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Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam is famous for Lord Venkatesvara shrine.

Tirupati Balaji

Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh152 km of Chennai, Tirupati, the abode of the Hindu god Venkateshvara or the Lord of Seven Hills, is the backbone of Andhra Pradesh plgrimage and tourism industry. The world-renowned temple is situated at Tirumala hill, 10 km from Tirupati, at an altitude of 750 m above sea level. The strict rituals followed here are evident from the fact that until late 19th century, non-Hindus were not permitted to ascend the hill itself. The ancient shrine have blossomed with the generous aids and contributions of the all the kings from great dynasties of the southern peninsula including the Pallavas of Kancheepuram, the Cholas of Thanjavur, the Pandyas of Madurai, and the kings of Vijayanagar empire. However, the donations multiplied astronomically during the rule of the Vijayanagar dynasty and the legendary king Krishnadevaraya had statues of himself and his consorts installed at the portals of the Tirupati temple.

Raghoji Bhonsle, the Maratha general, visited the temple and said to be the first person to set up a permanent donation for the conduct of worship in the temple along with offerings of valuable jewels and a large emerald to the Lord. The emerald is preserved carefully in a box named after the General to this day. The rulers of Mysore and Gadwal have also been amongst the biggest contributors to the temple. Lord Venkateswara Temple at Tirumala is popularly known as the temple of Tirupati Balaji. The other noteworthy temples at Tirupati are Padmavati Temple dedicated to Goddess Padmavati, the consort of Lord Venkateswara. A visit to this temple also known as 'Alamelumangapuram' is customary to complete the pilgrimage to the Tirumala temple. Govindaraja Swami Temple was consecrated by Saint Ramanujacharya in 1130 and is one of the most important temples of the city. The 10th century Kodandaramaswami Temple dedicated to Sita, Rama and Lakshmana was built by a Chola ruler. Sri Kapileswaraswami Temple is only temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in Tirupati. Sri Kalyana Venkateswaraswami Temple at Srinivasa Mangapuram is believed to be the place where Lord Venkateswara stayed here after his marriage with Sri Padmavati Devi before returning to his abode at Tirumala.

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