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Tirupati & Tirumala photo gallery

Tirupati is a city in Chittoor district of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is a municipal corporation and the headquarters of Tirupati (urban) mandal, and of the Tirupati revenue division. As of 2011 census, it had a population of 374,260, making it the ninth most populous city in Andhra Pradesh. It is the seventh most urban agglomerated city in the state, with a population of 459,985.

Tirupati is considered one of the holiest Hindu pilgrimage sites because of Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, besides other historical temples, and is referred to as the "Spiritual Capital of Andhra Pradesh". Tirupati is also home to many educational institutions and universities. For the year 201213, India's Ministry of Tourism named Tirupati as the "Best Heritage City".

As per the book "Symposium" written by Dr. Jagannatha Rao, it was assumed that Tirupati might have been "Tripathi" and "Tri" might be a Sanskrit word referring to Lord of Tripathy of the sacred hill. In Dravidian translation, "Tiru" means "the sacred" or "Goddess Lakshmi" and "pathi" means "husband".

Tirumala (Upper Tirupati) town was an established centre of Vaishnavism around the 5th century A.D. during which it was praised by Alvars. The temple rites were formalised by the Vaishnavite saint Ramanujacharya in the 11th century AD. Tirupati survived the Muslim and British invasions. During the early 1300s Muslim invasion of South India, the deity of Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam was brought to Tirupati for safekeeping. The temple town for most of the medieval era part of Vijayanagara Empire till 17th century and its rulers contributed considerable resources and wealth notable by Krishna Deva Raya and Achyuta Deva Raya, Sadasiva Raya and Tirumala Deva Raya.

The temple was built and upgraded in parts by various kingdoms. The inscriptions in the temple were found in Sanskrit, Telugu, Tamil and Kannada languages which specify the contributions of the Pallava Kingdom around the 9th century AD, Chola Kingdom around the 10th century AD and the Vijayanagara Empire in the 14th century AD. During the 15th century, Sri Tallapaka Annamacharya sung many songs in praise of the holy town in Telugu. He compared it to be divine, including the rocks, streams, trees, animals, and adds that it is heaven on the earth.

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