Tirupati is a holy pilgrimage in India considered to be a paradise for spirituality seekers. Settled close to the southern end of Andhra Pradesh, Tirupati is an ancient city abundant in religious and historical architectures. Though a religious adobe with great significance, still it is a popular tourist spot for people travelling from across the world. The small ancient city welcomes tourists with open arms all year round. It is here that you can seek peace and spirituality.
In this blog, we have discussed the places to visit near Tirupati. It will be a trip hard to wash away from your memories!
Sri Venkateswara Temple
Sri Venkateshwara Temple is among the holy and ancient temples situated at the Venkata Tirumala Hill (on its seventh peak). Constructed in the age-old Dravidian style of architecture, the temple lies on the South of the famous Sri Swami Pushkarini River.
The temple’s infrastructure measures 123 meters in length and 80 meters in width. Spread to a total area of 2.2 acres, the shrine is an adobe of Lord Venkateshwara – an 8ft high idol installed inside the temple.
The idol rests in the shelter of the gold gilded dome called Ananya Nilaya Divya Vimana. Lord Venkateshwara’s idol wears a layer of camphor (tilak) and ornamented with semi-precious and precious stones.
Sri Padmavathi Ammavari Temple
Another important religious place near Tirupati is Sri Padmavathi Ammavari Temple, located 5 kilometres away from the Tirumala Hills. The soul deity of the shrine is Goddess Padmavathi, wife of Lord Venkateshwara according to Hindu mythology.
Constructed while Thondaman Chakravarthy ruled the estate, it follows a strong belief that devotees must visit Lord Venkateshwara Temple before bowing their heads at Sri Padmavathi Ammavari Temple.
Also given the name Alamelu Manga that means an inexhaustible source of compassion and love, Goddess Padmavathi was the daughter of Thondamandalam’s King Akadsha Raja.
Following the traditional belief, devotees still share the story of Padmavathi found in a lotus while the King performed a sacred Yagna, thus given the name ‘Padmavathi’.
When in Tirupati, we would suggest you visit the holy shrine of the Goddess to seek the blessing of love and compassion.
Sri Govindarajaswami Temple
One of the places to visit after Tirupati is the Govindarajaswami Temple in the ancient city. Stories of the past tell that the temple was established with a foundation stone laid by King Ramanuja in the year 1235.
The temple is built using the traditional Vaishnava Sect style of architecture. Apart from the central shrine of Gopuram, you will find two other shrines inside the temple premises surrounded by two outer walls.
Both at two ends, the southern shrine shelter the idol of Lord Parthsarthy and the northern shrine with the idol of Lord Govindaraja. There are some small shrines in the temple premises of Sri Manavala Mamuni, Sri Vyasraja Anjaneya Swamy, Sri Chakrathalvar and Sri Salai Nachiyar Ammavari.
As aforesaid, the ancient city doesn’t only welcome spirituality followers but also offers the tourist a great place to explore. One of the popular waterfalls near Tirupati is the Talakona Waterfalls. Located at a short distance of 49 kilometres, this waterfall is considered as the central gateway to the Tirumala Hills.
Falling from a height of 270ft, it is the highest waterfalls in Andhra Pradesh since long. Believed to possess medicinal values, the waterfall lies in the Chittoor District in the Sri Venkateshwara National Park.
Close to the waterfall is a small shrine of Lord Siddeshwara Swamy which remains full of devotees during Shivaratri, an important event in the state. You can plan a trip to Talakona anytime in the months from November to January as the climate remains favourable.
Sri Sri Radha Govinda Temple is built under ISKCON and is regarded one among the largest ISKCON temples in the country. Like other ISKCON temples, ISKCON Tirupati also spreads the knowledge of Krishna consciousness in respect to Bhagavad Gita and schedules several activities which you can observe or take part in to develop your Vedic knowledge.
The holy shrine is dedicated to Lord Govinda (Krishna) and his beloved Sri Radha – one of the most favourite religious and tourist places near Tirupati Balaji. There’s a series of superbly adorned deities that includes Sri Narasimha, Srila Prabhupada, Lord Chaitanya and most importantly Sri Radha Govinda along with their Ashtha Sakhis.
The most favourable time to visit the holy shrine and interact with the ISKCON community is during important festivals like Sri Rama Navami, Guru Purnima, Holi, Shri Krishna Janmashtami and Narasimha Chaturdasi.
If you want to explore the land of Gods, Tirupati, visiting these tourist and religious places is a must. It will bring your immense calm and spiritual satisfaction.