rahu in inimical positions in their horoscopes.Other impressive temples in Sri Kalahasthi include Suka Brahmaashrama, Kumaraswami temple, Chakreshwara Temple.
At a distance of 43 Kms from Tirupati and 8 Kms from Puttur, Kailasanatha Kona waterfalls (also known as Kona Falls) are 40 feet high waterfalls in the valley of Nagari Hills in Narayanavaram Mandal of Chittoor district. The water here originates from a crack in a sheet rock, and the water is crystal clear having substantial mineral value. The unique feature of this waterfall is that one can reach the foot of the waterfall by car. It also has a small temple of Shiva and Parvati. The falls are close to the NH205 highway between Puttur and Uttukkottai, at a distance of 8 Kms from Puttur. The falls are about 2.5 Kms from the highway and vehicle can go up to the falls.
Talakona waterfalls are situated in Sri Venkateswara National Park in Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh state. With a height of 270 feet, it is the tallest waterfall in Andhra Pradesh. At a distance of 49 KM from Tirupathi, 220 KM from Chennai and 105 Kms from Chittore, Talakona Falls are situated at a distance of 23 KM from Bakarapeta which is the nearest town.The waterfalls are placed amidst dense forest surrounded by natural beauty and greenery. It is believed that the water of Talakona Falls is enriched with herbs wit healing powers. Talakona was declared as Bio-Sphere Reserve in 1989-90 because of wide variety of plant species present in the region. Talakona means 'head hill' in Telugu. This place is believed to be the starting point of 'Seshachalam Hills' which are extended till Tirumala. There is a temple near the falls called Lord Siddeswara Swamy Temple. This temple is believed to be built by a devotee named Appa Swamy in 1811 AD. This Temple Attracts large number of devotees during Mahashivaratri.The falls have to be reached by 2 Kms trek from Siddeswara Swamy Temple which is nearest motorable road to the falls. The duration of the trek is about 30 minutes (one way) through dense forest and slippery road.November to January is the best season to visit. There are several private transport facilities to Talakona Falls from Bakarapeta, which has direct bus services from Tirupati and Chittore.
At a distance of 50 Kms from Tirupati, Sri Kariya Manikya Swami Temple, also known as Sri Perumala Swami Temple is located in Nagiri town. According to legend, Lord Vishnu killed Makara (a crocodile) and saved Gajendra (an elephant) at this place. This episode is referred to as the Gajendramoksham in the Mahabhagavatam.
At a distance of 56 Kms from Tirupati, the Kashi Vishweshwaras Temple is located in the Bugga Agraharam village. The temple is on the banks of Kushasthali River. The main deities are Sri Kasi Vishweshwara, Sri Annapurna Devi, Sri Kamakshi Devi, and Venkateswara accompanied by Sridevi & Bhudevi. The important annual festivals in the temple are Maha Shivaratri and Kartika Somavaramu (first Monday in the month of Karthika).
At a distance of 58 Kms from Tirupati, Sri Venugopala Swamy Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu is located in Karvetinagaram near Puttur. The Lord here is accompanied by Rukmini and Satyabhama. This temple was maintained by the Narayanavanam rulers in the olden days. It also houses a shrine with monolithic idols of Sita, Rama, Lakshmana and Anjaneya.Timings: 6 AM to 8 PM
Kanipakam is a village and pilgrimage center located in Chittore district of Andhra Pradesh. This place is famous for the Varasiddhi Vinayaka Temple, which has an idol that grows in size. At a distance of 62 kms from Tirupati, 12 kms from Chittoor and 560 Kms from Hyderabad, this village lies close to Karnataka & Tamil Nadu border on the banks of Bahuda River. Kani means wetland and Pakam means flow of water into the wetland. It was constructed in the 11th century CE by the Chola king Kulothunga Chola I and was expanded further in 1336 by Vijayanagara Kings.The striking feature of the idol is that it is still growing in size. According to a legend, there were three handicapped brothers, Dumb, Deaf and Blind. They were farmers and used to drawn water for farming from a well nearby. One day the well got dried and they could no longer continue cultivation. One of them got into the well and started digging it up. He was shocked to see blood coming out of the well. Within in a few seconds the entire water turned red. All the three became normal getting rid of their deformities. As soon as the villagers came to know about this miracle, they thronged to the well and tried to deepen the well further. They found swayambhu idol (the self-manifested) of Lord Vinayaka emerged from the swirling waters.Vinayaka Chaturthi and Brahmotsavam are the important festivals celebrated here. Kanipakam is directly connected by bus with Tirupati (every 30 minutes) & Chittur.
