As per the book Symposium written by Dr. Jagannatha Rao, it was assumed that Tirupati might have been Tripathi and Tri might be a Sanskrit word referring to Lord of Tripathy of the sacred hill. In Tamil, Tiru means the sacred or Goddess Lakshmi and pathi means husband. As per some Malayalam manuscripts, it was Tripati and Teeropaty amd Marathi reports translations by Baboo Rao depicts as Tripathy
According to Varaha Purana, during Treta Yugam, Lord Sri Rama resided here along with Sita Devi and Lakshmana on his return from Lankapuri.
Tirumala (Upper Tirupati) The town was an established centre of Vaishnavism around the 5th century A.D. during which it was praised by Alvars. The temple rites were formalised by the Vaishnavite saint Ramanujacharya in the 11th century AD. Tirupati survived the Muslim and British invasions. During the early 1300s Muslim invasion of South India, the deity of Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam was brought to Tirupati for safekeeping. The temple town for most of the medieval era part of Vijayanagara Empire till 17th century and its rulers contributed considerable resources and wealth notable by Krishna Deva Raya and Achyuta Deva Raya, Sadasiva Raya and Tirumala Deva Raya.
The temple was built and upgraded in parts by various kingdoms. The inscriptions in the temple were found in Sanskrit, Telugu, Tamil and Kannada languages which specify the contributions of the Pallava Kingdom around the 9th century AD, Chola Kingdom around the 10th century AD and the Vijayanagara Empire in the 14th century AD. During the 15th century, Sri Tallapaka Annamacharya sung many songs in praise of the holy town in Telugu. He compared it to be divine, including the rocks, streams, trees, animals, and adds that it is heaven on the earth. One example of such a song is:
kaTTedura vaikunTamu kANAchaina konDa
teTTalAya mahimalE tirumala konDa ||
vEdamulE Silalai velasinadi konDa
yEdesa puNya rAsulE yErulainadi konDa
gAdili brahmAdi lOkamula konalu konDa
Sree dEvuDunDETi SEshAdri konDa ||
Tirupati (Lower Tirupati)
There was no human settlement at Lower Tirupati until the year 1500. With the growing importance of Upper Tirupati, a village formed at the present day Kapilatheertham Road area and was named "kotturu" . It was later shifted to the vicinity of Govindarajaswamy Temple which was consecrated around the year 1130 CE. Later the village grew into its present-day form around Govindaraja Swamy Temple which is now the heart of the city. It has now gained a lot of popularity as a tourism place.
In 1932, Tirumala Venkateswara Temple was handed over to Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams by the TTD Act of 1932. In 2006, Tirupati Urban Development Authority(TUDA) and TTD together conducted "Tirupati Utsavam" which focused on the history of development of Tirupati town, kings who visited Tirumala and their contribution for development of the temple. The fourth World Telugu Conference, a conference for furtherance of Telugu language, was conducted at Tirupati during December, 2012 for three days.
Tirupati is located at 13.65°N 79.42°E / 13.65; 79.42 in the Chittoor District of South Indian State of Andhra Pradesh. It lies at the foot of Seshachalam Hills of Eastern Ghats which were formed during Precambrian era. One of its suburbsTirumala, which is the home to Sri Venkateswara Temple, is also located within the hills. Tirupati Urban agglomeration includes Tirupati(City) and its suburbs Tirumala, Tiruchanur, Chandragiri, Renigunta. Tirupati is surrounded by Srikalahasti towards the East, Puttur towards the South, Poothalapattu towards the west and the Seshachalam hills towards the North.
At 12 km point on the Tirupati – Tirumala ghat road, there is a major discontinuity of stratigraphic significance that represents a period of remarkable serenity in the geological history of the Earth. This is referred to as Eparchaean Unconformity. This Unconformity separates the Proterozoic Nagari Quartazite and Archean granite representing a time gap of 800 Ma. In 2001, the Geological Survey of India(GSI) declared the Eparchaean Unconfirmity to be one of the 26 "Geological Monuments of India".
