Tirumala is a very important and significant holy destination in India. Noted for its spiritual significance, it is the home of Tirupati Devasthanam. 

The holy Venkateshwara temple is situated on the Venkatadri peak of the Seshachalam Range of the Eastern Ghats. 

There is a special point at 21 km. on the Tirumala-Tirupati Ghat Road, showcasing the unique stratigraphic highlight, marking an important section of the earth’s geological history. The natural serenity adds more aura to the place. It is termed the Eparchaean Unconformity, aptly separating the Proterozoic’s Nagari Quartzite from the Archaean granite. GSI declared this unconformity as one of the 26 “Geological monuments in India”. 

The amazing  26” x 9.8” natural arch, Silathoranam on the Tirumala Hills, is a significant geological wonder. However, Tirumala is especially noted for being one of the most popular pilgrim destinations of Tirumala Venkateswara Temple. 


Located in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, Tirumala is located in a hilly region, situated approximately 980 m above sea level and spans an area of nearly 26.8 sq. km. 

The seven peaks of the Seshachalam range of the Eastern Ghats surround the Tirumala hills. These peaks are Neeladri (hill of Neela Devi), Seshadri (hill of Sesha), Anjanadri (hill of Hanuman), Gurudadri (hill of Garuda, the vahana of Lord Vishnu), Venkatadri (hill of Lord Venkateshwara), Vrushabadri (hill of Nandi), and Narayanadri (hill of Narayana).

The entire range of Tirumala is an iconic facial representation of Lord Balaji. 

Language spoken

As it is situated in Andhra Pradesh, Telugu is the major official language spoken in Tirumala. However, since it is visited by a huge number of pilgrims and tourists far across the country, Hindi, Tamil, and Kannada are also widely used and understood by many. 

Known for

Tirumala is especially noted for being the abode of the richest temple in the world, the Tirupati/Tirumala temple. However, if you delve deeper, you will gradually discover, that it is not the only reason:

  • Tradition: Several traditional Hindu families visit this holy place every year for paying homage and praying for the good of the family, especially before any significant occasion or event. Tonsuring is elaborately practised here. It is believed that Lord Vishnu descended from heaven to relieve the pains of Kalyug and bless the people. 
  • Geographical beauty: The splendid location of the Tirumala Temple is considered to be a geographical and geological wonder, and is often termed “The Temple of Seven Hills”. The wonderful natural beauty merged with the religious atmosphere creates a unique aura. 
  • Spellbinding architecture: The awe-inspiring Dravidian-style architecture of the temple is a point of universal wonder. The religious accounts depict it to be the abode of Lord Vishnu for 5000 years. Historians have traced back its construction history back to 300 AD, covering a huge expanse of 16.2 acres of land. The Pallavas, the Cholas, and even the Vijayanagaras have played significant roles in the preservation of this architectural and spiritual wonder. 
  • Prasadam: The pilgrims are given special laddus as ‘prasadam’. It holds special significance for the devotees, especially the children. It is called the Srivari laddu and possesses a special flavour. 
  • Festive spirit: Certain periods of the year are considered to be more holy by the local communities and attract huge crowds from far across the globe. September to October is the time for Brahmosavam, while November to December, is the time for Pavithrosavam. Summer experiences comparatively greater footfall when compared to other times, except for festive occasions. 

Type of place

Tirumala is a famous Indian religious town in Andhra Pradesh. It is a fair-sized hill town and is noted for being the abode of one of the most popular shrines of Lord Vishnu, the Venkateshwara temple. In the religious context, it is also termed the Kaliyuga Vaikuntha, while the deity is referred to as the Kaliyuga Pratyaksha Devam. 

How to get to Tirumala?

Although Tirumala is a hilly area, it is easily accessible by every mode of transport. 

By air

The nearest airport for reaching Tirumala is Renigunta, which is located nearly 15 km away from Tirupati. It offers direct flights to Chennai, Bangalore, Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad, and New Delhi. It has been recently upgraded to an international airport for enhanced facilities.

By train

Tirumala does not possess any railway station of its own. The nearest railway station is located at a distance of 26 km in Tirupati. This is one of the most significant rail stations in the country and maintains superb connectivity among all the significant cities. 

By road

Tirumala maintains an enviable bus service from Tirupati, almost every two minutes. If you are travelling by road from Bangalore, Vellore, or Chennai, you can avail of direct bus facilities. All the nearby major cities like Visakhapatnam, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Chennai offer private bus and taxi services to Tirupati. 

However, if you are travelling by road you must note that all transport remains banned on the Ghat Road between 12 and 3 am. 

Several devotees vow to climb the hills on foot. The hilly road is well maintained by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam Trust. This entire footpath road is equipped with security, rest houses, medical help, drinking water, canteens, restrooms, etc. 

Interesting facts about Tirumala

Tirumala is mostly noted for being the abode of the richest temple in the world, the Tirupati Balaji temple. However, it is a geographical wonder and holds several interesting sightseeing destinations. 

