This is where the main temple of Lord Venkateshwara is located. The temple opens at 3.00 am and closes the next day at 12.45 am. It takes 2 hours by road from Tirupati to Tirumala. Taxis are available from Tirupati and back. Tirupati Devasthanams also runs free buses to Tirumala. The town is spread over 15 sq. kms with facilities like guest houses, dharamshalas, hotels, restaurants, shoppingarcade and a hospital run by the Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanam.
The Darshan at Tirumala is now controlled by a computerised token system, Sudarsan that has reduced the waiting time in the queues at Tirumala. The temple opens before dawn and devotees start pouring in to take part in the rituals. The Suprabhatham (wake up) is from 3 to 3.30am and then till 4.15 am is the Tomala Seva (removing previous day;s flowers and presenting fresh flowers to the deity). Darshan starts at 6 am till 11am.
Chandragiri fort (11 kms)
Located 11 kms away from the temple town of Tirupati, Chandragiri was once a stronghold of the Vijayanagar empire. The remnants of this fort have been built on a huge 56 m high rock dating back to 1000AD which stands as a testimony to the glorious past.
Sri Kalahasti (36 kms)
It lies 36 kms from Tirupati between two steep hills on the banks of river Swaranmukhi. The temple of Lord Shiva in the form of Vayu Linga is here. Legend has it that the linga was worshipped by a spider (Sri) who builts its web over it, a snake (kala) who placed a gem on the linga and an elephant (hasti) who washed the linga with water. Hence it derived the name.
Horsley hills (144 kms)
This famous hill resort is 144 kms away from Tirupati. Located at an altitude of 1265 fm, the Horsley hills have a delightful cool climate. The hills abound with rich flora and fauna. It is named after W. D Horsley the collector of Suddapah district during the British rule, who chose this spot as his summer resort.
Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary (20 kms)
This bird sanctuary is located on the east coast about 20 kms north of the Pulikat Bird Sanctuary in the Nellore district 100 kms from Chennai.
Pulicat Bird Sanctuary (60 kms)
It is 60 kms north of Chennai on the National Highway. It's a vast coastal brackish lake along the coast of Bay of Bengal. The backwaters of the sea attract large numbers of migratory water birds. The birds found here are flamingoes, pelicans, ducks, teals, storks, herons, gulls, and a number of waders.
It is loacted 25 kms from Nellore. Sea lovers will find the entire coast line of andhra Pradesh very appealing
Talakona is famous for the temple of Sri Siddeswara Swamy and the scenic and picturesque waterfalls in the midst of a thick forest.
It is known for the unique Shivalingam in Parasurameswara temple
It is 36 kms from Tirupati. It is believed that the marriage of Lord Venkateshwara with Goddess Padmavathi took place here.
It is 65 kms from Tirupati. The annual festival (Surya puja) is held in March when the sun's rays fall on the feet, navel and forehead of the deity.
Other sites worth seeing are the Papavinasam and Akasaganga waterfalls, Perumallapalli, Kamipakam and Bhemulivaripalam tourist resort.
Tirupati is considered the richest temple in this part of the globe. The Balaji Temple is visited by millions of devotees from all over the world throughout the year. Facilities to enable them to have a darshan (view) of the idol are very well organised. A common sight here is of tonsured heads, as many devotees feel this is a must before entering the temple's portals.
How to reach
By Air - The airport is Renigunta which is 15 kms away from Tirupati
By Rail - It is also well connected by rail to Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore.
By Road - From Tirupati Chennai is 150 kms, Bangalore is 250 kms and Hyderabad is 725 kms.
Planning a visit to AP read through travelogues to plan your trip
Andhra Pradesh is essentially a hot and humid state. March to June is the summers where the temperature soars to 40 degrees. July-October is the monsoon season where the rains are erratic and still the climate is humid and hot. October till December is the winters when the climate is good to roam around.
Capital - Hyderabad
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