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Tourist Places To Visit In Tirumala
Who doesn't know about the historic and iconic city of Tirumala? It's the place where most of the Bollywood, Tollywood, and Sports celebrities often visit. Why? Because Tirumala is the place that has the most revered temple in India, which is also the richest in the world in terms of donation. The city is famous for the renowned temple of Tirupati Balaji or Shri Venkateshwara Swamy. But, it's not the temple alone that has made this place so popular. And in this article, we will uncover some of the best places to visit in Tirumala.
The Iconic Temple of Tirupati — Swamy Venkateshwara
The temple that has made this place so famous worldwide is housed right in the center of the city. Swamy Venkateshwara Temple or the Tirupati Balaji Temple is the most prestigious temple in the entire state and nation. The temple is located just 1 km away from the city's main bus stop. Millions of devotees including the famous celebrities of the film and sports industries visit this temple and seek blessings every year. People not only visit the place to offer respect but also to receive the Prasadam in the form of Laddu known as Tirupati Laddu. Overall, everything about the place is just superb and admirable. So the first place to visit in Tirumala is this temple. Now you know why!
The Solid Rock Formation — Sila Thoranam
Sila Thoranam is the second-best place to visit in Tirumala. It's located at just about 2 km from the city center and is primarily a natural rock formation in the shape of an arch. The best thing about the place is that it's one of its kind in the whole of Asia. Wondering what Sila Thoranam literally means? Well, it simply means "Garland of Rocks" and therefore, many people also call it the Rock Garden of Tirumala. Around 1980, the archeological department found this natural stone arch which is only the third in the world after Rainbow Arch at Utah in the USA and the Cut Through in the UK. The estimated age of the rock is about 2500 million years. The best time to visit this place is just before sunset when the entire place looks simply stunning.
The Holy Feet of the Lord — Srivari Paadalu
The third on our list is the Srivari Paadalu which is located 5 km from the city center. It's also known as Tirupada which means Holy feet of the Lord. This place is located near Sila Thoranam at the highest point of Narayanagiri. Legends say that this is the place where Lord Venkateswara first set his feet on Earth. One can view the footprint and the view of the entire Tirupati Temple complex looks stunning from the top of Narayanagiri hill. The footprints are protected in a glass and devotees are allowed to touch the glass for blessings. Moreover, the road that leads to this place from the main temple is simply stunning surrounded by a dense forest filled with green vegetation.
The Sacred Waterfall — Akasa Ganga
The next on our list is the most sacred waterfall in India, Akasa Ganga. It's located just 6 km from the main Tirupati Temple on the foothills of Venkatadri Tirumala. Historically, the water from this waterfall was supposed to be carried to the main temple only by the main priests. Even today, the tradition is followed but on certain occasions. Only the Tirumala Nambi family is allowed to perform this sacred task. These days the water lines have been laid out to automate this task. As per the mythology, it is believed that Akasa Ganga Teertham originated from the lotus feet of Swamy Venkateswara. Taking a holy dip in the water is considered to remove all evils and said to bring good fortune. Monsoon is the best time to visit this place.
The Thrilling Joyride — Sri Venkateswara Wildlife Sanctuary
After the temple visits, the best place in Tirumala as far as tourism is concerned has to be the Sri Venkateswara Wildlife Sanctuary. This natural park is located at a distance of 16 km from the city center and spread in an area of over 353 sq. km. This sanctuary was opened to the general public in 1989 and since then it has been capturing the eye of every nature lover with scenic beauty and waterfalls. One can spot tigers, leopards, fox, jackals, monkeys, hyenas, panthers, wild boars and so on. Different species of birds can also be spotted including Ashy Crowned Finch Lark, Crested Serpent Eagle, Kingfishers, Woodpecker, Indian Roller, and so on.
The Marvelous Waterstream — Talakona Waterfalls
At 60 km from the Tirumala city center, Talakona Waterfalls is one of the most famous water streams in and around the region. They are located in Sri Venkateswara National Park and offer a gorgeous view of the water falling from the height of 270 feet into the deep valley. This makes them the highest waterfall in Andhra Pradesh and also the most popular ones. A 241 m long canopy rope walk can be extremely thrilling. People who love to trek will also enjoy this place. As you walk on the canopy rope, you can spot monkeys, huge ancient trees, and amazing birds. The height of this rope is about 35 to 40 feet. There are a number of trek routes. So you can choose which one to go for depending on how difficult routes you can endeavor. Caves and temples are other things if you're interested in taking a visit.
The Healing Waterstream — Papa Vinasam
The next place on our list is the sacred water stream located just 6 km from the city center. This water stream is actually a small waterfall known by the name Papa Vinasam which literally means "Destroy your Sins". This waterfall is considered sacred because it is believed that it has super healing powers and anyone who takes a holy Bath in it will be redeemed of his/her sins. There is a separate dressing room facility available for men and women. If you don't want to take a holy bath, simply the sight of the water gushing from the top offers an extremely amazing view. A reservoir near this water stream is yet another fabulous site around the region along with a well-maintained park and a garden.
The Legendary Water Body — Chakra Theertham
Chakra Theertham is yet another sacred water body located just 3 km from the city center. Along with other fantastic locations, this is also one of the most visited sites in Tirumala. There is an interesting legend associated with this place. It is believed that Lord Brahma had the intention of observing penance here. So Lord Vishnu cleaned this place by plunging his Sudarshana Chakram. And that's how a crater was formed. Many locals and tourists gather around this place to view the beautiful water stream.
The True Masterpiece — Tumburu Theertham
A religious figure known by the name Gandharva cursed his wife because of her laziness. And because of the curse his wife was transformed into a toad. She was to live in the pond until the sage Agasthya came to this pond with his disciples. And as the sage described the divine powers of the pond, the toad was retransformed into a lady. And that's how this place got its name Tumburu Teertham. This was the story behind this place. It's just 10 km away from the city center and the route becomes publicly available during Phalguna Poornima every year in March. You'll spot 5 waterfalls as you get nearer to this place. No food or water is available. So remember to carry them along.
The Famous Shive Kshetra — Srikalahasti
At about 40 km from the Tirumala city center, Srikalahasti is a popular Shiv Kshetra in the region because of the Srikalahasteeswara Temple also known as Srikalahasti Temple. It was constructed in the 10th century by the Chola Kings from a single huge stone hill. Sri meaning a spider, Kala meaning a serpent, and Hasti meaning an elephant offered prayers here to Lord Shiva and attained salvation. The Kalahasteeswara temple is one of the most iconic Siva temples in India. There is 120 feet tall ancient gopuram over the main gate which is the most remarkable thing about the site. Besides, there are several other temples of religious significance in the area. This place is visited by thousands of locals and travelers to celebrate the Mahashivratri festival every year.