  • Some of the interesting places to visit in Tirumala include, Sila Thoranam, Srivari Padalu, Akasha Ganga waterfalls, Sri Venkateshwara Wildlife Sanctuary, Chakra Teertham, Pushkarni, Sri Varahaswami Temple, TTD Gardens, Sri Venkateswara Museum, Srikalahasti, Tumburu Teertham, Talakona waterfalls, Kanipakam, and many more. 
  • The flowers, butter, buttermilk, milk, and leaves are acquired from an undisclosed village located approximately 2 km from the temple. No outsider has ever set foot there, except only the associated people.
  • Unlike other shrines, the main statue of Balaji is located in the right-hand corner of the sanctum sanctorum. 
  • The hair of Lord Balaji is real and always remains tangle-free, and silky smooth. The religious account depicts that Lord Balaji lost some of His hair during an unfortunate mishap. However, the Gandharva princess Neela Devi offered some of her long hair locks to plant them. Pleased with this offering, the Lord promised that anybody who offered his/her hair to the shrine will earn the Lord’s blessings.
  • If you put your ear on the back of the Balaji image in the shrine, you can hear the sound of sea waves
  • The lamps lit in front of the deity have been burning for a long time
  • The back of the Balaji idol always remains moist despite repeated efforts to keep it dry
  • The Balaji idol is super resistant to volatile chemical reactions of camphor despite remaining smeared with it.
  • The deity always maintains a steady temperature of 1100 F, irrespective of the environment. 
  • For hassle-free Balaji darshan, you can avail of the Tirupati Devasthanam ticket booking facility, costing INR 300/head, including one free laddu. It is available 24x7.
  • The darshan tickets for Tirumala are now available online too. 
  • Since 2009, TTD has offered special entry darshan. Depending on the availability of the slot, you can advance your entry. 

Why is it recommended?

Tirumala Tirupati is a holy place of sanctity, holding special significance in Hindu mythology. It is a place to attain peace despite the hindrances of Kaliyug. A mere sight of the holy shrine is believed to be a path to attain salvation. 

Lord Balaji is believed to be the embodiment of every quality including the remover of every obstacle and the supreme giver of knowledge. You can pay homage to an auspicious beginning to a new journey or thank Him for fulfilling your prayer. 

The unique location of the “Temple of Seven Hills” is a geographical and architectural wonder to experience. The celestial presence of the divine abode of Lord Vishnu amidst such breathtaking natural beauty is awe-inspiring. The magnificent grandeur of the temple is a sight to behold and experience. 

Thousands of devotees seeking divine intervention in their lives, visit this holy shrine at least once in their lifetimes. It always remains flooded with people, especially on auspicious occasions. The summer months are comparatively less crowded. 

How to reach?

Once you reach Tirupati either by train, plane, or road, you can walk up to the main temple. Two strong footpaths lead to the temple. These paths are termed “sopanamargas”. The oldest of them begins at the foothills at Alipiri. This is the most popular route and is 11 km long. The other road is called Srivari Mettu begins at Chandragiri and runs for 6 km.  

You can avail of state bus facilities. They are comparatively cheaper than the private ones, but not as comfortable. It takes nearly 4 hours from Chennai and approximately 5 hours from Bangalore to reach Tirupati.

To reach the temple you can avail of a regular bus to the Tirupati Bus Station from the airport or the railway station. 

Operating hours

For general darshan at the Tirumala Tirupati Temple, the devotees need to wait in long queues. It is free.  While visiting the shrine, you must note:

  • Sarva darshanam or general darshan: On Mondays, Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, the timings are 7.300 am – 7 pm and 8 pm to 1 am. On Wednesdays and Fridays, the timings are 9 am to 7 pm and 8 pm to 1 am. On Thursdays, the timings are 8 am to 7 pm and 8 pm to 1 am.
  • VIP darshan: The VIP darshan timings are from 9 am to 3 pm every day.
  • Tirumala darshan by walk: This is exclusively reserved for the devotees who visit the shrine by walking.
  • Senior citizen special darshan: People with valid senior citizen age proof can avail of this facility daily once at 10 am and later at 3 pm.
  • Special darshan for the physically challenged: People with valid evidence of their physical disabilities can utilise this facility at 10 am and 3 pm daily. 
  • Infant darshan: TTD offers special facilities for infant visits who are below one year.
  • Darshan for newly married couples: The Supadham entrance of the temple allows a special entrance for newly married couples.

Recommended packages

You can easily reach Tirupati from anywhere in India by train or plane. The most convenient train is the Tirumala Express, which runs from Visakhapatnam to Kadapa daily. IRCTC offers convenient package tours from several Indian cities, including transportation and Sreegrah darshan. 

Several flights operate to Tirupati Airport. It is well-connected to almost every major city in the country. 

APTDC conducts 6 local temple tours every hour from 7 am to 1 pm from the Srinivasam Complex daily.  Every 2 hours, there is another trip from the Vishnu Nivasam Complex. The ticket prices are INR 150 (AC) and INR 100 (non-AC) for adults. Tickets are free for up to 10 years. 

For the local 8-hour long tour, the ticket prices are INR 350 (AC) and INR 250 (non-AC) for adults including special darshan. The pilgrims to undertake this tour are given annaprasadam. 

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