Dotted with perennial water falls and vast forests, Tirupati in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh is one such place that is highly revered since the dynasties of Pallavas (9th century AD), Cholas (10th century AD), Pandyas and Vijayanagar (14th – 15th century AD). The place is worshipped for Lord Venkateswara or Balaji – an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and also considered as the ‘Kaliyuga’ deity.
Sri Venkateswara Temple
Popular as one of the most ancient pilgrimages in India, Tirupati is the richest and most visited religious center in the world followed by the Vatican. Sri Venkateswara temple, lying on the seventh peak of the Tirupati Hills is respected as the Lord’s presidency over Venkatachala. The sanctum sanctorum houses the superb idol of Lord Sri Venkateswara.
Countless devotees of Lord Vishnu visit this temple to seek blessings. This large and spacious temple is surrounded by picturesque Tirumalai range. If you are an art lover, you will be mesmerized to see the pillars, doorways, and the Vimana of the main shrine that are plated with pure gold.
Apart from that, a few other magnetic elements of this ancient town are:
- Kailasanatha Kona (natural waterfall with medicinal powers in the valley of Nagari Hill near Puttur)
- Horsley Hills (named after W.D. Horsley these cool hills are dotted with groves of teak, red sanders, eucalyptus & gulmohar)
- Sri Kalahasti (popular for the sacred shrine of Lord Vayu – the wind God)
- Tirumala Raya Mandapam (typical complex of pillars in the Vijayanagara style, some of which emit musical notes when struck with a stone)
- Aina Mahal (has large mirrors which reflect images in an infinite series; an unjal in the middle of the room has the idol of the Lord and hosts various festivals)
All these attractions make it a hub of religious minded people. When it comes to spiritual tours to India, Tirupati draws countless tourists.