Considered the “Spiritual Capital of Andhra Pradesh”, Tirupati is nestled at the base of the sacred Tirumala Hills near the 11th-century Chandragiri Fort. It’s home to the holy Hindu pilgrimage temple of Sri Venkateswara and one of Asia’s largest zoos.
Things to do
Most visit Tirupati on a pilgrimage to the Sri Venkateswara Temple, which boasts striking Dravidian architecture dating back to 300 AD. Located at the top of a sacred peak, it’s often referred to as the "Temple of Seven Hills”. Thousands of devotees can be seen making the ascent every day.
Also located within Sri Venkateswara National Park is the renowned Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park, one of the largest of its kind in Asia. It’s home to white tigers, royal Bengal tigers and elephants, as well as sloths, macaques and an impressive array of birdlife.
Don’t miss seeing the temple of Sri Kapileswara Swamy, which is a popular destination for pilgrims to bathe before continuing to Sri Venkateswara. It’s located at the base of the Tirumala Hills near a sacred cave and waterfall that’s fed from the Papa Vinasanam mountain stream.
A short drive west of Tirupati takes you to Chandragiri Fort, an Indo-Saracenic-style fort dating back to the 11th century. Its elaborate Raja Mahal Palace now functions as an archaeological museum where you can gain insight into the fort’s construction and its associations with Vijayanagara kings.
Tirupati is just over three hours’ drive from Chennai International Airport and connected to Bangalore and Hyderabad by train. Buses, taxis and auto rickshaws travel throughout Tirupati.