Tirumala, the abode of Lord Venkateswara, is one of the most visited pilgrimage destinations in India. While there are several modes of transportation available to reach the temple, trekking the stone footpath routes is a popular choice for many pilgrims. The two routes, Alipiri Mettu and Srivari Mettu are collectively known as Sopana Marg.
Pilgrims who choose to trek these routes are eligible for the Divya Darshan program, which offers a quick and free darshan facility, as well as free accommodation and food along the way. The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) has taken several initiatives to ensure the comfort and convenience of pilgrims who opt for this mode of travel.
Whether you’re a seasoned trekker or a first-time pilgrim, trekking the Alipiri Mettu or Srivari Mettu routes is a unique and rewarding experience that is sure to leave you with memories to last a lifetime. So, lace up your shoes, pack your bags, and get ready to embark on a journey of spiritual discovery and physical challenge!
Tirumala Darshan By Walk Guide
|Alipiri Mettu||Srivari Mettu|
|Total Distance||12 km||2.1 km|
|Number of Steps||3550||2400|
|Duration||3 to 4 hours||1 to 3 hrs|
|Start Point||Garuda Statue, Sheshachalam Hills||Srinivasa Mangapuram, Shri Krishna Devaraya Sadan|
|Divya Darshan Tickets Issued||14 thousand||6 thousand|
|Open Close Timings||6:00 AM to 6:00 PM||6:00 AM to 6:00 PM|
|Distance from Tirupati Bus Stand & Railway Station||4 km||17.6 km|
|Alipiri has a plain walk for about 1/5th of the distance||Srivaari steps are steeper than Alipiri and hence difficult to climb.|
Alipiri Mettu Route, Distance & Timings:
The Alipiri Mettu Route to Tirumala temple spans a distance of 12 km and features approximately 3550 steps. Pilgrims typically require between 3 and 4 hours to complete the journey, but this can vary from person to person.
To make the journey more convenient, TTD provides a free bus service from Tirupati railway station and bus stand to the starting point at Alipiri Mettu, which is 4 km away. From there, pilgrims can begin the trek on foot to the temple.
The starting point at Alipiri Mettu features a large Garuda statue, and although the initial steps are steep, the path is mostly covered with concrete roofs to provide protection from the sun and rain.
At Gaali Gopuram Entrance, a Divya Darshan Bio-Metric Token facility is available to pilgrims free of charge. After receiving the token, pilgrims must report to the temple within 24 hours. The path becomes smoother from this point onwards, with less steep inclines, and notable sights along the way include Sri Prasanna Anjaneya Swamy Statue and a deer park.
Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple, located at step no. 2850, features a Divya Darshan Token Checking Point where the token must be stamped for verification; an unstamped token will be considered invalid. Finally, after climbing 300-400 steep steps at Mokalla Parvatham, pilgrims will reach the entrance of Tirumala.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, this route was open 24 hours a day has been forced to close at 6 pm due to the presence of animals. This change has affected the accessibility and convenience of the route, causing inconvenience for travelers who wish to use it after 6 pm.
Srivari Mettu Route, Distance & Timings:
Srivari Mettu Route is an age-old pedestrian path that has been in use for centuries. With a total distance of 2.1 km and approximately 2400 steps, this path is longer than the Alipiri Mettu Route. However, the journey time may vary from person to person, with an average of 1.5 hours to reach the Tirumala temple.
To access Srivari Mettu Route, pilgrims can take advantage of the free bus service provided by TTD, which runs from Tirupati railway station and bus stand to the Srivari Mettu starting point. The starting point is located 17.6 km from the railway station and bus stand, and the Alipiri Entrance is situated on the way to Srivari Mettu. From there, pilgrims can begin their journey on foot toward the temple.
Please note that the Srivari Mettu Route is only open during the day, from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The route is strictly closed at night.
For those who are trekking the Srivari Mettu Route for the first time, it’s recommended to start at Srinivasa Mangapuram, Shri Krishna Devaraya Sadan, which is also known as Srivari Entrance or Srivari Starting Point. While the initial steps of the journey may take some time, most of the path is covered with concrete roofs, which protects pilgrims from harsh sunlight and heavy rains.
After covering a distance of 1250 steps, there is a Divya Darshan Bio-Metric Token facility available, which is free of charge. Pilgrims must collect the tokens and report to the temple within the specified time.
The word Srivari Mettu means the shoes of God. Therefore, it’s customary for all devotees to offer their prayers to the deity by keeping their shoes on their heads. At step no. 2050, there is a Divya Darshan Token Checking Point where the tokens must be stamped for verification. Without stamping, the token will be considered invalid.
Finally, after approximately 300-400 steps, pilgrims will arrive at the Tirumala entrance, marking the end of their journey. Overall, Srivari Mettu Route offers a unique and spiritual experience that should not be missed by any pilgrim visiting the Tirumala temple.
Complete Guide to Tirumala Darshan by Walk
- TTD offers free bus services from Tirupati Railway Station and Bus Stand to facilitate pilgrims who want to walk up the hills.
- Private vehicles can park at Srivari Mettu & Balaji Link Bus Stand at Alipiri and can be collected the next day at the convenience of the vehicle owners.
- TTD provides free luggage transportation services for pilgrims from the bottom to the top of the hill. The luggage counter is available at Srinivasa Mangapuram Temple, and the luggage can be collected later from the Luggage Room which is opposite MBC-37 in Tirumala.
- Both routes offer pilgrims clean drinking water, washrooms, shelters, lighting, medical assistance, and security guards to ensure safety.
- Pilgrims can avail of free accommodation and free meals at PACs (Pilgrims Amenities Complex).