Chennai is a beautiful and exciting place but just like any large city, it is very congested, polluted and noisy. Residents of Chennai are now beginning to take weekend breaks to interesting destinations located nearby as the culture of “weekending” is beginning to take hold here. In this blog, we will explore one interesting destination close to Chennai that is considered to be a religious place but in fact offers a lot more to visitors.
This destination is called Tirupati. It is a peaceful temple town surrounded by 7 hills called the Tirumala Hills or the Seshachalam Hills. This place has a holy vibe as there are many temples and places of worship in Turupati and surrounding areas. The Venkateshwara Temple is perhaps the most famous temple here and is atop of one of these hills. This unique geography of Tirupati gives it an interesting landscape that is uplifting to gaze upon and fun to explore.
The name Tirupati literally means “sacred Abode.” The word “Tiru” means “sacred” or “divine” while the word “Pati” means “abode” or “resting place.” This is because since time immemorial, this area has been a special place reserved for prayers and pilgrims, a tradition that continues to this day. An average of 40,000 to 60,000 pilgrims come here everyday to pay their respects, making it the most visited place in India and perhaps the world.
Interestingly, people of all faiths and ethnicities come here for the peaceful and spiritual vibes and to admire the temples, which are works of art in their own right. Most of the temples are over a thousand years old and are made with advanced building techniques and architecture that are superior to the construction technologies used today. Each temple is made with a lot of care and dedication and has its own significance.
The most important and famous temple here is the Tirimala Venkateshwara Temple. This important Hindu shrine is dedicated to lord Vishnu and said to be one of the richest temples in the world. Lord Venkateshwara is believed to be a form of lord Vishnu who has come to earth to save people from “Kali Yuga” or end times. Therefore, this temple is also called Kaliyuga Vaikuntha and the deity is called Kaliyuga Prathyaksha Daivam.
Besides the Tirumala Venkateshwara Temple, the city of TIrupati has a number of other interesting temples and ancient monuments that are very beautiful and worth visiting such as Padmavathi Temple at Tiruchanur, the Kapileswara Temple at Kapila Theertham, the Kalyana Venkateshvara Temple, Srinivasamangapuram, Thathayyaguntta Gangamma Temple of goddess Gangamma, Sri Kodandaramaswami Temple etc.
How to get there
The best way to get to Tirupati from Chennai tis to drive there. Tirupati is located about 150 Kms from Chennai in nearby Andhra Pradesh and can be reached within 3-4 hours driving time. The drive goes through some impressive forests and fields and the way there is very easy. The best and fastest route to take is Highway 716A but there is another way via Highway 16, which takes longer but is even more scenic and beautiful.
The second route via Highway 16 goes near Pulicat Lake, which is a large and beautiful body of water north of Chennai measuring almost 800 square kilometers. On this route, you can stop at Srikalahasti, an ancient temple town that is home to the heritage art of Kalamkari. Many fashion designers and garment exporters visit this place to procure readymade garments with the distinct Kalamkari designs that have become famous all over the world.
Where to stay
One of the best places to stay in the Tirupati Balaji area is Lake Valley Resort and Spa. This resort is relatively new and has a great location atop a cliff that overlooks the city and is surrounded by pristine forests. It is located only a few miles from the city center and has comfortable rooms, tasty food and impeccable service. If you’re thinking of coming to Tirupati for the weekend, this is the perfect place to book.
The best part about the Lake Valley Resort and Spa is that it has a great spa that is reasonably priced and offers some very useful services for weary travellers. The spa offers different types of authentic Ayurveda massages and treatments that will rejuvenate the body, mind and spirit during your stay here and allow you to return to Chennai relaxed and refreshed.
People who come to Tirupati from Chennai for the weekend end up spending a lot of time at the resort and therefore it is important that the property is fun to explore and has a all the comforts and luxuries needed for a fun and relaxing weekend. At Lake Valley Resort, you will find all the ingredients you need for a memorable travel experience and great weekend away from city life.