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INTRODUCTION The town of Tirupati is one of the most ancient and sacred pilgrimage spots in India. The name ‘Tirupati’ means the «Lord of Lakshmi,» and should have been applied to the village on the Venkat hill, the dwelling of Lord Venkateswara. However, Tirupati is the town and transport hub at the bottom of the hill. The hill near the temple is called ‘Tirumala’ or the «sacred hill.» The temple here is said to be the busiest in the world, eclipsing even Rome, Jerusalem and Mecca in the number of pilgrims visiting it.
LOCATION Tirumala is in the extreme southeast of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. It is situated in the Chittoor district of the state. The Tirumala Hill is 3200 ft above sea level, and is about 10.33 sq miles in area. It comprises seven peaks, representing the seven hoods of Adisesha, thus earning the name Seshachalam. The seven peaks are called Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrishabhadri, Narayanadri and Venkatadri. Tirupati is 137 km from Chennai, 258 km from Bangalore, and 562 km from Hyderabad (via Kurnool and Cuddapah).
HISTORY All the great dynasties of rulers of the southern peninsula have paid homage to Lord Sri Venkateswara in this ancient shrine. The Pallavas of Kancheepuram (9th century AD), the Cholas of Thanjavur (a century later), the Pandyas of Madurai, and the kings and chieftains of Vijaynagar (14th-15th century AD) were devotees of this shrine.
It was during the rule of the Vijaynagar dynasty that the contributions to the temple increased. Krishnadevaraya had statues of himself and his consorts installed at the portals of the temple, and these statues can be seen to this day. There is also a statue of Venkatapati Raya in the main temple. The Maratha general, Raghoji Bhonsle visited the temple and set up a permanent endowment for the conduct of worship in the temple
|Monuments Of Tirupati|