Silathoranam, a Natural arch and a distinctive geological wonder is located in the Tirumala Hills at a distance of 1 km from Tirumala Venkateswara Temple. The Arch measures 8 metres in width and 3 metres in height and is eroded from quartizite of Cuddapah Supergroup of Middle to Upper Proterozoic(1600 to 570 Ma) by weathering agents like water and wind.
Sri Venkateswara National Park
Sri Venkateswara National Park is a national park and biosphere reserve which is part of Seshachalam Hills. The total area of the park is 353 km2. The park is home for about 1,500 vascular plant species belonging to 174 families. Some of the rare and endemic plant species like red sanders, Shorea talura, Shorea thumburggaia, Terminalia pallida, sandalwood, Syzygium alternifolium, Psilotum nudum occur in this region. Cycas beddomei is a species of cycad in the genus Cycas is found only in the Tirumala Hills.About 178 species of birds from this national park have been identified which includes the globally threatened yellow-throated bulbul, grey-fronted green pigeon, critically endangered Oriental white-backed vulture, large hawk-cuckoo, blue-faced malkoha, yellow-browed bulbul, Indian scimitar-babbler and Loten's sunbird. Among predators the leopard is quite common, along with the wild dog. Among reptiles, the most interesting species is the gliding lizard, found in some deep forested valleys. Another important reptile of this national park is the golden gecko.
Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park
Established in 1987, Tirupati Zoo or Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park is a zoo located at Tirupati and is Asia's Second largest Zoo with an area of 5500 acres. It is built on the concept of Hindhu Mythology. It exhibits only animals that are mentioned in our ancient epics like Ramayana, Mahabharatha, Panchatantra. The enclosures are also named based on Indian Mythology. It hosts wide range of animals, Reptiles and Birds like Deers, Monkeys, Lions, Tigers, Bears, Elephants, Peafowl, Grey pelican, Marsh crocodile, Starred tortoise etc.
Sri Venkateswara Gosamrakshana shala
It is home for Cattle received as a donation(Godanam). It was established in the year 1956 by TTD and later renamed to S.V. Gosamrakshana Shala during 2004. It is located at Chandragiri Road, Tirupati. It is maintained by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams based on the funds received under Sri Venkateswara Gosamrakshana Shala Trust. Activities of the Trust includes providing good environment, management, feeding to the Cattle. The milk and its products produced here are being used by TTD for daily rituals at Sri Venkateswara Temple and other TTD Temples.
Monsoon remains moderate and summer experiences temperatures ranging from 35 to 40 degrees Celsius. In winter the minimum temperatures will be between 18 and 20 degrees Celsius. Usually summer lasts from March to June, with the advent of rainy season in July, followed by winter which lasts till the end of February.The city experiences maximum rainfall in November during northeast monsoon season.
As of 2011 Census of India, the city had a population of 374,260. The total population constitute, 187,931 males and 186,329 females — a sex ratio of 992 females per 1000 males, higher than the national average of 940 per 1000. The Urban agglomeration had a population of 459,985, of which males constitute 231,456, females constitute 228,529 — a sex ratio of 987 females per 1000 males and 41,589 children are in the age group of 0–6 years. There are a total of 356,558 literates with an average literacy rate of 85.22%.
Telugu is the official and widely spoken language. While Tamil, Kannada and Hindi are the other languages spoken due to the large number of visiting pilgrims. Hinduism is the major religion and most of the temples in Tirupati are of Dravidian architecture.
