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How to Reach Tirupati and Make A Comfortable Darshan

Updated on July 31, 2017
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Travel, especially the pilgrimage are the great pleasure for Sunil Kunnoth. He loves to wander with his spiritual sojourns.

Tirupati Venkateswara Temple
Tirupati Venkateswara Temple | Source

Life is a pilgrimage. The wise man does not rest by the roadside inns. He marches direct to the illimitable domain of eternal bliss, his ultimate destination.” - Swami Sivananda.


Tirupati is one of the most sought after divine destinations in India’s spiritual circuit. The holy hill temple at Tirumala in Tirupati is the busiest and the richest Hindu temple in the world. Lord Venkateswara is the presiding deity here. The temple is also considered to be one of the richest religious establishments in the world with an annual income of over Rs.2,400/- crores or 24,000 million!

Location

Tirumala in Tirupati

District: Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh, South India.

Don’t be confused with Tirumala and Tirupati. Tirumala is a hill station 24 km away from Tirupati. The distance between Tirupati Railway Station to Tirumala is 26 km. Tirupati is the base town. The Lord Venkateswara or Balaji temple is situated on the hilltop of Tirumala. It is 3200 feet above sea level. and comprises seven hills which are said to represent the seven heads of Adishesha.

How to reach Tirupati


Tirupati is the base or main town of Tirumala. Tirupati has good connectivity by all means of transport. Earlier while coming by Train, pilgrims had to alight at Renigunda, which is 10 km away. But things are easy now with the establishment of a railway station at Tirupati. It is a big station with all facilities. Trains to almost all major towns and cities are being operated from here. Several Express and Passenger trains either operate or pass through the station.


By Rail

There are two stations with the name Tirupati. One is Tirupati West and the other one is Tirupati. The distance between these two stations is just 2 km. You need to get down at Tirupati, not Tirupati West. Tirupati West, the small station comes before you reach Tirupati.


By Air

The nearest Airport is Tirupati, 40 km away. It is a domestic airport and operates services to Hyderabad, Vizag, Chennai, Bangalore and New Delhi. The airport is just 15 km away from the Tirupati city. Chennai is another airport, which is 130 km from there.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Tirupati Railway StationKatpadi Junction.  For pilgrims from Mangalore, Kerala and Coimbatore side, it is the best option.  From here it is just 105 km to Tirupati, which takes just 2 hours.Entrance of Tirupati APSRTC Bus Stand. You can start the 24km long  journey to the temple in Tirumala from here.Security plaza you encounter during your upward journey to the temple.Pilgrims need to alight from their vehicles here for security check up.Ticket counter at Tirupati Railway Station.Time table of free bus at Tirumala. You can travel  free to anywhere in Tirumala. Need to wait  at this spot to catch the bus.The hot snacks for a joyful biteA train halts at Tirupati StationThe list shows Rly. ticket rates to various destination.  Find your destination and charge from the list.Notice board giving ticket ratesWe love temple trips. My family photo taken from Tirupati.A temple close to the Tirupati Railway station. The town has several temples and you can visit some of them by walking.Another temple in Tirupati town and so close to the railway station.The board lists major attractions around Tirupati. This was taken from the front side of the Tirupati Rly. stn.The beautiful and spacious Tirupati Rly. stn.
Tirupati Railway Station
Tirupati Railway Station | Source
Katpadi Junction.  For pilgrims from Mangalore, Kerala and Coimbatore side, it is the best option.  From here it is just 105 km to Tirupati, which takes just 2 hours.
Katpadi Junction. For pilgrims from Mangalore, Kerala and Coimbatore side, it is the best option. From here it is just 105 km to Tirupati, which takes just 2 hours. | Source
Entrance of Tirupati APSRTC Bus Stand. You can start the 24km long  journey to the temple in Tirumala from here.
Entrance of Tirupati APSRTC Bus Stand. You can start the 24km long journey to the temple in Tirumala from here. | Source
Security plaza you encounter during your upward journey to the temple.
Security plaza you encounter during your upward journey to the temple. | Source
Pilgrims need to alight from their vehicles here for security check up.
Pilgrims need to alight from their vehicles here for security check up. | Source
Ticket counter at Tirupati Railway Station.
Ticket counter at Tirupati Railway Station. | Source
Time table of free bus at Tirumala. You can travel  free to anywhere in Tirumala. Need to wait  at this spot to catch the bus.
Time table of free bus at Tirumala. You can travel free to anywhere in Tirumala. Need to wait at this spot to catch the bus. | Source
The hot snacks for a joyful bite
The hot snacks for a joyful bite | Source
A train halts at Tirupati Station
A train halts at Tirupati Station | Source
The list shows Rly. ticket rates to various destination.  Find your destination and charge from the list.
The list shows Rly. ticket rates to various destination. Find your destination and charge from the list. | Source
Notice board giving ticket rates
Notice board giving ticket rates | Source
We love temple trips. My family photo taken from Tirupati.
We love temple trips. My family photo taken from Tirupati. | Source
A temple close to the Tirupati Railway station. The town has several temples and you can visit some of them by walking.
A temple close to the Tirupati Railway station. The town has several temples and you can visit some of them by walking. | Source
Another temple in Tirupati town and so close to the railway station.
Another temple in Tirupati town and so close to the railway station. | Source
The board lists major attractions around Tirupati. This was taken from the front side of the Tirupati Rly. stn.
The board lists major attractions around Tirupati. This was taken from the front side of the Tirupati Rly. stn. | Source
The beautiful and spacious Tirupati Rly. stn.
The beautiful and spacious Tirupati Rly. stn. | Source

