Tirupati City Information
A major pilgrimage spot at the foot of the Seshachalam hills, Tirupati is a city in Chittoor district of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is also referred to as the “Spiritual Capital of Andhra Pradesh” because, besides the world’s richest Vaishnavite temple of Lord Venkateswara – Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, the city is also known for many other ancient temples, such as Padmavathi Temple at Tiruchanur, Govindaraja Temple, Kapileswara Temple at Kapila Theertham,, Sri Kodandaramaswami Temple etc. Most of the temples in Tirupati are of Dravidian architecture. Situated at the foothills of the Eastern Ghats, there are many major cities like Bengaluru, Vijayawada, Hyderabad and Chennai near to the city.
Tirupati is surrounded by Srikalahasti towards the East, Puttur towards the South, Poothalapattu towards the west and the Seshachalam hills towards the North. Summers here are hot with temperatures ranging from 35 degrees to 40 degrees celcius, during the months from Mar to June. Monsoons are moderate, beginning from July and November witnessing the most amount of rainfall, while temperatures during winter drop to minimum 18 or 20 degree Celsius and lasts till the end of February.
Telugu is the official and widely spoken language. While Tamil, Kannada and Hindi are the other languages spoken due to the large number of visiting pilgrims, hinduism is the major religion. The city celebrates all major Hindu festivals which includes, Sankranti, Ugadi, Krishna Janmashtami, Maha Shivaratri, Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali, Rama Navami, Kartik Poornima etc. Besides these, Srivari Brahmotsavam is another grand nine-day event, celebrated during the months of September–October, during which time the temple of Tirumala witnesses lakhs of devotees. A temple car festival ‘Rathotsavam’ is also celebrated here in which the idol of Lord Venkateswara is taken in a procession on temple chariots. Gangamma Jatara is another folk festival celebrated in the city during which, the devotees wear different clothes and apply colours on their bodies. They shout filthy words that are a part of the tradition to drive away the evil.
Tirupati is known for its world-famous ‘Tirupati Laddu’, a sweet made from dough, sugar, cashews, cardamom, and ghee. It is the prasadam at Venkateswara Temple, Tirumala. Tirupati Laddu had got Geographical indication tag which entitles only Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams to make or sell it.
The tourism sector is of great importance to the city and is a major industry. The presence of Tirumala Venkateswara Temple and a number of other temples in and around the city attracts large number of tourists which helps the tourism department of the state in generating revenue. In fact the entire economy is directly or indirectly dependent on Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams(TTD) which is headquartered at Tirupati. As a result, the hospitality industry is also a major industry in Tirupati which includes many 3 star hotels and lodges.
Besides historic temples there are other tourist destinations in and around the city. Chandragiri Fort is a historical fort, built in the 11th century and located in Chandragiri. The ‘Raja Mahal’ and the ‘Rani Mahal’ are well-preserved here. The fort also hosts an Archaeological Museum maintained by Archaeological Survey of India. Established in 1987, Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park in Tirupati is the second largest zoo park in Asia, which covers an area of 5532 acres. Tirupati also hosts the Regional Science centre. Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams established the Sri Venkateswara Museum, one at Tirumala and the other at Tirupati. It has a wonderful collection of Tirupati temple architecture and historical artefacts, such as ancient weaponry, pooja items and idols. It has a comprehensive photo gallery that gives a unique insight into the Tirupati region’s culture and traditions. It also boasts of a meditation centre. Situated at an altitude of more than 1200 m, there is Horsley Hills, named after the collector of the Cuddapah district, WD Horsley. One can also visit Talakona Waterfalls, TTD Gardens, Deer Park, the Rock Garden and many more.
Tirupati is home to many educational institutions and universities too. For the year 2012-13, India’s Ministry of Tourism named Tirupati as the “Best Heritage City”.
Tirupati has also been selected as one of the hundred Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under Smart Cities Mission by the Government of India.
Tirupati has the status of Urban Police District; it has 25 police stations. The Tirupati temple was deployed with 100 Octopus (Organisation For Counter Terrorist Operations) commandos to look over its security. This was formed by the Government of Andhra Pradesh in the year 2012. The elite commando force has been specially trained for in house intervention, hostage rescue and Israeli combat technique Krav Maga. A security zone was established at Alipiri to screen vehicles and pilgrims entering Tirumala, to safeguard the hills from terrorists and anti-social elements. To assure more safety in Tirumala-Tirupati, the government of Andhra Pradesh started a project called “Safe City-Tirupati”: the Tirupati temple and the city will be placed under 24*7 CCTV surveillance with 3000 CCTV cameras, monitored from a command-and-control centre. Baggage scanners and Explosive detectors are installed at several places.
Tirupati is connected to certain cities by rail and air and well connected to major cities through national and state highways. To reach Tirupati via road is not difficult as most of the government-aided and private bus operators in neighbouring cities offer bus service to Tirupati. Since it is in close proximity with the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, buses from KSRTC, TNSTC and SETC operates their services. There is also private transport which operates in the city.
It is best to visit this Hindu pilgrimage during the winters. So, November to February is the ideal time to book your tickets to this city.
Book your tickets online at abhibus.com and hop onto the bus of your choice from Chennai, Bengaluru, Vijayawada or Hyderabad.
PICTURE CREDIT : Talakona Waterfalls – Rajesh Manoharan (HolidayIQ)