The city celebrates all major Hindu festivals which includes, Sankranti, Ugadi, Krishna Janmashtami, Maha Shivaratri, Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali, Rama Navami, Kartik Poornima etc. Srivari Brahmotsavam is a nine-day event, celebrated during the months of September–October, the temple of Tirumala witness lakhs of devotees. During this festival, the processional deity Malayappa of Venkateswara Temple, along with his consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi, is taken in a procession in four mada streets around the temple on different Vahanams. Tirupati also celebrates a carnival named as Tirupati Ganga Jatara, held during second week of May every year. This is a week long festival where Goddess Gangamma (Grama Devatha) is worshiped. The tank behind the temple of Padmavathi Temple, Tiruchanur has Padma Pushkarini, where Chakra Snanam will be held on last day of Annual Padmavathi Brahmotsavams (Panchami Teertham). It will witness lakhs of Devotees taking a dip in the holy waters. Vaikunta Ekadasi, the day on which it is believed that Vaikunta Dwarams will be opened and the most important Vasihnavite festival, is celebrated in Tirumala and Tirupati with grandeur. Rathasapthami is another festival, celebrated during February, when Lord Venkateswara's processional deity, (Malayappa) is taken in a procession around the temple on seven different vahanas from early morning to late night. Sri Krishna janmastami also known as Gokulashtami is celebrated with great fervor at Tirupati. The Lotus Temple belonging to International Society for Krishna Consciousness(ISKCON) will be illuminated with lamps and paintings displaying themes from Srimad Bhagavatham. The celebrations include offering prayers to Sri Krishna, Utlotsavam, Annamayya Kirtana alapana, Geetha Parayanam etc. On this day 'Gokulashtami Asthanam' will be held at Tirumala Venkateswara Temple. TTD will also celebrate the janmastami at Sri Venkateswara Gosamrakshana Shala where prayers will be offered to cows, horses and elephants. The Maha Shivaratri and Kartik Poornima are the most auspicious occasions celebrated in Kapila Theertham.
Tirupati is known for world-famous Tirupati Laddu. It is the prasadam at Venkateswara Temple, Tirumala. Tirupati Laddu had got Geographical indication tag which entitles only Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams to make or sell it.
Arts, crafts and architecture
Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams established Sri Venkateswara Museum, one at Tirumala and the other at Tirupati. It has a wonderful collection of Tirupati temple architecture and historical artefacts, such as ancient weaponry, pooja items and idols. It has a comprehensive photo gallery that gives a unique insight into the Tirupati region's culture and traditions. It also boasts a meditation centre. In 1988–89 Archaeological Survey of India had established an Archaeological Museum in the Chandragiri fort at Chandragiri. It exhibits rich collection of stone and metal sculptures of Hindu gods and other cultural vestiges retrieved from other historical places like Gudimallam, Gandikota and Yaganti. It also includes galleries for medieval weaponry swords and daggers, coins and paper documents.
Tirupati Assembly constituency is one of the 175 assembly constituencies of Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly, India. Tirupati is part of Tirupati (Lok Sabha constituency). Varaprasad Rao Velagapalli of YSR Congress Party is the sitting Member of Parliament for Tirupati (Lok Sabha constituency) and M Suguna of Telugu Desam Party is the sitting Member of Legislative Assembly for Tirupati (Assembly constituency).
Tirupati Municipal Corporation (TMC) oversees the administration of the city. Tirupati was constituted as a municipality on 1 April 1886; it was upgraded to a second grade municipality on 1 October 1962, to a first grade municipality on 12 December 1965, to special grade municipality on 13 February 1970, and to selection grade municipality on 7 October 1998. Tirupati Municipality was upgraded to a municipal corporation on 2 March 2007. The area of the municipal corporation at the time of formation was 16.59 square kilometres (6.41 sq mi). While, at present the area of the city is 27.44 square kilometres (10.59 sq mi).
Tirupati Urban Development Authority (TUDA) is the urban planning authority. It was constituted in the year 1981, with Tirupati town and 89 villages under its jurisdiction. In 2008, it included Srikalahasti, Puttur and 69 surrounding villages. At present TUDA covers an area of 1,211.51 km2 (467.77 sq mi).
