Venkateshwara temple made entirely in marble, it is modelled on the Tirupati temple.
finely designed mosque, it is named after the clay used for the
central arch, which was brought from Mecca. It has 15 graceful
arches, and an enormous prayer hall .
Medak St Mary's church
The church has a beautiful cathedral, one of the biggest in India.
Ananda Buddha Vihar
A Buddhist cultural complex with a shrine to the Buddha and meditation halls.
Famous for its grand architecture
Chitoor district 585 km (364 miles) South
of Hyderabad. The most popular destination for Hindu pilgrims
in India, Tirupati is the site of the Shri Venkateshvara
Temple, situated in the Tirumala Hills, 700 m (2,297
ft) above the town. The seven "sacred hills" of Tirumala are
believed to symbolize the seven-headed serpent god Adisesha,
on whose coils Vishnu sleeps. The temple dates on 9th century,
although it has often been expanded and renovated from the 15th
The aura that surrounds Lord Venkateshvara (a form of Lord Vishnu,
who is also known as Balaji) as the "Bestower of Boons"
has made his temple the most visited and the richest in India.
It eclipses Jerusalem and Rome in the number of pilgrims it attracts
- around 25,000 a day, and up to 100,000 on festival days. The
gold - plated doorway into the inner sanctum, proclaim the temple's
wealth. The jet - black stone image, 2-m (7-ft) high, stands
on a lotus and is adorned with rubies, diamonds and gold. The
deity also wears a diamond crown, believed to be the singlemost
precious ornament in the world. He is flanked by his
consorts, Sridevi and Bhudevi. The entrance portico has superb
life-size images of the Vijayanagara king and queens, who worshipped
Venkateshvara as their protective deity.
The entire complex is built to accommodate the huge influx of
pilgrims, who come to seek favours from Lord Venkateshvara. This
is one of the few temples in South India where non Hindus are
allowed into the inner sanctum. Devotees wait patiently in long
queues for a special darshan, and make offerings of money, gold
and jewellery that net the temple an annual income of nearly
1.5 billion rupees. The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD),
which runs the temple, employs a staff of 6,000 to see to the
pilgrims' needs and maintain the temple premises.
The temple complex includes a ritual bathing tank, and a
small Art Museum with images of deities, musical instruments
and votive objects. Surrounding it are green valleys and the
Akash Ganga waterfall, which is the source of the holy water
used for bathing the deity.
A unique feature at Tirupati is that many devotees offer
their hair to the deity, and there are seperate enclosures for
this purpose. It is belived that since hair enhances a person's
appearance, shaving it off sheds vanity as well. This offering
is usually made after the fulfilment of a wish. The hair - offerings
are later exported to the United States and Japan where they
are made into wigs.
Most pilgrims stop at the small Ganesha shrine in the foothills,
and at the Govindarajaswamy Temple in Tirupati town, before driving
up the hill to the Tirumala shrine. This temple, which dates
to the 16th - 17th century, is dedicated to both Krishna and
Vishnu. Built by the Nayakkas, the successors to the Vijayanagara
rulers, it is approached through a massive, grey outer gopura
that dominates Tirupati's skyline, and is carved with scenes
from the Ramayana. An exquisite pavilion in the inner courtyard
has carved granite pillars, and impressive sculptures of crouching
lions. The temple has a magnificent image of the reclining Vishnu,
called Ranganatha, coated with bronze armour. A short distance
north of the temple is the Venkateshvara Museum of Temple Arts,
with temple models, photographs and ritual objects.
Daily Darshan : 6.00 Am - 11.00 Am. Extra charges to join the
shorter queue for special darshan of the deity.