How to reach Tirumala

Tirumala is 24 km away from Tirupati. You can reach by your own vehicle or private taxis or by APSRTC (Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation) buses. The bus charge is Rs.45/head. For children, it is Rs.24/-. The journey may take roughly one hour.

The ghat road is in excellent condition and very neat. It does offer some picturesque scenery along the route. Since the administration maintains one-way traffic here, the journey is smooth and accident-free. While returning, you are passing through another route. Though the journey is a pleasant experience, you will be subjected to thorough security check ups, for which you need to get down from the vehicle. After check up at the security plaza, you can resume the journey. But thanks to their systematic set up of things, what it takes is only a few minutes. The security plaza is wide, well equipped with the electronic surveillance system and manned by well-trained security guards. Your downward journey is, but without such procedures and quick.


By Road

The Tirupati Bus Stand is within walkable a distance of 0.6 km (600 meters only) from the Tirupati Railway station. The APSRTC conducts several services from Tirupati to Tirumala. Every two minutes' gap, there is a service. You may not find a conductor in the bus. The driver himself will come and collect the charges from you before starting the journey. Sometimes you may be asked to collect the tickets from the counter at the bus stand.


By Walk

You can climb up Tirumala hills through the well-built walkway constructed by TTD (Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams). It is an interesting and devotional journey and many devotees prefer this route. You need to climb nearly 3550 steps (11 km). It starts from the foot of the hills known as Alipiris. The 11 km long journey takes minimum 3 to 4 hours. Actually, it depends upon your physical condition. Though the route passes through ghat and forest, the TTD has arranged all facilities to help you with utilities like rest house, security, canteen, toilet, drinking water, etc. Medical facilities are also available.

Pilgrims reaching the temple on foot and availing the Divya Darshan tokens, which is issued halfway at Gali Gopuram on the footpath, have an advantage. They will be permitted through a different entry for darshan without much waiting time in the queue compartments. You are also provided one free laddu and two laddus at a subsidized price.

I personally have not tried this route, but very much willing to give it a try next time. My enthusiasm is in response to the strong recommendation by my friends and relatives who enjoyed this walking venture totally.

Language

Communication is not a big issue in Tirupati as most of the people here will follow Tamil, Hindi, and English well though Telugu is their main language. Tamil is widely used here.


24x7 Helpline

The TTD Administration has taken several steps to make your journey pleasant and comfortable. For any queries, you can contact the Helpline Nos. 0877-2277777 or 0877-2233333 or 0877-2264252 which work 24x7. Here also language is never a barrier. You just try to convince yourself.


Food & Accommodation

Though both Tirumala and Tirupati have excellent facilities for food and accommodation, Tirupati holds the better scope. The restaurants provide decent vegetarian foods at a reasonable rate. Finding accommodation at Tirumala is tough if you have not booked in advance as it has lesser facilities there. But no issue since Tirupati has good lodging facilities and that too at a fair rate. I got a decent accommodation near Tirupati railway station at an unbelievable rate.

You can also book rooms in advance either at Tirumala or Tirupati using the online service of TTD. But most of the times it is seen fully booked. The TTD rooms are very neat and cheap too. They also arrange free accommodation for the pilgrims. For more details, visit their site at https://www.ttdsevaonline.com.

Postal Address

Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams

TTD Administrative Building

K.T. Road, Tirupati 517 501

Andhra Pradesh. India.

Please contact Helpdesk no's : +91-877-227 7777/ 223 3333 / 226 4252 , 91-877-226 3922 for any enquiries.

Working Hours

Administrative Office: 10:00 AM - 05:00 PM (IST), Monday to Saturday. Sunday is a holiday.