Tirupati has the status of Urban Police District; it has 25 police stations. Tirupati temple was deployed with 100 Octopus (Organisation For Counter Terrorist Operations) commandos to look over its security. This was formed by Government of Andhra Pradesh in the year 2012. The elite commando force has been specially trained for in house intervention, hostage rescue and Israeli combat technique Krav Maga.
At Alipiri, security zone was established to screen vehicles and pilgrims entering Tirumala, to safeguard the hills from terrorists and anti-social elements. To assure more safety in Tirumala-Tirupati, the government of Andhra Pradesh started a project called "Safe City-Tirupati": the Tirupati temple and the city will be placed under 24*7 CCTV surveillance with 3000 CCTV cameras, monitored from acommand-and-control centre. Baggage scanners and Explosive detectors are installed at several places.
Electricity to the city is distributed by Andhra Pradesh Southern Power Distribution Limited (APSPDCL), headquartered at Tirupati. The city mostly depends on groundwater for its needs, though it also gets water from Telugu Ganga canal and Kalyani dam. There are five dams in the vicinity: Kalyani Dam, Papavinasanam Dam, Gogurbham Dam, Pasupudara Dam, Kumaradara Dam, Akasa Ganga. all in the Tirumala Hill ranges. Of these dams Papavinasanam, Gogurbham, Pasupudara, kumaradara, and Akasa Ganga completely cater the water needs of Tirumala and Venkateswara Temple while 49% of Kalyani Dam water is being supplied to Tirumala and remaining water will be supplied to Tirupati.
Tirupati fals under the Tirupati Telecom District of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited. BSNL is planning to establish 27 Wi-Fi hotspots in the city. The city also had a Regional Passport Seva Kendra(PSK). PSK-Tirupati will cover Prakasam, Nellore, Chittoor, Kadapa, Kurnool and Anantapur districts of Andhra Pradesh and will come under Hyderabad Passport Office.
According to the National Urban Sanitation Policy, the city was ranked 117th in the country in 2009–10, with a total of 39.363 points. As a part of 'Swachh Tirupati', Tirupati Municipal Corporation has started household waste segregation programme. As of May 2015, 150 Tonnes of waste is being collected per day from households within the municipal limits. The city is the 11th most cleanliest city with 66 points in the cleanliness scorecard published by Union Tourism Ministry of India.
Tirupati is a medical hub with major hospitals situated in its vicinity. Many of these are either run under State government or run/funded by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD).
Sri Venkateswara Ramnarain Ruia Government General Hospital is one of the largest in the state of Andhra Pradesh, and the main government hospital for the Rayalaseema region. It is started in the year 1962 with a donation of Rs.5 lakhs from Sri Radha Krishna N. Ruia and 15 lakhs from Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams. At present it has 750 beds. Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences(SVIMS) is another major medical institute, founded in 1986.
Balaji Institute of Surgery, Research and Rehabilitation(BIRRD) for the Disabled has 250 beds; it was established in 1985 by TTD to treat patients suffering from polio myelitis, cerebral palsy, congenital anomalies, spinal injuries, and the orthopaedically handicapped. A non-profit organisation, it is run with funds from Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams and donations from the public. Government Maternity Hospital(GMH) in Tirupati is the largest maternity hospital in the state of Andhra pradesh in terms of number of deliveries. Established 50 years ago, GMH is thronged by Pregnant woman from Chittoor, YSR kadapa, Nellore, Anantapur districts of Andhra Pradesh and few areas of Tamil Nadu. GMH bagged "Best hospital award" under "sterilization and institutional deliveries category" from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for the year 2013. Aswini Hospital in Tirumala is a general hospital in Tirumala maintained by TTD.
