Tirupati, the place which constantly reverberates with the holy chanting of Om Namo Narayanaya and reminds of delicious laddus distributed as prasadam, is a major pilgrimage city drawing devotees from all over the country and abroad.
Tirupati is prominently known for Tirumala, the place of seven hills which is the abode of great lord Balaji usually called as lord Venkateswara or Srinivasa. The city is located in the southeastern part of Andhra Pradesh, in Chittoor district, located at the foothills of Eastern Ghats. The temple here is said to be the busiest in the world, eclipsing even Rome, Jerusalem and Mecca with the number of pilgrims visiting it.
The term 'Tirupati' is made of two words, where 'Tiru' means 'Sri' and 'Pati' means 'Husband'. Thus, 'Tirupati' suggests 'Maha Vishnu' or 'Lord of Maha Lakshmi'. Tirumala is located atop the hill which comprises of seven peaks, representing the seven hoods of Adisesha, thus earning the name, Seshachalam.
Popular as the richest and most opulent temple in the world, this temple is a vibrant cultural and philanthropic institution with a grand history spanning several centuries maintained by Tirumala Tirupati Devastanam (TTD). It is thronged by the devotees all around the year that it is not unusual for pilgrims to stand in line for hours together to witness a glimpse of the presiding deity for a few seconds, which take you to experience the pinnacle of divinity within those few precious seconds standing before God in the temple.
Apart from the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, there are plethora of other temples in and around the city which are worth visiting. In addition to various shrines scattered all over Tirupati and beyond, there are holy water falls, sacred rivers and archaeological wonders too.
Most of the devotees visit the temple to give their offerings on fulfillment of their vows, by either dropping them in Hundi or by tonsuring their heads. Walking up to the tmple is also treated as one offering to God. The path up to the doors of the Tirupati temple is around 12 km, comprising nearly 4000 stairs in total as one crosses seven hills.
Tirupati also offers some delicious cuisines reflecting the authentic Rayalaseema food, famous for its spiciness and hot chili flavor.
Accommodation is the best in Tirumala with many comfortable cottages, rooms, guesthouses at an affordable cost maintained by TTD and some private companies too.Darshan at Sri Venkateswara Temple
The entrance for darshan is through the Vaikuntam Queue Complex. The complex is a series of inter-connected halls that leads to the main temple. The trust has introduced Sudarsanam token system, which minimise the waiting time for Sarvadarsanam, Special Darshan and other paid darshan/sevas. The trust has a very efficient darshan system and there are different types of darhsan one can opt for.Sarvadarsanam:
Sarvadarsanam means 'darshan for all'.Seeghra Darshan:
The Seeghra Darshanm facility is to facilitate quick Darshan for the Pilgrims. A ticket costs Rs.300/- per pilgrim and is issued at VQC-I in a separate queue line with 4 counters.
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