Being a pilgrimage spot, Tirupati is no less of a famous tourist destination. This place offers beautiful natural beauty and the aura of a peaceful hill station as well. The place is famous for the surrounding hill stations and waterfalls, other than the pilgrimages.
Being a pilgrimage spot, Tirupati does not offer shopping complexes and malls, but the local markets here sell photos of deity idols in various frames, shapes and sizes. Also they sell other things which are considered sacred and religious. Red wooden toys, copper and brass idols should be bought from Tirupati as souvenirs.
Tirupati is a 'must visit place' for the devotees and a pilgrimage with nature's blessed beauty and pleasant environment. The environment here is so pure and pleasant that the tourists have a refreshing and religious experience. Those who planning for a religious insight, Tirupati is one of the best options.
Best time to visit Tirupati
The best time to visit Tirupati is during November and December, mainly during winters. Though the weather here is pleasant throughout the year, winter is the most commonly chosen time by the tourists. Tirupati remains busy throughout the year and has tourists from all over the world, thus it is truly the busiest pilgrimage of the world.
Shopping in Tirupati
What to Buy?
Since Tirupati is a pilgrimage point, shopping complexes or malls offering apparel shopping is unavailable here. But one can shop for traditional commodities like red wooden toys, copper, brass idols of lords which are considered to be sacred and auspicious. Also carved white wood handicrafts can be shopped. A variety of devotional CDs, DVDs etc can also be bought.
The custom of donating gold to the temple is worldly famous there. Donating gold is considered auspicious and hence many jewelry shops can be found and gold can also be shopped for. Small shopping markets are also set near the Sri Govindrajaswamy temple which are famous for wholesale bangle shops, where bangles, made out of clay are sold.
Where to Shop?
Allagada: Beautifully carved stone sculptures of Gods and Goddesses are a must buy from this place. The intricate detailing and designs define their worth. There excellent craftsmanship make them a perfect gift or a showpiece.
Dornakambala: Craftsmen here create miniature brass castings. Idols of Hindu deities are created best here.
Madanpally: Popular terracotta items available here include pottery, face masks and other decorative lamps with unique designs.
Villages near Tirupati: Cotton dress material can also be bought, since weaving and importing of cotton material is quite popular in the villages near Tirupati. These villages are at a distance of about 48 km, namely, Ekambrakuppam and Narayanavanam.
Bazaar Street in Chandragiri is a popular market. It basically has general stores which provide routine items. Following is a list of some hypermarkets, supermarkets and jewellers ain Tirupati
As per the records and data from the Indian tourism industry, Tirupati is undoubtedly the most famous tourist destination in southern India. The 2006 Tourism statistics reflect that Tirupati topped the charts of attracting the most number of visitors than any other spot in the country. The pilgrimage centre of Tirumala, the abode of Lord Venkateshwara, topped the list of most visited spots in Tirupati. It has left Taj Mahal, Ajantha and Ellora caves, as well as the palaces of Rajasthan well behind in attracting visitors. The number of tourists arriving in Tirupati has almost touched the 20 million mark in 2012 as on an average more than 50,000 visitors set foot daily in Tirupati. The numbers continue to grow annually at a rate of 2-5% and still show much promise. Interestingly, the humongous footfall has resulted in the Tirumala Temple being declared among the richest temples in the world, because of the generous donations received.
How to Reach Tirupati
Tirupati railway station is connected to the major metro cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Vishakhapatnam, Delhi, Madurai and Hyderabad. Tourists coming from other places can reach Renigunta, which is at a distance of 15 km from the main city.
The trains from the above mentioned cities reach directly to Tirupati, hence no other means of transport is needed, except the transportation to reach the accommodation destination. If tourists reach Renigunta, a taxi can be hired to reach the main city. As far as travelling from Delhi is concerned, trains to Tirupati depart from two stations in Delhi, New Delhi (NDLS) and Hazrat Nizamuddin (NZM). Trains to Tirupati
Tirupati owns an airport which is located at Renigunta, which is 15 km from the main city. Regular and direct flights from Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore to Tirupati are available. If travelling internationally, the nearest international airport is located at Chennai. After reaching the airport, taxis can be hired to reach the city centre which will cost around some Rs.300. Flights to Tirupati
If travelling from nearby south cities, travelling from buses can be one good option. The Andhra Pradesh bus services (APSRTC) connects the entire town in the state to Tirupati and charges a minimum cost of Rs. 3 or Rs. 4 per km per person.
Also bus service from Karnataka (KSRTC) is also available to Tirupati costing not very high. Following is a list of buses run by APSRTC from some cities:
- The Tirumala Temple is the prime reason why people come to Tirupati. Tirmala is a small town located near Tirupati and is considered to be the home town of Lord Venkateshwara, a highly revered Hindu deity.
- The Kalahasti Temple is among the most revered temples dedicated to Shiva in southern India. It is on par with Tirumala Temple in terms of relevance.
- The Padmavathi Ammavari Temple in Tirupati is yet another revered Hindu shrine that witnesses a huge footfall.