Tourism is the major industry in Tirupati. Entire economy is directly or indirectly depends on Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams(TTD). TTD is headquartered at Tirupati. Established in 1932, TTD is an independent Trust which manages Tirumala Venkateswara Temple and other temples in Tirupati and all over the world. It is also involved in several social activities. Being a major religious tourist destination, Hospitality Industry is also a major industry in Tirupati which includes many 3 star hotels and lodges. Andhra Pradesh Southern Power Distribution Company Limited(APSPDCL) is also headquartered at Tirupati. Gandhi Road, Prakasam Road, V.V Mahal Road, AIR Bypass Road are highly commercial areas in the City. Major brands of Automobile, Textile, Mobile, Electrical and Electronic companies have their outlets in Tirupati. APIIC Industrial Park is located at Gajulamandyam, Renigunta. Industries like Sri Venkateswara Cooperative Sugar Factory Limited, AshwiniBio Pharma Ltd and others are situated in this park. Amara Raja factory is located at Karakambadi, Renigunta. Lanco cement factory is located at Eerpedu mandal. The majority of the city residents are employed under TTD.
Sri Venkateswara Mobile & Electronics Manufacturing Hub is planned to be established in Tirupati and a foundation stone had been laid by Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi on 22 October 2015. The Hub is spread over 122 acres (49 ha) Acres out of which Celkon will be established in 20 acres (8.1 ha) acres, Micromax in 15 acres (6.1 ha) acres, Karbonn in 15.28 acres (6.18 ha) acres and Lava in 20 acres (8.1 ha) acres with a total investment of Rupees 2000 crores.
Tourism sector is of great importance to the city. It is because of the presence of Tirumala Venkateswara Temple and a number of other temples in and around the city. It attracts large number of tourists which helps the tourism department of the state in generating revenue.
Tirumala Venkateswara Temple is the most notable temple for being the world's richest Vaishnavite temple of Lord Venkateswara. Beside Venkateswara Temple, the city is known for many other ancient temples, such as Padmavathi Temple at Tiruchanur, Govindaraja Temple, Kapileswara Temple at Kapila Theertham, Thathayyagunta Gangamma Temple of Goddess Gangamma is the Gramadevata of Tirupati, Sri Kodandaramaswami Temple etc.
Besides historic temples there are other tourist destinations in and around the city. Chandragiri Fort is a historical fort, built in the 11th century located in Chandragiri. The fort also host an Archaeological Museum maintained by Archaeological Survey of India. Established in 1987, Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park in Tirupati is the second largest zoo park in Asia, which covers an area of 5532 acres. Tirupati also hosts Regional Science centre.
Tiruchanur, Alipiri, Gandhi Road, Teertha katta veedi, NTR Circle, Tiruchanur Road, Tilak Road, Tirupati Central bus and railway station, SriKrishnadevaraya Circle(Leela Mahal) areas are the notable ones of the city.
The city is well connected to major cities through national and state highways. The National highways passing through Tirupati are, National Highway 71 which connects Madanapalle and Nayudupeta, National Highway 140 connecting Tirupati with Puthalapattu.
Constructed one in 1944 and the other in 1974, there are two all-weather, asphalt Ghat Roads between Tirupati and Tirumala. There is a total of 294.47 km of Roads within the Tirupati Municipal Corporation Limits.
APSRTC is the state owned transport service, which operates buses to various destinations from Tirupati bus station complex. The bus station comprises of three mini bus stations to various destinations, such as Srinivasa bus station for west-bound destinations, Sri Hari bus station for east bound destinations and Yedukondalu bus station is utilised for bus services to Tirumala. Balaji Link bus station at Alipiri is also used for bus services to Tirumala. Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams runs free buses from railway station and Central bus stand to Alipiri for pilgrims. The buses to Tirumala are known as Sapthagiri Express.
Tirupati is in close proximity with the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Hence, buses from KSRTC, TNSTC and SETC also operates their services. There are also private transport which operate in the city.
Tirumala foot steps
There are two footpaths from Tirupati to Tirumala. These paths are called Sopanamargas and are mostly used by pilgrims. The first (and oldest) path starts from Alipiri and has 3550 steps, totalling 11 km. At Alipiri there is a temple dedicated to Lord Venkateswara called Padalamandapam. There are four Gopurams (temple towers) along the way. The other path, called Sri Vari Mettu starts from Srinivasa Mangapuram and is 6 km long. Both paths are completely roofed and pass through seven hills (part of Seshachalam Hills).
