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Fast Facts
Location : Andhra Pradesh
Attractions : Govind Rajaswamy Temple, Sri Venkateshwara Museum, Kothanda Rama Swamy Temple, ISKCON Temple, Kapileswara Siva Temple and Padmavathi Temple.
Best Time To Visit : October to March

Introducing Tirupati
Tirupati Situated some 170 kms north-west of Tamil Nadu's capital Chennai, Tirupai is said to be the richest and most important place of pilgrimage in the world. A pilgrimage town for Hindus, Tirupati draws thousands of pilgrims and common tourists from all over the world every year. Bestowed with many temples, shrines and dharamshalas, the town of Tirupati and the area around Tirumala Hills provides a wonderful insight into contemporary Hinduism practised on large scale. If you don't wish to wait in line for hours, then choose the day of your visit to the town with care. It is suggested to avoid weekends, holidays and special temple festivals, because you are likely to meet around 10,000 visitors during these periods.

How to Reach Tirupati
By Air : Tirupati has a domestic airport which is well connected by Hyderabad airport and the airport of neighbouring states. Tirupati is 15 kms from the city centre and the Indian Airlines office is situated at the Hotel Vishnupriya, opposite the central bus terminal. East - West Airlines has four flights a week to Hyderabad (Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday) and other flights to and from Chennai.

By Train : Tirupati railway station is served by several express trains going to many locations in South India. There are two trains that connect Tirupati with Chennai - the Saptagiri Express and the Tirupati - Madras Mail.

By Bus : The government bus stand, APSRTC Central bus station is about 2 kms away from the railway station. Express buses are available to and from Chennai to Tirupati. From Tirupati you can take direct buses to Hyderabad, Tiruchirappalli, Madurai, Vellore and Vijayawada and Bangalore.
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Places Where You Can Stay
At Tirupati a number of hotels, guest houses and tourist lodges are available at cheap rate near the railway station and bus stand. You may also stay in the Dharamshalas, located near the temple complex. Some of the famous hotels and lodges of the town are New Bhimas House, Bhimas Paradise, The Bhimas Hotel, Indira Rest House, Vasantha Vihar Lodge, Gopi Krishna Deluxe Hotel, Hotel Vishnu Priya, Hotel Mayura, Oorvasi International Hotel, Raghunadha etc.

Tourist Attractions in Tirupati
Govind Rajaswamy Temple : Just a five minute walk from the railway station takes you to the Govind Rajaswamy Temple. A visit to this temple is must and the modern grey seven story, gopuram (tower) is clearly visible from many points in the town. Built around 9th and 10th centuries, the temple complex has a large open courtyards decorated with lion sculptures and nicely ornate wooden roofs. Goving Raja Temple has two main shrines, in the northern side is Shri Govindaraja, while the other shrine has deities of Sri Parthasarathi. As you enter inside the temple there is a temple dedicated to goddess Laxmi. Adjacent to the first gopuram there is a shrine dedicated to Vedanta Desika. On the left of the second entrance there is a Kurma deity, Lord Vishnu as a tortoise. Close to the Vahana Mandapa, there is another shrine dedicated to Sri Ramanuja. Within the temple complex you will find the carvings depicting the scenes from the Ramayana and life story of Lord Krishna.

Sri Venkateshwara Museum : Right next to the Govindaraja Temple, there is a museum of Temple Arts. Here you can see several sculptures, idols of Krishna and other interesting collections. Inside the museum there is also a photo exhibit of the 108 Divya Desam temples and 108 Vishnu temples. The photo exhibition has a picture and name of each of the temples along with the names of the god and goddess along with their locations. Sri Venkateshwata Museum is open from 8 am to 8 pm.

Kothanda Rama Swamy Temple : Just two kms from Govind Rajaswamy Temple is the Kothanda Rama Swamy Temple. Built in 1480-1481, the temple is also known for annual temple festival celebrated in March - April, for Lord Rama's appearance day.

ISKCON Temple : The ISKCON Temple is situated at the foot of the Tirumala Hill. The presiding deities of the temple are Sri Sri Radha and Govinda. The temple has a beautiful garden with a variety of flowers and plants. One should remember that the deities' door remain close between 1 pm to 4.15 pm.
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Tourist Attractions Around Tirupati
Tirumala TempleKapileswara Siva Temple : Kapileswara temple lies at a distance of two kms from Tirupati along a sacred tank, Kapila-teertham. It is believed that the temple is located at the spot, where the sage Kapila was granted darshana (glimpse) of Lord Siva and his consort. Bathing in the tank is believed to wash out all sins.

Padmavathi Temple : Located five kms away from Tirupati, at Tiruchanur, this temple is dedicated to goddess Padmavathi, the consort of Lord Venkateshwara. In fact, a visit to Tirupati is not considered complete without paying a visit to Sri Padmavathi temple. Here, Sri Padmavathi is seated in Padmasana, holding lotus in both of her upper limbs. Besides Padmavathi, there are idols of Lord Krishna, Balarama, Sundararaja Swami and Surya Narayana Swami. According to ruler, non-Hindus are not allowed inside the temple, and one has to sign the testifying paper before entering the temple.

Chandragiri Fort : Chandragiri Fort is located 11 kms south-west of Tirupati. In the 16th century AD, the third capital of Vijayanagar was situated in Chandragiri. The original fort, predicted to built around 10th century AD, was taken over by Haider Ali in 1782, and later by British in 1792. A small museum is housed in the main building which has the collection of sculptures, weapons and memorabilia. The museum is open from 10 am to 5 pm, except Friday.

Tirumala : Tirumala is located at a distance of 20 kms from Tirupatin on Vyenkata Hill at a height of 2,800 ft. A pilgrimage town, Tirumala is home to Sri Venkateswara Temple, one of the most important Vishnu temples in India.

Kalyana Venkateswara Swamy Temple : About 36 kms from Tirupati, at Narayanavanam there is temple dedicated to Lord Venkateswara Swamy. Hindus believe, that this is actual place where the marriage of Lord Venkateswara and the goddess Padmavathi took place.

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