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Places to see in Tirupati
Tirupati is in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is famous for Sri Venkateswara temple dedicated to Vishnu, also known as Balaji in North Indian and Govinda in South Indian. The temple is located on top of Tirumala hills, while the town is located on the foothills. It is one of the most important pilgrimage centers in India. The temple draws millions of pilgrims and is the busiest pilgrimage centre in the world. It is about 10 kilometers north west of Tirupati in the Tirumala hills. Here are some of the places to see in Tirupati.
List of places to see in Tirupati:
1. Sri Venkateswara Temple: One of the best places to see in Tirupati is Sri venkateswara temple. Sri venkateswara temple or Tirupati balaji temple is a Hindu temple in the hill town of Tirumala near Tirupati. The 80 meter wide and 123 meters long temple covers an area of 2.2 acres. It is located on the venkatachalam hill. It is the richest in the world and most visited temple in India. It lies on the southern banks of Sri Swami Pushkarini, a holy water tank. Tirupati balaji temple is visited by about 50000 devotees daily. The entry fee is free to visit the temple. However, there is a fee for those pilgrims who want to stand in the express lane (quick darshan). The cost of the ticket is Rs.300. You can get the ticket at the vaikuntam queue complex or VQC. The complex is a series of inter-connected halls that leads to the main temple. The temple is a wonderful example of Dravidian architecture featuring gold plated Cupola and called as ananda nilayam.
Tiruchannor or Alamelu mangapuram is the temple of goddess padmavathi, the consort of Lord Venkateswara. It lies on the southern banks of Sri Swami Pushkarini. People believe that a trip to Tirupati is complete only after visiting this temple. It is about 5 km from Tirupati. Darshan starts from 6.30 a.m. on weekdays and from 8.00 a.m. on fridays. Some of the important festivals in Tiruchanoor temple include navarathi festival, kartheeka brahmotsavam, float festival, vasanthotsavam and rathasapthami.
Talakona waterfall also known as Sri Venkateswara park,is the highest waterfall in Andhra pradesh. The water of the Talakona is enriched with herbs and people believe that it has healing properties. Talakona was declared as Bio-Sphere Reserve because of the rare species.
Tirumala tirupati devasthanam gardens or TTD gardens has beautiful gardens with rare species of plants and trees. TTD gardens spreads over 460 acres in tirupati and Tirumala. It supplies 500 kilograms of flowers daily to the various temples for decorating the mandapam, pandals and vahanas. You can see mixed assortments of crotons, bougainvilleas and hibiscus. It has various streams and ponds. Also there are four nurseries at Tirumala which include travellers bungalow area, Gogarbham dam area, divyaramam area and Sri Padmavathi guest house area. It also organises horticultural flower show every year during the Brahmotsavam.
5. Sri kalahasti temple:
Another place to see in Tirupati is Kalahasti temple. Kalahasti temple is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is one of the Pancha Bhoota Stalams and is a group of five wonderful temples. Pancha bhoota suggests the five elements of nature - Earth, Space, Wind, Fire and Water. Each element is represented by one temple. It is about 38 km from Tirupati. The hundred pillared mandapam is an important feature of this temple.
Other places to see in Tirupati:
6. Kodanda Rama Swamy Temple: Kodhanda Rama Swamy Temple known for the architecture Lord Rama, Seetha and Lakshmana and the Anjaneya Swamy. It is seen near the foot of Lord Rama. The temple is about 1 km from tirupati railway station.
7.Kalyani Dam: Kalyani dam is the main source of water supply for Tirupati and Tirumala. It is about 18 km from Tirupati. It falls in the Rangampet forest on the Tirupati-Madanapallee Road. It is a nice place to visit and is like a picnic spot for recreation.
8. Regional science centre: Regional science centre is a science center and also has a planetarium which draws huge crowds. The regionl science centre is affiliated to Sri Venkateswara University and National Council of Science Museums. It is located at Alipiri which is 3 km from Tirupati.
9. S.V. Museum: S.V. museum houses a photo gallery, excellent exhibits of temple architecture and artifacts like idols and ancient weapons. The museum also has a meditation centre.
10. Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park: Sri venkateswara zoological park spreads in an area of 5500 acres and is home to wide range of animals, birds, reptiles and flora. Kids love to see parakeets, ducks, mainas, geese and wide variety of birds including swans, pelcans, flamingos and raptors. The park has 349 birds, 138 reptiles and 168 mammals. It attracts 86 thousand visitors every year.