Tirumala is one of the most famous temple towns in the country; it is the holy abode of Lord Venkateshwara. Tirumala hills is part of the Seshachalam Hills range. The hill comprises of seven hills which is considered as a representation of the seven hoods of Adishesha. The seven hills are Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrushabhadri, Narayanadri and Venkatadri.
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Tirumala is one of the most holiest places to visit for those practicing Hinduism. It is also home to the second richest temple in world the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam or Tirupathi Venkateshwara temple. Tirumala is located 3,200 ft above sea level and covers approximately an area of 26.8 sq km.
Start Point: Bengaluru
Best Time To Visit: November To February
How To Reach
By Air: The nearest airport is the Tirupati Airport which is around 40 km from here and has regular domestic flights to most of the major cities across the country such as Hyderabad, Delhi, Chennai, Vizag etc.
By Train: The nearest railway station is at Tirupati which is around 26 km from here and has regular trains to all the major towns and cities across the country.
By Road: One of the best ways to reach Tirumala is by road. The town is well-connected by roads and there are regular buses which operate from major cities to Tirumala.
The total driving distance from Bengaluru to Tirumala is around 267 km. There are three routes that can be taken, which are as follows:
Route 1: Bengaluru - Kolar - Mulbagal - Palamaner - Chittoor - Tirupati - Tirumala, via NH 75 and NH 69
Route 2: Bengaluru - Hoskote - Chintamani - Madanapalle - Pileru - Tirupati - Tirumala via Chennai - Anantapur Highway
Route 3: Bengaluru - Hosur - Krishnagiri - Ambur - Vellore - Chittoor - Tirupati - Tirumala via NH 48
For those who are opting to travel by Route 1, it would take you approximately around 6 h to reach Tirumala, via NH 75 and 69. The route takes you through the well-known towns of Kolar, Mulbagal, Chitoor etc.
The roads are well-maintained, which helps one to cover the distance at a good pace and the destination is about 267 km through this route.
If you opt for Route 2, it would take you approximately 6.3 h to cover a total distance of 258 km from Bengaluru to Tirumala, via the Chennai - Anantpur Highway. On Route 3, it would take you around 7 h to cover the distance of 337 km, via NH 48, to reach Tirumala.
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The journey can be planned as a weekend drive. So, one can opt to leave on a Saturday morning and after spending about a day and half, one can start travelling to Bengaluru either on a Sunday morning or afternoon and reach the city by the evening or night.
Short Stops At Mulbagal And Chitoor
To beat the traffic in Bengaluru, it is best to start off early, which helps you drive past the expressway in no time and cross over the border without getting stuck in the traffic snarls. Once on the highway, there are plenty of options for one to have breakfast. Mulbagal is well-known for its delicious dosas.
Making a stopover at Mulbagal for a quick and yet filling breakfast of dosa, and a visit to the famous Hanuman temple here would give you all the energy you require for the rest of the journey, until you decide to make a stop at Chittoor for lunch.
Chittoor is a well-known temple town which is home to the famous Sri Kalahasti temple and as well the Kanipakam Vinayaka temple. Being a temple town, one would find ample vegetarian restaurants which would serve you pure Andhra style meals.
After a filling lunch one can continue further down to Tirumala which 87 km from here and would take you about and an hour or two to reach.
Destination - Tirumala
Tirumala is the abode of Lord Venkateshwara; hence without much delay get hold of the darshan tags and rush to queue complexes built for accommodating devotees, as during weekends the temple witnesses a huge downpour of devotees. One should be prepared to have a long waiting time to get a glimpse of Lord Venkateshwara.
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After the darshan of Venkateshwara, do not forget to collect the much famed 'laddu prasadam' and also make it a point to visit Goddess Padamavathi at Tiruchanur which is around 5 km from Tirupati. The Goddess is the consort of Lord Venkateshwara. Most of the major temples around the area is controlled by a governing body called Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams or TTD.
The Tirumala temple is considered to be one of the 108 divya desams, the temple also has several inscriptions which are of historic, cultural and linguistic importance. There is no exact date as to when the deity was installed here. The structure which is constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture is believed to have been built up over a period of time which starts from 300 AD.
Lakhs of people visit the shrine and take the blessings of the Lord and return with their heads tonsured and with an urge to come back and have a glimpse of the Lord whenever possible.