TIRUMALA is the combination of two words : TIRU —— Holy or Sacred and MALA ——- Hill (in Tamil), translating to HOLY HILL.
At the 12km point on the Tirupati – Tirumala Ghat road, there is a major discontinuity of stratigraphic significance that represents a period of remarkable serenity in the geological history o the Earth. This is referred to as EPARCHAEAN UNCONFORMITY, which was declared to be one of the 26 Geological Monuments of India by the Geological Survey of India in 2001.
(1) SRI VENKATESWARA SWAMY TEMPLE is a landmark Temple. It is dedicated to Lord Venkateswara , an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, who is believe to have appeared here to save mankind from the trials and troubles of KALIYUGA. Hence, the place is also known as KALIYUGA VAIKUNTHAM, and lord Venkateswara is known by many other names : BALAJI, GOVINDA & SRINIVASA.
(2) SILATHORANAM, a natural arch and a distinctive geological wonder, is located in the Tirumala Hills, at a distance of 1km from Tirumala. The arch measures 8metres in width and 3metres in height and is curved out of quartzite by weathering agents like water and wind.
(3) SRIVAARI PAADAMULU ( The Lord’s Footprints), believed to be the footprints of Lord Venkateswara formed when He first stood on Tirumala Hills, about 15km from the Temple.
(4) PAPAVINASANAM located about 5km from the main Temple, is a reservoir as well as a Temple. The name originates from the legend that a bath in the water from the reservoir cleanses one from all sins (PAPAM). Originally, a waterfall flowing from a tributary of the SWARNAMUKHI River, the river was later dammed to control the water flowing out of the area. A part of the water flows to Papavinasanam Temple, where seven-headed channels open from a height of Deities, where you can bathe. A Temple, dedicated to Goddess Ganga, is located near the enclosure.
(5) AKASA GANGA is a natural waterfall believed to originate from Lord Vishnu’s feet. The water is used daily in the Temple’s activities.
** ALIPIRI METLU — This ancient path starts from Alipiri and consists of 3,500 steps which make a distance of 11km. At Alipiri, there is a Temple dedicated to Lord Venkateswara called PADALAMANDARAM. There are four GOPURAMS (Temple Towers) on the way.