Many Hindu pilgrimages are located nearest to nature such as mountain tops, river banks or sea shores. The natural environment is conducive to reflection, retrospection and meditation. Of all such destinations, pilgrimages atop the hills are more difficult because often the climb is long and arduous. It has been the wide belief that the difficulties encountered in performing to reach the holy shrines increase the spiritual and religious benefits of the pilgrimage. It also adds to the sanctity of the pilgrim centre. Tirupatti, in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh is one such pilgrimage on the top of Tirumala Hills.
Tirupatti town is located on the foothills of Tirumala hills. The famous Sri Venkateswara Temple is located on the top of the hill. Sri Venkateswara is incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the savior and preserver of the universe. Lord Vishnu is known as Balaji in North India and as Govinda in South India. Tirumala Hill has seven peaks or Saptagiri. Lord Venkateswara is also known as the Lord of Seven Hills. The popularity and sanctity of Venkateswara Temple at Tirupatti could be judged from the fact that about fifty thousand pilgrims take darshan of the eternal savior, per day.
The Tirumali Hills in Tirupatti is the second largest ‘rock mountain’ in the world. Added to this, the hill has seven peaks that has mythological symbol of the seven hoods of Shesh Nag, the Serpent God under whose hoods, Lord Vishnu lies in eternal slumber, on the ocean of milk, in Vaikuntha. The mighty and majestic Adishesha came to the earth as incarnation of Balaram, the elder brother of Sree Krishna and as Laxmana, the younger brother of Sree Ram. Those who have material or spiritual longings, get them fulfilled by visiting the holy shrine.
After paying homage to Sree Venkateswara at Tirupatti, devotees seek for the holy blessings of Varahaswamy in the temple located on the banks of Swami Pushkarini. On its north eastern bank, lies the Anjaneyaswami Temple that is visited by devotees for getting the sacred bliss for protection from all evils and boon for prosperity and peace. Taking a holy dip in Swami Pushkarini cleanses all sins and purifies the mind. There are other temples such as Govindarajswamy Temple, Kodandaramaswami Temple, Kapileswaraswami Temple, Prasanna Venkataswaraswami Temple, Chennakesavaswami Temple, Kariya Manikyaswami Temple and Perumala Swami Temple.
Although devotees throng around the holy shrine of Sree Venkateswara throughout the year, the best time to visit is during September to February because during this period, the atmosphere of the holy place is further sanctified by a number of festive occasions. Devotees may have to wait for 4 to 5 hours on queue for getting the darshan of Lord Vishnu. One can avail the special Seva or free dharma darshan that starts daily at 3.00 AM and continues up to 12.0 PM. The world famous ‘Laddus’ of Tirupatti taken as ‘Prashadam’ is a must-to-be-bought item for friends and relatives.
Those seeking for holy bliss, liberation or mokshya, unqualified non-duality, cleansing of the sins, protection from the evils, relaxation, meditation, self-realization and spiritual enlightenment, there is no other sacred place, better than Tirupatti.