Many pilgrims prefer to go on foot from the Tirupati to Tirumala to have the Darshan
of the Lord. It is also part of Sankalpam (commitment).
For those who would like to climb the hills to Tirumala to fulfil a vow, there are
two well-laid stone footpaths leading to Tirumala. These paths are called sopanamargas.
The more ancient of the two sopanamargas which starts from Alipiri at the foot of
the hills, is about 11 km in length, and is the commonly-used route. The other sopanamarga
from Chandragiri, though only about 6 km in length, is a more difficult route. It
is mainly used by the local people and traders.
Several facilities are provided to the piligrims who walk up the hills to Tirumala,
by the administration.
- Free transport of the Pilgrims luggage from the bottom of the hill to the Top.
- Well cemented steps with hand rails for support.
- Supply of potable water along the way.
- Toilets for both ladies and Gents.
- Well lit path way and security guards to ensure safety of the pilgrims.
- Small restaurants along the way for refreshments and snacks.
The pilgrims have to get to Alipiri toll gate ,where the steps to the Tirumala begins.This
is 4 K.Ms away from the railway station.They can then deposit their luggage at the
T.T.D transport office and obtain a receipt.On reaching the top, they can redeem
their luggage after producing this receipt. The foot way is 16 Kilometers in distance.It
takes roughly between 3 to 4 hours to reach Tirumala by this way.
The natural beauty along the way is breath taking.Though the steps at the start
are a bit steep, the rest of the way is quite even and one wouldn't need to strain
much.All along the way one can see pilgrims of every age climbing the steps with
equal gusto. There are small mandapams along the way where pilgrims can take rest.Though
the journey is physically tiring, it is a spiritually satifying one.
Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) runs two free buses from
the Tirupati Railway station to Alipiri, with a frequency of 30 minutes. Pilgrims
who intend to walk up the hills to Tirumala can use these buses. Below are the shape
of 7 hills in the form of lord's face when turned vertical.
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