At a distance of 65 Kms from Tirupati & 30 Kms from Puttur, Sri Veda Narayana Temple is situated in Nagalapuram. The temple is a fine specimen of the Vijayanagar architecture. It is believed that Lord Sri Maha Vishnu, in the form of Matsya, killed the rakshasa (demon) Somakudu here, and retrieved the Vedas from the latter. The shrine houses an image of the Matsya form of Vishnu accompanied by Sri Devi and Bhu Devi on either side. Sun worship is an important aspect at this temple. Every year in the month of March the rays of the Sun pass through the Gopurarn entrance for three days and fall on the idol in the central sanctum, and this is considered as an act of adoration by the Sun. The temple is said to have been constructed by Sri Krishna Devaraya in 15th century, the Vijayanagar emperor at the behest of his mother. It is a fine specimen of the Vijayanagara style of architecture. The idol here holds the Sudarsana Chakra in prayoga (ready for release).
At a distance of 100 Kms from Tirupati and 3 Kms from Kadapa, Tallapaka in Kadapa district is the birth place of the most famous 15th century Telugu Saint Annamaacharya (also known as Annamayya) who worshipped Lord Venkateswara throughout his life and written several Keertanas praising the Lord.He is the earliest known musician in South India to compose sankeertanas. Annamacharya is said to have composed as many as 32,000 sankeertanas on Lord Venkateswara, of which only about 13000 are obtainable today.Tallakapka is also famous for Sri Chennakeshava Swami Temple built in 10th century. The temple was constructed and administered by the Matti Rajahs. TTD has recently inaugurated 108 feet status of Annamaacharya in Tallapaka village on 600th birthday of the Saint.
At a distance of 75 Kms from Kanchipuram, 145 Kms from Chennai, 110 Kms from Tirupati and 206 Kms from Bangalore, Sripuram Golden Temple dedicated to goddess Mahalakshmi is situated at a distance of 10 Kms from Vellore City.Constructed in the year of 2006, Sripuram is the biggest structure made out of gold. The 'Vimanam' and 'Ardha Mandapam' have been coated with gold both in the interior and exterior. The temple is built in 100 acres area of land and constructed by Vellore-based Sri Narayani Peedam, headed by spiritual leader Sri Sakthi Amma. One-and-half tonnes of gold has been used for the construction of the temple with a cost of 600 crore. A walk of 2-3 Kms is required to reach the central gopuram from main temple entrance. The center also provides parking, locker facility and shoe rack facility. Cell Phone, MP3 Player and Camera are strictly prohibited.The temple is open from 7 AM to 9 PM.
Horsley Hills is a famous Hill Station in Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh at a distance of 144 Kms from Tirupati, 56 Kms from Madanapalle and 460 Kms from Hyderabad. It is named after W.D. Horsley, the Collector of Cuddapah district, who chose this spot for his summer residence. Situated at an altitude of 1265 meters, Horsley Hills is an exciting place to visit. The journey to Horsley Hills is exciting as one gets to see thick verdure of various species of plants and wild animals. Covering the entire stretch of narrow road are dense growth of Eucalyptus, Jacaranda, Allamanda, Gulmohar and many other species. The old name of Horsley Hills is Eenugu Mallamma Konda. According to the legend there used to be a little girl named Mallamma who was taken care by Elephants. She used to heal tribal people on the hills. When she disappeared suddenly, people thought she was a goddess and built a temple for her.The fragrance of Sampangi flowers mesmerizes the tourists even after they leave this place. One can find a wide variety of flowers in these hills ranging from Reeta, Shikakai, Amla, Beedi leaves, Bay leaves, Sandalwood, gum, Mahogany to Bamboo. Wildlife like bears, wild dogs, jungle fowl, sambars and panthers are also sheltered in the forest here.The atmosphere of the hill resort is pleasant throughout the year, and it can be visited anytime in the year. The Horsley Hills have been a popular refuge for the sun-scorched souls since long.