Tirupati is situated at 67-km from Chittoor in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. Tirupati is one of the important pilgrim centres in India. The ancient and sacred temple of Sri Venkateswara is located on the seventh peak, Venkatachala (Venkata Hill) of the Tirupati Hill. This historic shrine of Sri Venkateswara is famous all over the country and attracts pilgrims from all over the country who stand in line for hours together to obtain a glimpse of the presiding deity for a few fleeting seconds.
The shrine is located on a hill at Tirumala, a cluster of seven hills known as Seshachalam or Venkatachalam with an elevation of 853m (2, 800ft.) above the sea level. It is said to be the richest temple in the world. This temple is a vibrant cultural and philanthropic institution with a grand history spanning several centuries.
All the great dynasties of rulers of the southern peninsula paid homage to Lord Sri Venkateswara in this ancient shrine. The Pallavas of Kancheepuram (9th century AD), the Cholas of Thanjavur (a century later), the Pandyas of Madurai, and the kings and chieftains of Vijayanagar (14th – 15th century AD) were devotees of the Lord.
Tirupathi is a fine example of dravidian temple architecture. The ‘gopuram’ or tower of the Tirupati Temple shows a characteristic feature of Dravidian architecture. The ‘Vimana’ or Cupola over the sanctum sanctorum is covered entirely with gold plate and is known as “the Ananda Nilayam”. The Shrine consists of three ‘Prakarams’ or enclosures. The outermost enclosure contains the ‘Dhvajastambha’ or the banner post and, among others, the statues of Vijayanagara king Krishnadevaraya and his consorts, and of Todarmal, the minister of Akbar.
The idol of the deity, the full figure of Lord Venkateswara or ‘Venkataramana’ or ‘Srinivasa’ or ‘Balaji’ has the attributes of both Vishnu and Shiva, preserving and destroying aspects of the Hindu Trinity.
Rameshwaram is an island situated in the gulf of manner at the very tip of the Indian peninsula. A very important pilgrim centre of the Indians. Rameshwaram is the place from where Lord
Rama, built a bridge across the sea to rescue his consort Sita, from her abductor, Ravana. This is also the place where Rama worshipped Lord Shiva to cleanse away the sin of killing Ravana. Both the Vaishnavites and Shaivites visit this pilgrimage which is known as the Varanasi the south.
Rameshwaram is significant for the Hindus as a pilgrimage to Benaras is incomplete without a Pilgrimage to Rameshwaram. The presiding deity is the Linga Of Sri Ranganatha, which happens to be one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of India. Rameshwaram is also popularly referred to as the ‘Benaras of the south’. In order to attain Moksha it is believed that the visit to Rameshwaram is mandatory.
According to the Hindu mythology i.e. the story of Ramayana Lord Rama performed thanksgiving rituals to Lord Rama after the battle at Sri Lanka and his triumph over the demon king Ravana. Owing to this Rameshwaram attracts Vaishnavites (worshippers of Lord Vishnu) and Saivites (worshippers of Lord Shiva) alike.Sri Lanka is at a distance of 24 kilometers from Rameshwaram. In fact the entire area of Rameshwaram is associated with various incidents from the Ramayana. Rameshwaram happens to one of the most visited pilgrim sites in India.