The Ultimate Food and Travel Information Guide to Tirupati Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh, India
Tirupati considered as Lord Venkateshwara's adore as it houses India's richest temple on the Tirumala Hill. Visited by Millions of People, Tirupati is one of the best destinations to travel at least once. The history of Tirupati-Tirumala Devastanam is fascinating, and the temples are beautiful. Many people come to Tirupati, visit Tirumala Venkateshwara Temple, and go back home, which is a mistake. Tirupati has beautiful well-known temples, and this guide will help you discover almost everything.
Weather, Seasons & Best Time to Visit
Tirupati is very humid, and the temperature can go up to 38-degree celsius or even higher. Even though Tirupati is humid, The weather on Tirumala hill is pleasant throughout the year. Tirupati is not humid throughout the year as it has seasonal changes in temperature. The best time to visit Lord Venkateshwara's adore is during the winter season, which starts from September till the end of February.
Cost of Living
Tirupati is not a very expensive place, but a little higher as it is one of the most visited places in India. The government of Andhra Pradesh and TTD has made good arrangements in the city so that, devotees spend less on transportation, and stay. The food is also reasonable.
Best Area to Stay & Choosing the Best Hotel
The Tirupati is a small city, hence you can choose any location. Choosing a hotel might be difficult because of the choices. If you are travelling on a budget, then there are a lot of cheap accommodation near Railways station and Bus stand. TTD provides free accommodation on the top of Tirumala Hill. If you do not have any budget restraints then, there are multiple five-star properties for an excellent price point. My favorate hotel to stay in Tirupati is Marasa Sarovar Portico Resort.
All About Climbing Hill to Tirumala Temple
Climbing to Tirumala Hill can be your ultimate experience. As a 100+ weight guy, it was more than an adventure. The footpath way has 3550 steps and 12km in length. The footway starts from Alipiri Padhala Mandapam Rajagopuram till the Gali Gopuram, which feels like you have climbed about 50% but it's not. Even though you have completed around 2000 steps, there is a long way to go. Like how there is a turning point in everyone's life, Gali Gopuram is the turning point here. From here, the path becomes weird as there are multiple terrains to cover. There are many advantages to climbing this epic hill. There are plenty of historic temples along the footpath and the view is just stunning. You can also see many wonderful people taking austerity way too seriously. I show a man climbing the hill with his knee and a female lighting lamp on every step. I felt climbing was a challenge but these people take it to the next level. If you want to try the footway then remember not to carry too many things. Also, there are shops and toilets along the way, so no need to worry about the essentials. Remember, many devotees are climbing the hill, so feel safe if you are a solo woman climber. There is also another shorter footpath way called Sri Varu Mettu which is around 2.2km or 2350 steps.
History of Tirupati - Tirumala
The story of Tirupati - Tirumala comes from the Puranas. Even though many people would know the famous story of Lord Venkateshwara, Bhudevi and Lakshmi, Tirumala also has another story which happened much before Lord Venkateshwara's story. According to the Puranas, during Dvapara Yuga, Lord Varaha (Boar Incarnation of Vishnu) took rest on this hill after defeating the demon Hiranyaksha. The famous story of Saint Bhrigu happened in Kaliyuga during the Chola period. The unknown fact of Tirumala that many people do not know is that once you climb the mountain, traditionally you need to have darshan of Bhuvaraha Swamy temple (which is much older than Venkateswara Temple) lying on the northern banks of Swami Pushkarini before having Darshan of Venkateswara in the main temple.
Brahma Kadigina Paadamu
The feet that washed by Brahma
This is from a song written by the poet Annamayya. It is said that he witnessed and sang this song. Brahma came to Tirumala to have the darshan of Lord Venkateshwara in his deity form. Brahma was so mesmerised with the beauty he decided to celebrate the new form of Govinda, hence the concept of Brahmotsavam was born. Brahma washed the feet of the lord and pulled the chariot carrying the deity of Lord Venkateshwara. This pastime is still celebrated in Tirumala during the Navaratri Time. The dates collide with Navarathri and Dasara. Ten days, ten incarnations of Vishnu are carried on different Gold Vahanas on a chariot. This period is also the busiest time of the year.
Important Sightseeing Destinations
Tirupati-Tirumala has tons of historic sites and temples to explore. From the main Venkateswara Temple to the mentioned Bhuvaraha Swamy temple, there are plenty of Sightseeing Destinations. Check it out
Kumaradhara Theertham - This is a holy water body located north-west of Srivari temple.
Sesha Theertham - Sesha Theertham is another holy water body located close to the main temple.
Akashaganga - Another holy water body
Japali Anjaneya Swamy Temple - This is the place where Lord Rama, Sita & Hanuman stayed while going back to Ayodhya. This is also the place where Hanuman was born.
Chakra Teertham - Another holy water body
Silathoranam Garden - A National Geo-heritage Monument which looks like a rock garland strung over a threshold. The assessed geological age of the rock arch is around 2.5 million years old.
Narayanagiri Gardens - Serene park & gardens with walking paths.Srivari Padalu - Footprint of Sri Venkateswara
Sri Bedi Anjaneya Swamy Temple - Big Hanuman Statue
Deer Park - Deer Sanctuary
Tirupati View Point
Jungle Book & Park - kinda Zoo
Padmavathi Temple - Temple dedicated to Goddess Padmavathi or Alamelumanga.
Govindaraja Temple - This temple is constructed in 1130 AD by Vaishnavite, Saint Ramanujacharya.
Prasanna Venkateswara Temple - Constructed in the year 1232 AD.
Sri Kalyana Venkateswara Swamy Temple - This place is believed to be the place where Lord Venkateswara stayed here for 6 months after marriage.
Sri Venkateswara Museum
Kodandarama Temple - A temple dedicated to Rama, where idols of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Bharata, Shatrughna, flanked by Hanuman and Garuda on either side was constructed in the 16th Century.
Parasurameswara Temple - A unique temple of Shiva and Parashurama constructed in 3rd Century BCE
Chandragiri Fort - A historical fort, built in the 11th century by Vijayanagara Emperors.
What & Where to Eat?
Tirupati has a lot of good places to Eat. The best thing to eat at any restaurant is Andhra Meals (Plated/Full). Plate means they will give you a plate of rice and full meals means unlimited. In Tirumala, you can eat free food served by TTD. If not, then you can find good places to eat. At Tirumala, you can buy sugar rocks and vada (made from black urad dal). If you want to try pure Andhra Non-veg then head to Reddamma Mess for the ultimate Non-veg delights.
Tirupati crowded always, make sure you book your room in advance.
For 25 rupees extra, you can buy an extra 2 Ladoos.
Wait near the Hundi, every 1 hour few people are taken inside the temple near Lord Venkateshwara as a witness for the Hundi Collection. You can have really good Darshan.
Do not wear slippers if you are climbing the hill. Even though it is legal, devotees might find it offensive.
If you want to climb the mountain then make sure you start early morning at around 5 am so that you don't feel tired because of humid.
If you can wait till evening then make sure not to miss the beautiful Pallaki Utsava and Uyyala Seva of Govinda.
You might need to wait a long time in the queue, so be prepared to stand for hours.
Devotees will be pushing you a lot, but somehow if you allow those devotees to go in front of you, and you remain in the last, you can get an extra few minutes in front of Venkateshwara as you have no one behind you.