Tirupati is a major pilgrim center in the world with millions thronging its Venkateswara Swamy temple. It is located in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh in the Eastern Ghats. The Venkateswara temple is on the Tirumala hills at the height of 853 meters, 20 km from Tirupati. A rich pilgrimage city, Tirupati is an educational and financial hub.
- Tirupati Railway Station –
Tirupati is well-connected by the railway network to cities like Chennai, Bangalore, Kochi, Trivandrum and Hyderabad. Renigunta Junction on the busy Chennai-Mumbai railway line is 15 km away. Tirupati Main Railway Station has five platforms and Tirupati’s other railway station, Tirupati West, serves as the terminal point for trains starting from Tirupati. Other stations at Tirupati are CRS Railway Station, Tiruchanoor Halt, and Chandragiri.
Tirupati Main Railway Station has as many as 17 tracks. Tracks from No.1 to 6 except No.4 receive trains and allow passengers to alight on platforms. The No.4 track, which has no platform, is deployed for shunting the engines. One of the tracks No.7 to No.13 is used to ferry rakes for intermediate overhaul. The remaining tracks have trains and surplus coaches parked on them. Four tracks have pit lines to facilitate maintenance and clean-up under the carriages.
The recent surge in a number of trains connecting the temple city has led to congestion at the yard. There are 28 trains that originate/terminate at Tirupati.
South Indian Railway Company opened a meter gauge line in 1891 started from Villupuram through Katpadi to Pakala. The Katpadi-Gudur line, on which Tirupati is located, is a broad gauge route now.
Tirupati Station Modernization Plan –
A plan to develop Tirupati into a world class station was approved by the Railway Ministry in 2008-09. Escalators, lifts, shopping malls, food plazas, and entertainment and recreation centers were included in the plan. Platforms at different levels were conceived to use the ground space available better. Separate routes for arriving and departing passengers, centralized lighting, waiting rooms, retiring rooms, seating areas, and Internet kiosks were also envisaged. But the plan is hanging fire because of the paucity of funds. The people in the region have been demanding the carving out of a new railway division with the headquarters at Tirupati. They are seeking a new Tirupati- Shirdi train, but these have not been accepted so far.
- Tirupati West Halt Railway Station –
Tirupati West Halt Railway Station (station code TPW) is in the Guntakal Junction railway division of the South Central Railway. It has ten trains running from it every day. Many trains originate, terminate or pass through this station. These include Tirupati Main-Katpadi Junction Passenger and Guntakal Junction-Tirupati Main passenger. The station serves 15000 passengers every day. Tirupati Airport is 16 km from Tirupati West Halt Railway Station.
- Chandragiri Railway Station –
Chandragiri Railway Station of the South Central Railway is Guntakal Junction division. Stations close to it are Tirupati West Halt and Tirupati. Many passenger trains stop here and the nearest airport is at Tirupati.
Restaurants near Tirupati Railway Station –
Tirupati has many good restaurants and hotels to enjoy the food and stay here at the best prices. Some of the popular restaurants are Hyderabad House, Maurya Restaurant, Idly Factory, Andhra Spice, Carrots,Vrinda Restaurant, Saptagiri Woodlands Restaurant Flavours, Hotel Dilli’s, Sri Kasi Annapurna Vasavi, Bajaj Woodlands, Manasa Fast Food, Trupati Multicuisine Restaurant, etc. It has only one 5 star hotel named Fortune Select Grand Ridge Hotel but has a number of 4-star, 3-star, 2-star, 1-star and budget hotels.
Food Delicacies of Tirupati –
Local Tirupati food has Tamil and Telugu cuisine influence. Rice is the main course and Chilli and spices are used freely. Tirupati has only vegetarian food as it does not allow non-vegetarian food. It also does not have bars and pubs. The traditional temple food, served on a banana leaf, includes curd rice, tamarind rice, vada and chakkara-pongal, miryala-pongali, appam, payasam, jaggery, murukku, dosa and seera. The Venkateswara temple offers laddus as prasadam. The temple authorities prepare 150,000 laddus daily. Other Tirupati sweets include sheermal, semia payasam, halwa, kaja and sweet rice. The spicy Andhra thali has rice, sambar, a curry dish, pickles, poriyaland kurma, papadum and a dosa. Popular Tirupati beverages include rich and creamy mango lassi, badam milk and masala paal.