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Srimate Ramanujay Namah

Srimate Ramanujay Namah

On Foot to Tirumala

The sacred shrine of Srinivas (who is variously called Balaji, Benkateswara, Govinda etc.) is situated on a hill top. The entire hill is known as manifestation of Narayan, and therefore the

Alzhwars (12 top eminent vaishnava saints) never climbed the hill and offered their prayer to Srinivas from the foot of the hill. The concept is that setting foot over the hill is a disrespect to the Lord who Himself has assumed the form of a range of hills. The hill top is called Tirumala and its foot is called Tirupati. It is learnt that the great vaishnava acharya Sri Ramanuj only once climbed the hill moving on his knee, and thereafter on all his visits he stayed at the Tirupati down base itself. He learnt Ramayan from his teacher (who was also his elder maternal uncle)

called Thirumalai

Nambi staying for one year at Tirupati only. His study place was a Tamarind

Tree where Thirumalai Nambi used to come down from the hill top shrine of Srinivas everyday for teaching him Ramayana for he was a worshipping priest of Srinivas so he was compelled to stay at the hill top for conducting daily worship.

Now a days the road vehicles i.e., buses, cars, motorbikes etc. ply from Tirupati to the Tirumala temple by covering 19 km long hilly road full of sharp horizontal and vertical curves. There are two separate roads, one for the up traffic, and the other for the down traffic. Devotees may also go to Tirumala on foot by traversing 9 km long distance which is mix of steep to flat terrain.

The sacred hill called saptagiri is a range of seven hills one rising after another. The entire range looks like a serpent (Shesha nag) lying over the ground such that on a distant horizon one may see the thinner tail and thereafter the body and hood gradually becomes hefty and lofty. The shrine of Srinivas is located on the highest hood of the shesha.

 
 

1.

Foot route at a glance

The start point is called Alipiri Footpath, and its location can be guessed by the distance table

displayed herewith.

1. Foot route at a glance The start point is called Alipiri Footpath, and its location
1. Foot route at a glance The start point is called Alipiri Footpath, and its location
 
 
The entire route is built into steps, mostly covered with cement concrete roofs. A certain portion
 
 
The entire route is built into steps, mostly covered with cement concrete roofs. A certain portion
 
 
 
 
 

The entire route is built into steps, mostly covered with cement concrete roofs. A certain portion after SriLakshmi Narsimha temple is common to the road for the down traffic where hard shoulder on the one side of the road is used with roof cover for the devotees going on foot. The

Sl.

 

Point

Steps

Approx.

Remarks

 

Height

 

in

meter

1

Garuda circle Alipiri

     

2

i.

Srivari Padala Mandapam

     

ii.

of the left SriLakshmi Narayan

temple on the right

3

Raja Gopuram

1

   

4

Mysore Gopuram

250

40

m

 

5

Gali Gopuram

2083

333

m

 

6

Prasanna Anjaneya Swamy

     

7

Lakshami Narsimha Swamy

2850

456

m

 

8

Mokalimitta Gali Gopuram

2910

466

m

 

9

End point of Foot path

3550

568

m

 

important points along the route is detailed here below.

  • 2. The grand beginning point:

Twin temples are at the start point. The larger one on the right side has sanctum of Lakshmi

seated over the left thigh of Narayan. Here, separate shrine of Andal also exists. On the left side of the start point is Srivari Padala Mandapam which enshrines divine lotus feet of Lord Srinivas. It is said that Ramanuj was not climbing the hill and his teacher Thirumalai Nambi used to come down to teach him Ramayan. Under fond compassion, Srinivas left His foot prints under the tamarind tree enabling Ramanuj having glimpse of His holy feet. The on-foot devotees enter this shrine with great reverence after worshipping the deity of Lakshmi Narayan, the right side temple. The priest offers him a sandal to keep over the head and circumambulate the shrine three times. While circumambulating one offers respectful obeisance to Anjaneya swamy whose shrines is on the left of the devotee carrying out circumambulation.

