Tirupati town is 67-km from Chittoor in Chittoor district, the southern
portion of Andhra Pradesh. The most important place of interest at the place
is the historic shrine of Sri Venkateswara, the Lord of Seven Hills, who is
famous all over the country.
The shrine is located on a hill at Tirumala, a cluster of seven hills known
as Seshachalam or Venkatachalam with an elevation of 853m (2,800ft.) above
the sea level. Said to be the richest temple in the world, this temple is a
vibrant cultural and philanthropic institution with a grand history spanning
several centuries. It attracts pilgrims from all over the country who stand
in line for hours together to obtain a glimpse of the presiding deity for a
few fleeting seconds.
Tirupati - A Fine Example Of Dravidian Temple
The temple at Tirumala is believed to have existed from ancient times. The
dynasties like the Pallavas of Kanchipuram, the Cholas of Tanjore, the
Pandyas of Madurai and the Kings and chiefs of Vijayanagara, vied with one
another in endowing the Shrine and offering worship of the presiding deity.
The Tirupati temple with its 'gopuram' or tower is a fine example of
The elaborate rituals and mode of worship in the temple were prescribed by
the saint Ramanujacharya and are being followed even today. Anointing the
idol with camphor, and the offering by pilgrims of the hair on their heads
by getting themselves shaved by licensed barbers are the important customs
in vogue at Tirupati Temple.
The 'Vimana' or Cupola over the sanctum sanctorum is covered entirely with
gold plate and is known as "the Ananda Nilayam". The Shrine
consists of three 'Prakarams' or enclosures. The outermost enclosure
contains the 'Dhvajastambha' or the banner post and, among others, the
statues of Vijayanagara king Krishnadevaraya and his consorts, and of
Todarmal, the minister of Akbar. The idol of the deity, the full figure of
Lord Venkateswara or 'Venkataramana' or 'Srinivasa' or 'Balaji' (as is
called in various parts of the country) has the attributes of both Vishnu
and Shiva, preserving and destroying aspects of the Hindu Trinity.