Temples & Choultries: Round the clock, throughout the year.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Alipiri. entrance to Tirumala hills, both bus route and footpath from Tirupati. Clouds over Tirupati city as seen from Tirumala HillsDharmaratham, The TTD Free Bus.  You can travel anywhere in Tirumala as free in the bus.A night scene of the holy templeThe main temple of Tirumala. The yellow shrine visible is completely made of gold The bio diversity of TirumalaSri Venkateswara National Park on Tirumala Hills, Tirupati Waterfall at TirupatiTirupati Town view from Thirumala hill Walkway to Tirumala at Alipiri, Tirupathi
Alipiri. entrance to Tirumala hills, both bus route and footpath from Tirupati.
Alipiri. entrance to Tirumala hills, both bus route and footpath from Tirupati. | Source
Clouds over Tirupati city as seen from Tirumala Hills
Clouds over Tirupati city as seen from Tirumala Hills | Source
Dharmaratham, The TTD Free Bus.  You can travel anywhere in Tirumala as free in the bus.
Dharmaratham, The TTD Free Bus. You can travel anywhere in Tirumala as free in the bus. | Source
A night scene of the holy temple
A night scene of the holy temple | Source
The main temple of Tirumala. The yellow shrine visible is completely made of gold
The main temple of Tirumala. The yellow shrine visible is completely made of gold | Source
The bio diversity of Tirumala
The bio diversity of Tirumala | Source
Sri Venkateswara National Park on Tirumala Hills, Tirupati
Sri Venkateswara National Park on Tirumala Hills, Tirupati | Source
Waterfall at Tirupati
Waterfall at Tirupati | Source
Tirupati Town view from Thirumala hill
Tirupati Town view from Thirumala hill | Source
Walkway to Tirumala at Alipiri, Tirupathi
Walkway to Tirumala at Alipiri, Tirupathi | Source

Darshan or Temple Visit

If you have the time and patience, do enjoy the free darshan or else just forget it. Free darshan means the long wait in the longest queue that may last for several hours. The solution then for a comfortable darshan is Paid Darshan. You have two options. The best one is Special Entry Darshan (SED), which costs you Rs.300/head and the other one is eSudarshanam with a price tag of Rs.50/head. During my last trip, it took just 90 minutes to get Darshan through SED. eSudarshanam will take more time. You can book darshan tickets either through online or at the respective counters at the temple premises and also from the various locations as notified by the TTD. For more information, please read my article “How-to-Book-Tirupati-Darshan-Ticket-Online-Step-by-Step-Guide.


Sevas

Because of the busiest nature of the temple, it is advised to book your sevas online in advance. For more details, read my article “How-to-Book-Seva-or-Puja-Online-at-Tirumala-Tirupati-Temple.


Laddus

Tirupati Laddu is so unique and a tasty ‘prasadam’. You can buy it from the counters in the temple at a subsidized price. If you have SED ticket, you are eligible for 2 laddus per person. Thus, if your ticket is for four persons, you can claim 8 laddus. Watch the Video appended to know more about the laddu story.


Dress Code

Now the administration is insisting on traditional dresses for 'paid darshan'. Men have to wear Dhothi (Mundu/Vashti) or Kurta. Pants/Jeans not allowed. Also, they don’t allow wrapping your Dhothi over pant. For women, no such restriction but requests a decent dress. It is understood that the authority is going to administer strict dress code for all pilgrims soon.


Security Measures

You will be thoroughly subjected for security check ups at different points. No electronic gadgets, camera, and mobile phones will be allowed to carry with you. You can leave them at the respective counters and collect after your darshan.


Free Services

Once you reach the temple, you can avail facilities like accommodation, food, transportation, etc as free. Food packets, buttermilk, milk, and water are offered free while you are waiting in queues. Also, transportation to various points in Tirumala is free in the specially decorated buses (Dharmaratham) of TTD. It is amazing to note that nearly 35,000 pilgrims are being served free food daily here.

Details of Trains To & Fro Tirupati from Various Major Destinations

Destination
Train No.
Allahabad
16359
Bangalore/Yesvantpur
17210,12835,12863,12889,12845,22618
Chennai Central
16054,16057,16204
Coimbatore
12757
Ernakulam
16360,12646
H. Nizamuddin
12707,12643,12645,16687,16317
Howrah
12846,12868
Hyderabad
17430
Kanniyakumari
16381
Kochuveli/TVM
17230
Mangalore
16688
Madurai
16734,16339,16318,16779
Mumbai
16382,16352
Manmad
16733
Nagercoil
16351,12660
New Delhi
12625
Patna
16359
Puri
17480
Rameswaram
16734
Secunderabad
12763,12733,17405,17229
Tata Nagar
12889
Thiruvananthapuram
16381,17230
Varanasi
16359
Visakhapatnam
17487,17480,12864,17482

The above table contains the details of trains touching/originating/terminating at Tirupati station from various major rail heads. To find the timings and other particulars, just Google with the Train No. There are several other options as well trains to reach Tirupati, which you can search on the internet. For pilgrims from Kerala and certain parts of Goa, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, the best option will be a break journey from Katpadi and not Chennai. From Katpadi, it is just 105 km to Tirupati by train. It will be covered in two hours by Express trains and three hours by Passenger trains. For more information, please read my article "How-to-Reach-Tirupati-From-Kerala".

