Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple at Thirumala Tirupati

Sri Venkateswara Swamy temple also known as Sri Venkatachalapathy temple is located in Venkatadri hills one of the seven hills in the region, in the Chittoor District in the state of Andhra Pradesh, in India.

Tirupati Venkateswara Temple is located in the hill town Thirumala which is near Tirupati of the Chittoor district in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. This venkateswara Temple at Tirupati is situated at about 580 kilometers from Hyderabad the capital city of Andhra Pradesh. Tirupti temple is located closer to Chennai at about 157 kilometers and is placed on the Venkatadri hills, one of the seven hills of Thirumala. Lord Venkatachalapathy is also known as the Lord of Seven hills, Balaji, Govinda, Srinivasa and Vishnu.

About Sri Venkateswara temple at Tirupati

In the Vaishnava Tradition, Thirumala Tirupati Sri Venkateswara temple is one of the 108 divya desams and has a moorthy believed to have been there for the entire Kaliyuga. The temple is ssaid to be the richest as well as the most visited place of worship in the whole of India, as many as 3 -4 crores of devotees annually are said to visit the temple. On the special occassions like Brahmotsavam the number of devotees visiting the temple shoot up to 500,000 in a day.
The temple is located at about 3200 feet above sea level and has an area od 27 square kilometers. There are seven peaks namely Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudari, Anjanadri, Vrushabadri, Narayanadri and Venkatadri, where the Lord Venkateswara temple is located. The temple lies on the southern banks of the Swami Pushkarini river and the present temple complex comproses a smaller traditional temple along with numerous constructions for queues and pilgrim lodging sites.
The holy mantra chanted is Om Namo Venkateshaya and the Venkateswara Suprabhatham has become the morning recital prayers in many a home as well as the temples. The Suprabhatham is written by Prativadi Bhayankaram Annan of Kanchipuram and has been sung by the great Carnatic and Classical musician M S Subbulakshmi. You can also find many beautiful keerthanas about the Lord Venkateswara namely Tyagaraja and Annamacharya.

Prasadam at the Thirumala Tirupati Lord Venkateswara temple

Thirumala temple Prasadam Laddu is well known through out the world, because of which the trust had to take copy right of Laddu prasadam. There are many other prasadams available at the temple including daddojanam ( curd rice ) , pulihora ( tamarind rice ) vada and chakkara pongal ( Sweet Pongal ). Free meals ( annadhanam ) are also served daily for the pilgrims who come to the temple.

Hair tonsuring / shaving at Tirupati Temple

One of the well known offerings at the Tirupati Lord Venkateswara Temple is the tonsuring or the shaving off the hair from one's head . The daily amount of hair collected through this, runs to more than a ton and it is sold by the temple trust by public auction at least a few times a year. The hair is then used for hair extensions and in cosmetics

Dharshan and the queue system at the Lord Venkateswara Temple, Tirupati

The TTD ( Thirumala Tirupati Devasthanam have made elaborate arrangements for the public to have a dharshan of the Lord Venkateswara and to guide the devotees through the holy shrine. Because of the rush of devotees , the temple authorities have set up a queue system. There are two kinds of dharshans available one is free dharshan or the Dharman dharsanam and the second a Sudharshanam, which is a paid one costing about Rs 50 . The free dharshanam will take at least 10 hours to get a dharshanam but the Sudharshanam will take 3 hours minimum to get the Dharshan.
Sheegra dharshan is also available costing Rs 300 and takes only an hour to see the Lord . There are special queues for senior citizens and children where in one person is allowed accompany them in the darshan line. If you fall into these categories you can enquire the temple officials and significantly reduce the time spent standing in the queue. There are huge halls accommodating about 300 persons , where you can sit and watch religious programs on TV or watch the rituals happening inside the sanctum sanctorum. You will be provided with meals like sambar Sadam and curd rice, with coffee and tea . There are attached bathrooms for the use of the pilgrims. It is recommended to get the tickets in advance from the TTD offices near your hometown before leaving for Tirupati.

How to Reach Tirupati

There is a domestic airport at Renigunta which is about 15 kilometers away from Tirupati. There are regular flights connecting Renigunta to Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore etc. Taxis are available from the Renigunta airport to go to Tirupati. The nearest international airport is Chennai which is connected to all the major cities in India and abroad as well.
By rail, you can travel from all the major cities like Chennai, Bangalore , Visaakhapatnam, Madurai and Mumbai etc. Renigunta is a major railway station located in the Thioruvananthapuram Delhi route and is connected to many railway stations around it.
By Road, you can reach Tirupati easily , you have transports buses government as well as private plying in the route. Special private buses run just for the tourists. Even the TTD authorities arrange for transporation from their offices and easy dharshans.


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