A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.
– Lao Tzu
|Lord Venkateswara swami temple|
Tirumala is a home town of lord Sri Venkateswara (Balaji) Temple located in Chittoor district in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
It comprises seven peaks representing the seven hoods of Adisesha, thus earning the name Seshachalam. The seven peaks are called Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrushabadri, Narayanadri and Venkatadri. The sacred temple of Sri Venkateswara is located on the seventh peak, Venkatadri (Venkata Hill), and lies on the southern banks of Sri Swami Pushkarini.The temple of Lord Balaji is located atop one of a range of seven hills – Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrushabadri, Narayanadri and Venkatadri.
For those of you who would like to climb the hills to Tirumala to fulfil a vow, there are two well-laid stone footpaths leading to Tirumala. These paths are called sopanamargas.One is Alipiri footway, and the other one is Srivari mettu footway.
Alipiri footway is the most used footway. It is of 9 km in length with well laid steps and shelters. There are 3350 steps. It takes approximately 3 to 4 hours to climb depending on your fitness.
Pilgrims can keep their luggage at Alipiri luggage center and can proceed to Tirumala. The luggage will reach Tirumala in less than 2 hours usually and the same can be collected by the pilgrims once they reach the hilltop upon producing the receipt obtained while depositing the luggage.
|Foot way Route map from Alipiri ti Tirumala|
As in the case of the Alipiri footpath, "Padala Mandapam" is the base of this footpath to let pilgrims start their trek with a pooja at the Mandapam.
On the way there are many interesting places amidst the forest range. Few to name include the deer park and the tall statue of lord Hanuman. If you wish, you can feed the deers with carrots.
TTD runs two free buses from the Tirupati Railway station to Alipiri, with a frequency of 30 minutes. Pilgrims who intend to walk up the hills to Tirumala can use these buses. Apart from buses there are many auto rickshaws to Alipiri from Bus stand, Railway station.
In the way to Tirumala there is a place called Gaali Gopuram where Divya Darshanam tokens are issued for pedestrians.
|Srivari mettu temple|
The centuries-old Srivari Mettu footpath, known as the second flight of steps to the abode of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala.
The Srivari mettu foot way is located at a village called Srinivasa mangapuram , which is at a distance of 15 kms from Tirupati. The footpath spanning 2.1 km, is the shortest to reach Tirumala hills, compared to the regular and popular route starting from Alipiri. though, is a short cut to Tirumala, devotees by and large use only the conventional Alipiri footpath.
This as an alternate route to reach Tirumala. It is mostly used by local people and traders. The foot way was once used by sages, including Annamacharya, and others.
|A view from the Srivari mettu foot way|
APSRTC runs buses to this place from Tirupati central bus station. TTD also runs free buses from the Tirupati Railway station to Srivari mettu, at a frequency of every 2 hours. Pilgrims who intend to walk up the hills to Tirumala can use these buses. Apart from buses there are many auto rickshaws to Srivari mettu from Bus stand, Railway station.
Divya Darshanam is newly introduced. Divya darshanam is a special darshanam for the piligrims who go to Tirumala by foot either through Alipiri or Srivari mettu.
TTD has established Bio-metric counters on these foot paths, to facilitate free darshan, It also provides free accommodation (P.A.C) and free food facilities at Tirumala for pedestrian.
DIVYA DARSHANAM - TIMINGS:
Divya Darshan facility is provided for only the pedestrian who come on foot to Tirumala from Alipiri or Srivari Mettu.
- The distance is 7 km ie 3650 steps. This way is opened almost 24 hours. Divya Darshanam tickets are issue at “Gali Gopuram”.
- Distance for Tirupati to Srivari Padalu is 12 km . The total distance is 4 Km i.e 2025 steps only. This way is opened from morning 6.00 AM to evening 6.00 PM only. Divya Darshanam tickets are issued near at the 1050th step.
CAUTION FOR PEDESTRIANS:
Pilgrims suffering from chronic illness like BP, Heart and Lung diseases are advised not to climb up the hills on foot. Drinking water and toilets are available all along the foot path. Pilgrims are advised to go in groups and avoid going on foot between 10.00 PM and 4.00 AM.
|Now reach Tirumala|
HOW TO REACH TIRUPATI?
- Tirupati is well connected city to the major parts of Indian cities.
- You can reach Tirupati by Bus, Train, or Air.