A visit to Tirupati, for many, means a trip to the holy shrine of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala. And this temple, perhaps the richest in south India, is a hub of activity all day long. People wait at the many queue complexes. Rising above the cacophony of bells and announcements is the chant of 'Govinda, Gopala' and 'Om Namo Venkatesaya.'
Every other day is a festival here. But one of the biggest and the grandest is the Brahmotsavam which lasts a period of nine days. The festivities begin with the high priests unfurling the traditional sacred Garuda flag on the Dwajastambam (mast). Each day the lord will be taken out in a procession in a different 'vahana' or chariot. And it is a pleasure to watch.
What to see
The main attraction at Tirumala is the temple itself. And it is a huge complex. Make sure you get some of those famous Tirupati ladoos. The temple kitchen also dishes out tamarind rice, sweet pongal, and other delicacies.
Tirupati is well connected by road. There is a railway station at Tirupati, but for long-distance trains, Renigunta is the nearest station. There is an airport at Tirupati. Venkateswara temple is 22 km uphill from the town. You can either trek it up or take a shared jeep or bus.