One of the most ancient and sacred pilgrimage spots in India, Tirupati is frequented by a large number of people every year. It’s perhaps the busiest after Vatican; the centuries old temples here have major religious and cultural significance.
The hill near the main temple in Tirupati is known as the Tirumala or the ‘sacred hill’. It comprises of seven peaks, and is considered the second oldest rock mountains in the world. Located at 3,200 feet above sea level, a visit here is a must.
The main and the most famous temple of Tirupati is the Sri Venkateswara Temple, located on the seventh peak of Tirumala Hill. The massive temple covers an area of 2.2 acres, lying on the southern banks of Swami Pushkarini river. This temple is considered the richest in the world due to the donation it receives yearly from the devotees. A dip in the waters of Swami Pushkarini is believed to cleanse the pilgrims of all their sins and bestow temporal prosperity.
There are a large number of temples dotting the town, but if you want to explore the other side of Tirupati, head to Talakona Waterfall, the highest in Andhra Pradesh. A trek of nearly two kilometres will take you to the falls, coming down from a height of 270 feet. The views of the waterfall and the surrounding landscape is absolutely stunning. The best time to be here is in the rainy season. For some thrill and adventure, remember to take a boat ride or walk on the 240-meter long canopy rope here.
The Deer Park is a peaceful place to visit if you want some time on your own. You’ll spot a wide range of animals here; though the most commonly spotted ones are deer. It’s a beautiful park engulfed in serenity and tranquility.
Another important temple you must visit is the Sri Govindarajaswami Temple. It is believed that Saint Ramanujacharya laid the foundation to the temple in 1130 AD. The temple is home to the idols of Lord Parthasarathy and Lord Govindaraja.