Sights to See
Lord Venkateswara Temple
Situated on a peak of the Tirumalai Hills, 24 km from Tirupati this famous shrine is nestled among high Eastern Ghats. Dedicated to the presiding deity Lord Venkateswara, also referred to as Lord of the Seven Hills, the temple can be reached only after covering the range of hills. Its antiquity can be gauged from the frequent mention it finds in the ancient scriptures. Patronized by the rulers of the different kingdoms that ruled the area, it is a magnificent specimen of the temple architecture South India is known for. Said to be the wealthiest temple in the world, it has Vimana over the sanctum sanctorum and the Dhwajasthambam (temple flag-post) plated with gold.
Located at Tiruchanur, 3 km south of Tirupati, is the shrine of goddess Padmavati, the consort of Lord Venkateswara (Balaji). The large temple is also known as 'Alamelumangapuram' and it is said that your visit to Tirumala is fruitful only after visiting remains incomplete if you do not visit the Sri Padmavati Devi temple.
Sri Venkatesvara Museum
Situated at the Sri Govindaraja Swami Temple compound in Tirupati, this museum is a repository of temple arts and rare sculptures.
Lord Shiva is said to have appeared before the Saint Kapila at this historic site. The cascading waterfalls from the holy hills are a treat to the eyes.
Sri Venkatesvara University Oriental Research Institute
Founded by July 1939 by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, the Institute has a fine collection of stone images, wood and metal images, pottery, coins and inscriptions.
Located 3 km north of the main temple, Akasa Ganga, as it is called, is a perennial stream that is said to flow from the feet of the deity. The Akasa Ganga is considered sacred as the Vedas describe it as flowing from the feet of Lord Vishnu. The water from here is used for the daily rituals in the temple.
A sacred tank located in close proximity to the Balaji temple, Swami Pushkarini was a pleasure tank of Lord Vishnu in Vaikuntam and brought to earth by Garuda for the sport of Lord Venkateswara. A dip here is considered a custom before entering the temple.
Govindaraja Swami Temple
One of the most important shrines in the heart of Tirupati, Sri Govindaraja Swami Temple was consecrated by Saint Ramanujacharya in 1130 AD. Built by the Nayakas, the feudatories and successors of the Vijayanagar rulers, the shrine has an impressive outer gopuram. The inner most gopuram is the earliest dating from the 14th-15th centuries. The main shrines are dedicated to Vishnu and Krishna.
Located on Tirumala, this is a rare geographical arch and the only one of its kind in the whole of Asia. Two other such arches are known to exist in the world - the Rainbow Arch of Utah in USA and the Arch of "Cut Through" of UK. This is one of the rarest 'geological faults' of India and geologists compute the age of the arch as 1500 million years. This is also a rare geological feature called 'eparchean unconformity'. This natural arch is believed to have formed due to intensified weathering and erosion of stream action and has withstood the torque of nature. The length of this arch is 25 feet and the height 10 feet.
Sri Kapileswaraswami Temple
situated about 3-km north at the foot of the Tirumala Hills, Sri Kapileswaraswami Temple is the only shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva, in Tirupati. Annual ' Brahmotsavams' and festivals like ' Vinayaka Chavithi', ' Maha Shivaratri', ' Skhanda Shasthi' and ' Annabhishekam' are performed on a grand scale. The sacred and beautiful waterfall, 'Kapila Teertham' or 'Alwar Teertham' is located here.
Situated n the heart of the Tirupati town, the shrine was built by a Chola king in the 10th century AD. The presiding deities here are Sita, Rama and Lakshmana. The temple of Anjaneyaswami, which is directly opposite, is a sub-shrine of this temple.