Lakshmi Narayan Temple

Lakshmi Narayan Temple
Srivari Padala Mandapam

Srivari Padala Mandapam

After the worship of twin lotus feet, one enters a huge gopuram (tower) and the joureny begins from here. A notice is displayed here for the benefit of the devotees that almost at mid of the journey one can collect a token provided by TTD as a proof of undertaking the ardous journey on foot. This token is given preference in accommodation as well as darshan of srinivas at the Tirumala the hill top shrine. The issue of the token is done near Gali Gopuram before Prasanna Anjaneya swamy, and the checking of the token is done after the Prasanna Anjaneya swamy, just before sri Lakshmi Nrisimha Swamy shrine. One may refer to the route sketches shown here before.

After the worship of twin lotus feet, one enters a huge gopuram (tower) and the joureny
 

3.

Journey zones:

The journey stretch is divided broadly into two segments. First one is of avatar, and the last one

is of azhavar. The initial zone is also called Narayanadri which means the hills have been named after the sacred name of Srinivas and Narayandri is one of them.

Srivari Padala Mandapam After the worship of twin lotus feet, one enters a huge gopuram (tower)

In avatar segment the stone statue of all the ten incarnations of Narayan is installed at respective locations. The ten avatar are : Matsya (fish), Kurma (tortoise), Varah (boar), Narsimha (lower-half man, upper-half lion), Vaman (dwarf), Prasuram, Ram, Balaram, Krishna, and finally of Srinivas (at Tirumala).

Matsya avatar

Matsya avatar

Thalayeru Gundu is a huge rockmass on the right side of the footpath.

Thalayeru Gundu is a huge rockmass on the right side of the footpath.
 
Kurma avatar
Kurma avatar
The 2 nd gopuram is called Kotta gopuram which was built in 16 th century by
The 2 nd gopuram is called Kotta gopuram
which was built in 16 th century by Matla
Kumar Anantraja who also built the granite
steps for the devotees walkway. The statue of
the parents of the king is established inside the
Tirumala temple at hill top.
A view of the devotees moving on foot may be seen here where also one notice
A view of the devotees moving on foot may be
seen here where also one notice is displayed
indicating the location of the TTD’s token issue
counter which works as a proof of using foot to
come to the divine darshan of the Lord Srinivas.
Varah avatar
Narsimha avatar
Narsimha avatar
Vaman avatar Fond devotees are worshipping the foot steps: (i) lighting karpur, and (ii) applying turmeric
Vaman avatar
Fond devotees are
worshipping the foot steps:
(i) lighting karpur, and (ii)
applying turmeric and
kumkum.
This is the 3 gopuram and is called gali gopuarm located at 2083 steps at the

This is the 3 rd gopuram and is called gali gopuarm located at 2083 steps at the height of 333 m from the first gopuram near the start point of the on-foot devotional journey. This covers around 60 % of the vertical height of the total journey, and distance wise this is at about only 20 %. This suggests that initial 1.5 km is quite steep, and the devotees really enjoy the journey after this gopuram.

This is also called agra gopuram and is built in 16 th century by Matla Kumar Anantraja in honour of the merit of his parents.

The tall tower illuminates at night the urdhva pundra tilaka (thiruman) enhancing the grandeur of the hill during night.

 
Prasuram avatar

Prasuram avatar

 
One of the rare species is found in this stretch .

One of the rare species is found in this stretch.

 
The km stone indicates that Tirumala is at 7 km from this point which means 2

The km stone indicates that Tirumala is at 7 km from this point which means 2 km of journey has been coverd upto this point.

zone of spotted deer : a rare breed

zone of spotted deer : a rare breed
 
Ram avatar (kodanda Ram)

Ram avatar (kodanda Ram)

 
Haldhar Balaram avatar

Haldhar Balaram avatar

 
 
Deer park
Deer park
Krishna avatar The foot-route crosses the down traffic roadway through one underpass near Krishna avatar.
Krishna avatar
The foot-route crosses the
down traffic roadway through
one underpass near Krishna
avatar.
Hayagriva avatar
Hayagriva avatar
RO system drinking water and rest place near prasanna anjaneya swamy srivishnu sahasranam engraved on granites
RO system drinking water and rest place near prasanna anjaneya swamy
srivishnu
sahasranam
engraved on
granites fixed
to the left side
wall of the on-
foot route
which is
located near 4
km from start
point.
Km stone showing distance of Tirumala and Alipiri (Tirupati).
Km stone showing distance of Tirumala and
Alipiri (Tirupati).
Sample of section of devotees cutting across religious lines of belief.
Sample of section of devotees cutting across religious lines of belief.
Sample of section of devotees cutting across religious lines of belief.

