The city of Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh is today synonymous with Sri Venkateswara Temple and has developed owing to the tourism it gets from pilgrims. It is one of the richest pilgrim destinations in the world and the busiest too. The word Tirupati has been derived from both Tamil and Sanskrit. In Tamil, Tiru refers to a holy or sacred and Pati is a Sanskrit word meaning husband or owner. The deity is hence known as ‘Owner of the Holy land’.
Sri Venkateswara Temple is centuries old and facts about its origin are still foggy. However, many kingdoms like those of Pallavas, Cholas and Vijayanagara Empire maintained its glory all these years. The visitors are expected to follow certain code of conduct here. Being a holy place, consumption of alcohol and meat is prohibited. The clothing is to be essentially decent. Taking a dupatta or wearing saree is a must for women.
Total population of Tirupati is 459,985, as per the census 2011 with a sex ratio of 969 females per 1000 males.
Telugu is the official language of the region.
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The period of July to February is more suitable for tourists, given the pleasant climate during these months. The Brahmotsavam festival happens in September.
Climate & Geography
City of Tirupati is situated at 13.65°N 79.42°E in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. Located in the foothills of Eastern Ghats, the city has an elevation of 161m. Summers in this city last from March to June and are hot and humid. The monsoon rains are moderate here, beginning from July. The winter season is also not very harsh and the temperature does not drop below 15°C.
Tirupati, being a major pilgrim destination is very well connected by all means of transport. The Tirupati Airport is located just 15km away from the city centre and has flights to all the major cities. The nearest International Airport is 130km away in Chennai.
A number of state and privately owned buses operate in the city and connect it to all nearby places. The well planned roads network and city buses help the people go around the city to different locations. There are also some free bus services operational in the city from railway station and bus stand towards the pilgrim spots. Tourists can also hire taxis to go around the city.
Tirupati Main is the major railway station receiving both passenger and express trains that connect this city to the rest of India. There are some other small railway stations in Tirupati also.
Shopping & Entertainment
Like all other pilgrim destinations, tourists can buy idols, photo frames and other religious souvenirs from here. The largest auditorium of South India, Sri Mahati Auditorium is located here and organises many cultural events. There are many parks set up by the state for offering a relaxed evening to tourists and well as natives.