Tirupati Main is classified as an A1 station in the Guntakal railway division of South Central Railway zone. Tirupati West Halt and Tiruchanur are the satellite stations, used for decongesting rail traffic at the main station.
Sri Venkateswara Airport is located 15 km from the city centre and has regular flights to Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam. The closest international airport is Chennai International Airport which is 130 km (81 mi) from Tirupati. Tirupati Airport is being upgraded to international airport. The new Terminal was inaugurated on 22 October 2015 by Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi.
The primary and secondary school education is imparted by government, aided and private schools of the School Education Department of the state. Majority of them are named after presiding deity of Tirupati temple, Lord Venkateswara and his concert Goddess Padmavati.
There are several universities and colleges including state government and Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam sponsored such as, Sri Venkateswara University, established in 1954; Sri Padmavati Mahila Visvavidyalayam, a dedicated women's university; Medical colleges include Sri Venkateswara Medical College and Sri Padmavathi Medical College for Women. Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences(SVIMS) is also a medical institute, Sri Venkateswara Vedic University to preserve, foster and promote oral traditions of Vedic, Agamic and Cognate Literature, with focus on right intonations. Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, a University established for higher learning in Sanskrit studies, Traditional Sastras and Pedagogy. Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University to strengthen education and services in the fields of Veterinary Science, Dairy Technology and Fishery Science in the State of Andhra Pradesh. Sri Venkateswara Institute of Traditional Sculpture and Architecture (SVITSA) run by TTD is one of the two institutions in India offering courses in traditional sculpture and architecture to students. Seven different Diploma Courses are offered in subjects such as Temple Architecture, Stone Sculpture, Sudai Sculpture, Metal Sculpture, Wood Sculpture, Traditional Painting and Traditional Kalamkari Art. Indian Institute of Technology Tirupati.
The city is set to get an culinary institute sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism (India) and Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research(IISER) which were allotted by Government of India to the state of Andhra Pradesh.
ResearchSri Venkateswara Medical College, Tirupati is selected for establishment of Multidisciplinary Research Units (MRUs), Model rural Health Research Units (MRHRU) by The Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR).
Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences(SVIMS), Tirupati is selected for establishment of college level Viral Diagnostic Research Labs
A sub-centre for All India Coordinated Research Project(AICRP) on groundnut is established at the Regional Agricultural Research Station(RARS), Tirupati to conduct research activities on new high. The research will help to meet the needs of the country’s 100 arid districts which receive less than 500 mm rainfall. RARS has so far developed 12 groundnut varieties.
A research centre for indigenous Cows had been established by TTD at its Diary form named Sri Venkateswara Gosamrakshanashala. The purpose of the Research centre is to protect the indigenous Cows and also to share the rare breeds among similar organisations. The Gosamrakshanashala already had distinctive high-worth breeds like Ongole breed of cows, while it is also trying to gather Sahiwal breed of cows from Punjab, Gir cows of Gujarat to the Centre, Tharparker and Kankrej cows from karnataka.
Sri Venkateswara Bhakti Channel(SVBC), the first 24-hour Telugu devotional channel dedicated to broadcast Hindu devotional programmes and live telecasts of poojas performed at Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, is being Telecasted from Tirupati. Started in 1949, Sapthagiri is a spiritual monthly magazine based at Tirupati and is published in Telugu, Sanskrit, Hindi, English, Tamil and Kannada languages. Both SVBC channel and Sapthagiri Magazine are run by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams. Telugu newspapers – Andhra Bhoomi, Saakshi, Eenadu, Vaartha, Andhra Jyothi, Andhra Prabha, English newspapers – Deccan Chronicle, The Hindu, Indian Express, Times of India, The Hans India are available in the city. Tirupati has All India Radio station and is served by FM stations like 92.7 Big FM, 93.5 Red FM.