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Things To Do In Tirupati
Around the temple town of Tirupati you find beautiful, awe inspiring ranges of lush green hilly slopes of the Eastern Ghats. The Seshachalam Hills that are said to date back to the Precambrian era are some of the oldest rock formations of the Earth. So naturally you would find a lot of charming places to visit, like lakes and streams, waterfalls, parks and even hill tops to be trekked to. Tirupati is well known to be a popular pilgrim city, considering the number of shrines it has, but Tirupati is also one of the most sought after holiday destination for those who seek to be amidst nature.
We will give you a list of things you can do in Tirupati, as well as the keepsakes you can buy. There are also some titbits of information on the absolutely delicious dishes of Andhra Pradesh that you should try out.
Sri Venkateshwara Zoological Park
Sri Venkateshwara Zoological Park under the Seshachalam Biosphere Reserve, gets you to see wild animals and birds in their near natural surroundings. Said to be one of the best zoos in Asia, the zoo aims to increase awareness on ecological conservation, breeding and rescue of endangered species, as well as giving the tourists a beautiful getaway into the world of nature. You get to spot the big cats, elephants, bears and species of deer, reptiles and plenty of birds. It was in the SV Zoo that white tiger Rani raised a brood of white tiger cubs way back in 2016.
There are battery operated vehicles for getting around the zoo.
The ideal time to visit the zoo is in the morning slot, if you want to watch the birds and from around 3.00 pm to 4.30 pm if it’s the animals you want to see. Sri Venkateshwara Zoological Park which is at the foothills of Tirumala, about 12 km from the Tirupati bus stand, is closed on Tuesdays. The timings are from 8.30 am – 5.30 pm from March to August and from 9.00 am – 5.00 pm from September to February.
Regional Science Centre
Children would find this place interesting. There are life sized models of the evolution of creatures, both endangered and extinct ones as well. There are 3 D shows, galleries on science, an outdoor science park as well as fairs and sky watching programmes. There are in-house guides to explain the features of the exhibits. Regional Science Centre is a must visit for children and folks interested in science.
Regional Science Centre is about 10 km from the Tirupati railway station.
Rayalacheruvu Water Tank
After a visit to the temples, take a break with some awesome water sports. Surrounded by beautiful hills, the Rayalacheruvu Tank is a good place for kayaking, canoeing or sailing off on inflatable motor boats or pedal boats. The place gets busy on monsoon weekends, when the lake brims over and the boats get ready to sail.
Rayalacheruvu Water Tank is about 19 km from Tirupati.
Encircled by lush green forests, lofty hills and with wild flora and fauna, Talakona is one of the best places you could visit in Tirupati if you are looking for a tryst with nature. Trek up the hill to the Talakona falls that cascades down from about 270 m. The Talakona Waterfall is considered the highest in Andhra Pradesh and one of the best in India. The Talakona waterfalls are located in Sri Venkateshwara National Park and are about 65 km from the Tirupati Railway Station.
More trekking zones are the Nagalapuram Trek that winds through beautiful rippling streams and the Tada falls Trek, some of the most popular trails amongst trekking enthusiasts.
Jungle Safari organized by the Tirupati Wildlife Management Division takes you on exciting eco tourist safari rides in Sri Venkateshwara Zoological Park. With panthers, deer, porcupines, Giant Squirrels and birds as inhabitants, it’s a stimulating ride through the enchanting forested regions of Pulibonu or Mamunduru on the Chittoor Kadapah border or through the waterfall locales of Talakona.
Sri Venkateshwara Museum
Sri Venkateshwara Museum has a rich repository of ancient artefacts and modern possessions spread over ten galleries. Check out among others, the items contributed by the regal dynasties of the South as well as ancient Roman and British coins, armoury, bronze idols and plates of the bygone ages. The Museum is located opposite the Vaikundam Queue Complex at Tirumala Hills.
You could also visit the Museum of Temple Art, located near the Govindaraja Swamy Temple and the Tirupati Railway Station.
Shopaholics would have a varied and wide array of things to choose from, if they are going on a shopping spree in Tirupati. You could buy Thanjavur paintings created extensively in the Madanapalle town of Andhra Pradesh , Kalamkari paintings on art forms and textiles, wooden Kondapalli and Etikoppaka (which are crafted out of soft wood and brushed with lacquer colors derived naturally from plants), exquisite terracotta pottery and bronze figurines of divinity.
The cuisine of Andhra Pradesh is renowned for its wholesome flavours and spicy food, notably its pickles and chutneys. With a combination of Tamil and Telugu cuisines, the temple town has ample choice of traditional veggie dishes which include a Puli hora (tamarind rice), along with a sarkara Pongal (sweet rice), vada, payasam (phirni) that are finished off with a creamy curd rice. Not to forget the laddus from the Tirumala Temple that one never fails to return home without!