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About Tirupati

Tirupati City is located in the southeastern part of Andhra Pradesh, in Chittoor district. It lies about 152-km northwest of Chennai in the Palkonda Hills. Tirupati is known as the abode of the Hindu god Venkateshvara (also spelt as 'Venkatesvara'), "Lord of Seven Hills". About 10-km northwest of Tirupati, at an elevation of 750m, is the sacred hill of Tirumala, which was considered very holy. One of the most important pilgrimage centers in India, the temple draws millions of pilgrims and is believed to be the busiest pilgrimage centre in the world.

Tirupati

Tirupati

Sangam literature, the earliest of Tamil literature (dated between 500 B.C to 300 A.D) mentions of Tirupati as Thrivengadam which used to form the northernmost frontier of the Tamil Kingdoms. Sangam literature such as Ilango Vadigal's Silapadikaram and Satanar's Manimeghalai bear testimony to the existence of a shrine at Tirupati. Puranic literature which was composed roughly around the post-Mauryan and early-Gupta era also mentions of Tirupati as the Aadhi Varaha Kshetra. The Puranas associate the site with Lord Varaha one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Till today the Varaha shrine holds great importance in Tirupati and is said to be older than the main sanctum of Venkateswara.

The Alvars or Vaishnava saints who led the Bhakti or Devotional movement in South India sung in praise of Lord Venkateswara as Vishnu. For the centuries to come Tirupati was richly endowed by the kings and emperors of various dynasties thus owing to its current reputation as the richest and most opulent temple in the world. The Imperial Cholas, Hoysalas, the Vijayanagara emperors were just some of the contributors for building the temple and donating gold and other ornamanents for the temple. During the invasions, the idol of Sriranganatha, the deity of Srirangam was brought to Tirupati for safekeeping.

To remember this event a hall in Tirupati is still known as the Ranganatha mandapa. It was under the regime of the Vijayanagara emperors that the temple attained its current opulence and size. The emperors of the dynasty in particular Krishna Deva Raya lavished on the temple numerous objects of priceless value, ranging from diamond studded crowns to golden swords. The coronation ceremonies of the emperors were

Lord Venkateshwara Temple

Tirupati is one of the most important pilgrimage centres in India. It has the historic shrine of Sri Venkateswara or Balaji, an incarnation of Vishnu. Also known as the 'Lord of the Seven Hills', the 2m high standing idol of Venkateswara on a lotus flanked by his consorts Bhudevi and Sridevi, is believed to grant any wish made in front of it. The most striking feature of the awe-inspiring black idol is its fabulous diamond crown, which is said to be the most precious single ornament in the world. This temple draws millions of pilgrims and is believed to be the busiest pilgrimage centre in the world. The richest temple in India, it is a master piece of South Indian Architecture. The Sanctorum 'Ananda Nilayam' has a glittering gold covered 'Vimana' and gold covered gates guard the sanctum sanctorum. It is considered auspicious to offer the hair as sacrifice to the deity.