The distance from Chennai to Tirupati is 132 km. You can also depend on trains to Renigunda as certain trains do not pass through Tirupati. And Renigunda is just 10 km from Tirupati.

"Venkatadri samam sthanam Brahmande nasti Kinchana

Venkatesa samo devo na bhuto na Bhavishyati".

(There is no Shrine parallel to Venkatachalam and there is no God equal to Venkatesa. Truly, Lord Sri Venkateswara is Akhilanda Koti Brahmanda Nayaka.....)

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Sri Venkateswara Swamy Vaari Temple, Tirumala, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh 517504, India
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© 2014 Sunil Kumar Kunnoth

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    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
      Author

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 2 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      @Abhishek, thank you for reading and posting your comments on my article. Glad to know it is of helpful nature. Your suggestion is welcome and I shall write after studying the same. Thank you once again for your support.

    • profile image

      Abhishek 2 years ago

      Hey!

      I was browsing to plan a visit n your 2 articles has been the most helpful ones I have come across. Thank you for such a neat presentation.

      It would be more informative if you could add abt parking facilities at the foothills and on the top of the hills .

    • rajaseekar profile image

      Rajasekar V 2 years ago from Bangalore

      Hi Sunil,

      Can you share your mail id? I will send you when i get time about further details.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
      Author

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 2 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Thanks for this information. I will check these details and may incorporate in my article. Meantime if you can give more details, please do mail me. Give full information like tariff, itinerary, etc. Your visit and comments appreciated.

    • rajaseekar profile image

      Rajasekar V 2 years ago from Bangalore

      If your are planning to go tirupati from chennai, Some people are providing travel packages. they will pick up from you home, provide the darshan ticket, breakfast and lunch in quality restaurant, then they drop in special darshan ticket counter. you can able to see the darshan in 3 - 4 hrs. Every 6 month once we are travelling to tirupati. We contacted chennaitotirupati.com, they guided carefully and safely. Each and every area providing same thing from your location so kindly contact your responsible travel and journey with it. Happy Journey.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
      Author

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 2 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Hi Radhika

      First of all Happy new year.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving some comments. Sure, it is to help to all pilgrims like you that I wrote this hub. I am happy that you find it informative and useful. Thanks for sharing as well.

    • radhikasree profile image

      Radhika Sreekanth 2 years ago from Mumbai,India

      A nice hub on traveling to Tirupati and Tirumala. I was not aware that Tirumala is so near to Tirupati. Thanks for sharing this wonderful information.

      Voted up, beautiful, useful and interesting. Sharing on Hubpages.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
      Author

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 2 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      @travmaj

      I appreciate you enthusiasm to learn more about other cultures and traditions. Your visit and comments are highly appreciated. I hope you can reach here once. All the best. God bless you.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
      Author

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 2 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      @Devika

      Thanks for your visit and comments. It is nice to know that you known Tamil. Though my mother tongue is Malayalam I know some Tamil. It is a wonderful place. But the main language of Tirupati is Telugu.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Interesting so lovely! I know a lot of the Tamil language and this place sounds wonderful idea. Voted up, interesting, useful.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 2 years ago from australia

      This is very informative, interesting and the glimpse of the spiritual journey is quite beautiful. I would love to visit one day - it's unlikely. However, I have been on this journey with you. Thank you.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
      Author

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 2 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Glad to know you liked my hub. I too hope and pray you reach this sacred shrine once with your sister. Thank you so much for your visit and comments. God bless you.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      This sounds like quite an interesting journey. Perhaps one day I can travel there with my sister. Thanks for sharing this part of the world with us.

      Angels are on the way to you ps

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
      Author

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 2 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      @MsDora

      Thank you for stopping by and leaving comments. It is interesting to note that you love to learn Indian tradition and culture. FYI, Tamil and Telugu are South Indian language as so musical to hear.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for the information on travel to Tirumala in Tirupati, and other facts that travelers need to know. Telugu and Tamil sounds threatening, but not be so on site. Interesting!