Sample of section of devotees cutting across religious lines of belief.

 
 
 
 
Rare bird specie
Rare bird specie
Near foot hill in the initial stretch of the journey it is Narayandri, and on mid
Near foot hill in the initial stretch of the
journey it is Narayandri, and on mid
way it is Vrishbhadri and Anjanadri.
Devotees enjoying the prasad distribution at SriLakshami Nrisimha swamy temple. After Sri Lakshmi Nrisimha swamy the
Devotees enjoying the prasad distribution at SriLakshami Nrisimha swamy temple. After Sri Lakshmi Nrisimha swamy the

Devotees enjoying the prasad distribution at SriLakshami Nrisimha swamy temple.

After Sri Lakshmi Nrisimha swamy the on-foot

After Sri Lakshmi Nrisimha swamy the on-foot

After Sri Lakshmi Nrisimha swamy the on-foot

route and the down traffic road becomes common. Devotees take the valley side shoulder while vehicles ply on the hill side.

Critical zone from safety point of view: There is no raised kerb- shoulder and devotees on
Critical zone from safety point of
view: There is no raised kerb-
shoulder and devotees on foot
walk along the hazardous traffic
at blind curves. The foot path
zone is just painted in white
colour on the same level of the
road surface.
The public address system is very
effective and throughout the route one
enjoys the devotional songs.
view of access to Mokalimitta gali gopuram (steps 2910) Devotees chanting ‘Hare Ram, Hare Ram, Ram
view of access to
Mokalimitta gali
gopuram (steps 2910)
Devotees chanting ‘Hare Ram,
Hare Ram, Ram Ram Hare
Hare, Hare Krishna Hare
Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare
Hare’ and plyaing sweet music
throughout the on-foot journey
and now they are in view
reaching the Mokalimitta gali
gopuram. All are bare footed.
closer view of Mokalimitta gali gopuram
closer view of
Mokalimitta gali
gopuram
Moving past the Mokalimitta gali gopuram : the steepest stretch for the on-footers. Ramanuja shrine exits
Moving past the Mokalimitta
gali gopuram : the steepest
stretch for the on-footers.
Ramanuja shrine exits on the
left side after the gopuram.
This is the third zone called Narayanadri Sheshadri , the other two one passed earlier. The

This is the third zone called Narayanadri Sheshadri, the other two one passed earlier. The first one was Narayandri, the second one was Brishabhadri and Anjanadri. Refer foregoing photos and their foot notes.

 

4.

Azhvar zone

 
Poigai Azhvar

Poigai Azhvar

(saro yogi)

Bhutad Azhvar (Bhut yogi)
Bhutad Azhvar
(Bhut yogi)
Peya Azhvar (Maho yogi)
Peya Azhvar (Maho yogi)
Thirumazhasai Azhvar (Bhakti sar swamy)
Thirumazhasai Azhvar (Bhakti sar
swamy)
The poster has been fixed irresponsibly. TTD might have an eye on such acts. Tiruppanai Azhvar
The poster has been fixed irresponsibly. TTD
might have an eye on such acts.
Tiruppanai Azhvar (yogi vahan swamy)
Hope, one day, someone from TTD should have an eye on this. The information and complaint
Hope, one day,
someone from TTD
should have an eye on
this. The information
and complaint cell
conducted by Sri
Samugham was
informed on June 6,
2011
of this sort of
encroachment by tea-
stall hiding the view of
the details of the
venerable Azhvar.
Parkal swamy
Periya Azhvar (Sri Vishnu chitta swamy) arrival at the hill top
Periya Azhvar (Sri Vishnu
chitta swamy)
arrival at the hill top
Divinity of a tree Andal (Goda Devi)
Divinity of a
tree
Andal (Goda Devi)
Merging in the crowd of the devotees where every body has the sole destination of getting
Merging in the crowd of
the devotees where every
body has the sole
destination of getting into
the Q – Complex.
SRI NIVASAYA MANGALAM