Alipiri is a famous place in Tirupati located at the foothills of the seven hills that adorn the city. Historically, Alipiri was a stopping place for the pilgrims en route to the Venkateshwara Temple. From Alipiri, there is an old footpath that goes to the temple, which is the way that pilgrims used to travel there. Now, there are other ways to get there but this path is still considered sacred.
If you are going to Tirupati, you must stop at Alipiri and if possible, travel on the old path to the temple. The path has over 3550 steps and is now covered by a roof to protect pilgrims from sun and rain. There are also other facilities present here making the journey quite comfortable for anyone fit enough to take this ancient route.
“Alipiri” means “resting place” and was once a kind of base camp or reception for the hordes of pilgrims and worshipers going to the famous Venkateshwara Temple. It is said to have its origins as the spot where Lord Venkateshwara himself would leave his footwear. Even today, you can see some pilgrims carry a replica of the lord’s footwear on their head as they make their journey to the temple.
Alipiri is the traditional way to visit the Venkateshwara Temple and the perfect prelude to a mindful visit. Along the way, you will meet many pilgrims and visitors and also get many facilities like water and food for the journey, which is 12 Kms long. You will also see small shrines and temples along the way that are worth stopping at.. Here are some of the temples and structures along the way:
Srivari Padala Mandapam: This is a temple complex that has a temple dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara at Alipiri. Here, visitors can pray to the footwear and footsteps of Lord Venkateshwara and hence the name as “Padala” means feet.
Sri Lakshmi Narayana Swamy Temple: This is a sub temple dedicated to Sri Lakshmi Narayana Swamy at the temple complex that is east facing and incorporates a shrine dedicated to Andal.
Sri Vinayaka Swamy Temple: This is a temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha at he Alipiri Temple Complex. It is a located on the second Ghat Road and is a popular stopping point for devotees.
Gopurams: There are also 4 Gopurams or Temple Towers along the way that help guide the way, provide oversight and assist the pilgrims. There are eeral facilities in and around these towers that help ensure a safe journey for travellers since ancient times.
Festivals: The festivals held here breathe new life to the temple complex and the path. Several important festivals are celebrated here including Vaikuntha Ekadasi, Rathasapthami and the most important one: Metlotsavam. This festival is held once every 3 months and is marked by singing of devotional songs.
Security Checkpoints: There are some important security checkpoints here due to the sensitive nature of the site and the large number of people travelling to the temple. The Security Zone was set up in 2009 and does not hamper movement of devotees.
Where to stay
One of the best places to stay in Tirupati is the Lake Valley Resort. This is a luxurious and modern resort that has all the facilities needed for a great stay experience and a satisfying trip to the temple city. The resort has exceptional service as all the staff is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that your stay meets and exceeds all your expectations.
The location of the resort is very good as it is equidistant from the main places of worship, transportation hubs and tourist attractions. From here, travellers can enter and exit Tirupati easily and also have a safe stay in the midst of natural beauty and a pristine environment.
The Lake Valley Resort also has an amazing restaurant that offers delectable multi-cuisine fare at reasonable prices and a great ambience. From here, you can visit all the famous tourist attractions of Tirupati with ease and comfort and also travel to and from the Airport or Train Station. With comfortable accommodations in a scenic place, your trip is sure to be a big success.