- The ISKCON Tirupati is a temple compound run by ISKCON, which exudes peace and tranquility and is ideal for having a relaxed stay.
- The Kapila Theertham is yet another temple set amidst scenic natural landscape.
- The Talakona Waterfall, situated near Tirupati, is among the highest waterfalls in Andhra Pradesh, amidst natural beauty.
- The Varahaswami Temple is a beautiful and revered religious shrine dedicated to Lord Varahaswami.
- The Rock Garden is a nice place to discover some unique tranquility among Tirupati's stunning natural beauty.
- The Tumbhuru Teertham consists of holy bodies of water and this one too is situated in scenic surroundings.
- The Papavinasam Falls is another beautiful waterfall near Tirupati.
- Chandragiri is located 12 km from Tirupati and is an attractive tourist spot famous for its palaces and forts.
- Travel and accommodation should be booked in Tirumala beforehand.
- One needs to bathe in the Pushkarini and worship Sri Varahaswami in temple before worshipping Lord Sri Venkateswara.
- There must be absolute silence inside the temple and Om Sri Venkatesaya Namah needs to be chanted.
- Pradakshinam (keeping the shrine to your right) should be done with devotion before entering the temple.
- A tilak must be worn in accordance with religious custom.
- During the Darshan time, if one can manage to be on the sidelines and gradually move towards the Lord then one would have more time in the midst of such a chaotic environment.
- A visit in the months of August-September (rainy season) is recommended. One may also choose to visit during the first or second weeks of December, soon after the Karthika Masam rituals.
- Senior citizens have a separate queue and they can be fetched and dropped to their respective guest houses free of cost by the battery-operated and professionally managed carts.
- Autos are normally unmetered in Tirupati, and may charge Rs. 20-40 on point to point basis.
- If there is a baby aged less than 5 years or so, then the parents and the baby can have Darshan in a separate queue if they ask for it.
- The procedures of the temple should be followed and one must patiently wait for his turn for the darsha of the Lord.
Tirupati can be best travelled in two possible ways. One is by the help of trusted and affiliated tour operators, and the other option is going on your own. Tour operator packages are hassle-free but cost in excess of Rs. 7000 for a couple of days per individual, which is somewhat on the pricier side. If one opts to travel on his own, a couple of days' stay at Tirupati with local sightseeing, will cost no more than Rs. 3000 in any case, considering moderate standards of accommodation. If other sightseeing is included in the itinerary, the cost may escalate by another 3000-4000 rupees for another couple of days. The most cost-effective part of Tirupati tour is the low travel expense as cheap regular bus services are available and cost of accommodation is much lower.
How many days are enough for a Visit?
Tirupati is mainly a place of temples and the abode of Lord Venkateshwara; hence, the prime objective for many visiting Tirupati is to seek the blessings of the Lord. Generally a formal Darshan of the Lord and a trip to the adjoining temples will take no more than a couple of days. The trip to the main shrine and completion of the Darshan will take a whole day and leave one with no time or energy to have other schedules on hand for the day. For other places of interest around the town, one needs to have another 2-3 days in hand to explore them in their entirety as the place is teeming with scenic spots that exude natural beauty and religious significance. In short, an all-encompassing trip to Tirupati, inclusive of all places of interest around the town, will be completed within a span of 5 days for sure.
For round-the-clock tourism information, the following offices and personnel may be contacted:
Secretariat, Hyderabad - 500022
Department of Tourism
Government of Andhra Pradesh
Tank Bund Road
Hyderabad - 500063
Tourism Information Centre
'D' Block, Secretariat
Hyderabad - 500022
Phone: 1800 - 42545454
Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams
TTD Administrative Building
K T Road, Tirupati - 517501
Central Reception Officer, Tirumala: +91-877-2263922
Andhra Pradesh Tourism Access Number: +91-901-334033
The following list provides some emergency and helpful numbers for tourists in cases of assistance during their tour of Tirupati:
Police: 100 (Toll free)
S V R Ruia Hospital: +91-0877-2286666
SVIMS Hospital: +91-0877-2287777
A. P. Trans-Co Call Center: +91-0877-1912
Railway Enquiry: +91-0877-131
APSRTC Enquiry: +91-0877-2225333
Indian Air Lines: +91-0877-2275336
District Collector Mr. Shamsher Singh Rawat
Collectorate, Chittoor District, Andhra Pradesh - 517 001
The weather being so pleasant in Tirupati, tourists are seen walking and enjoying, rather than using some kind of transport locally. But in order to travel locally in the city and visit the famous tourist attractions, taxis can be hired or the local suburban trains can be used, which are connected to all the cities in the state. Also, another good option is rented cars and cabs, which can be contacted directly or the hotels themselves provide this service of local transport. Also buses, auto-rickshaws, jeeps are also available throughout the day.
Places to visit in Tirupati
- Sri Govindrajaswamy Temple
- Tirupati Balaji Temple
- Sri Kapileswaraswami Temple
- Sri Kodandaramaswami Temple
- Sri Kalyana Venkateswaraswami Temple
Last Updated on : 12/11/2013