Tirupathi is considered to be one among the several cities in the world where more number of visitors are paying a visit to have darshan of Lord Venkateshwara. Of course, people who are willing to visit the city should have pre hand knowledge about the city and important places in and around the city. The following are the some places which the pilgrims should know invariably:
Tirupathi Railway station: More and more number of devotees arriving from different parts of the country namely; India and other countries are regarding the railway station as a temple. They can get into Tirupathi town through the main entrance.
Sri Govinda Raja Swami Temple: This is a great temple near Tirupathi Railway Station. Sri Govinda Raja Swami, who is said to be the elder brother of Venkatachalapathi, the Tirumalaswara, got tired of measuring and measuring the treasure his younger brother got through the offering box with a measure (a vessel measuring for paddy or rice). In this temple the idol of Sri Govinda Raja Swami can be found lying in a resting posture having his head put on the measure. According to the legend, the place which is called as Tirupathi at present was earlier known as Govinda Raja Town.
Devasthanam Administrative office: This is the administrative office of Tirumala Tirupathi Devasom Board where about twentyfive thousand officers are working and five thousand employees are employed in the office alone.
Maha Nandi: Devotees going to Tirumala circumambulate and salute Nandeeswara the vehicle of Kapileswara, wash themselves in the holy water in the temple and proceed after bowing down to Sri Kapileswara.
It is an ancient temple installed and consecrated by Kapila Muni. He performed poojas and vazhipad here and it is believed that great Rishis like Athri bathe in the temple tank and bow down to Lord Siva and then reach Tirumala and then reach Tirumala through the cave and awaken Sri Venkatachalapathi by singing suprabhatha. Kapila Theertha is situated on the way to Tirumala three kilometers from the bus stand.
Alipiri Bus Stand Guest House:
The devotees arriving from different parts of the country and other places to pay obeisance to Srhi Venkatachalapathi take rest at Alipiri Guest House and go to Tirumala by bus from the bus stand opposite to the guest house.
Garudan toll gate arch:
This gate way known as Alipiri is said to be under the leadership of Garuda who greets the devotees arriving in millions with folded hands to bow down to Sri Mahavishnu, standing as the leader of Tirumala temple. Requesting Garuda the vehicle of Vishnu to permit them for Vishnu darshan the devotees proceed to Tirumala by vehicles remitting the toll fee here and the path to ascend the hill on feet also begins from this place. If the devotees who want to climb the hill on foot can entrust their luggage like suitcase, shoes etc. with the transport office free of charges and they can comfortably reach the top of the hill safely and securely.
Adivaram: The devotees who offered to climb up Tirumala on foot, mount the hill from Adivaram and the fixed time and date recorded by the computer for free darshan of Tirumala Bhagavan is given from here and the hand belt obtainable after payment of cash to worship the Lord is given from the Sudarsana ticket counter.
Devotees climbing upto Tirumala are blessed by Maha Ganapathi at Mala Vizhi temple. Devotees coming by the vehicles halt here, offer gifts and proceed after taking water required for their vehicles.
Tirumala Mukhadwara: This is the entrance to Tirumala, said to be the Kaliyuga Vaigunta of devotees by which the devotees who reach the hill top from Adivara by vehicles traversing several curves enter. The pious persons who get in proceed after bowing down to the Dwarapalakas Jaya and Vijaya who stand blessing them.
Geethopadesam: As soon as the devotees get in Tirumala they can see near the entrance the sight of Sree Krishna the incarnation of Mahavishnu exhorting and advising the Geetha to Arjuna in the battle field of Kurukshetra.
Enquiry Office/Reception office:
The enquiry office called as the Vicharna Kendra solves the doubts of the devotees arriving at Tirumala by lakhs by giving them necessary information.
This is the reception office which gives rented cottages and rent free rooms to the devotees for the purpose of staying.
Kalyanakkatta (place for shaving head):
This is the main centre, known as kalyanakkatta where the pilgrims can offer their hair which is considered to be one among the most important offerings at Tirumala. About 20000 devotees offer their hair here each day. It is said that there is no other temple in Asia where hair is given as offering each day like this. As there is not enough space for the devotees arriving here, the administration is constructing one more spacious building which is expected to be commenced shortly.
Dining hall: In Tirupathi, there is a dining hall which distributes apt food to the devotees coming after paying their obeisance to Sri Venkatachalapathi. About twenty five thousand devotees are given free food here from early morning till evening on daily basis. In the kitchen here, food is prepared in steam with the help of ultra modern gadgets which cannot be seen anywhere in Asia.
Vaikunta Thoranam: This is the main entrance through which the devotees get into the temple after giving their hair as offering and it is also known as Vaikunta Thoranam.
Lakhs and lakhs of devotees arriving for the vision of Tirumala Bhagavan enter the temple by the Vaikunta gate and all those have come for the darshan of Bhagvan, whether they are very important persons or those who have got tickets, can get at the Sreekovil only by Vaikunta gate.