Teerthams are holy bodies of water situated in the vicinity of temples. Pilgrims bathe in them before visiting the temple, and it is water from such sources which is usually used to bathe the deity. Tirumala has many such Teerthams, among which the most famous one is certainly the Swami Pushkarini – the lake situated right outside the temple – which is believed to have been brought here all the way from Vaikuntam!
But there are many other such Teerthams located all over the hills. Here are some of them…
This is considered one of the most sacred Teerthams on Tirumala. For years, water for bathing the Lord used to be brought from here. There is now a dam here which controls the flow of water, and allows its use for other purposes. I remember visiting this place many years ago, when there was lots of water, and crowds of pilgrims were bathing. On this trip however, there was water all around from the various waterfalls, but there was just a trickle here, and even then there were crowds thronging for just a few drops of the sacred water….. Rather a pity that nobody had eyes for the beauty all around…….
Akasaganga literally means Ganga from the heavens. Here, however, Akasaganga teertham refers to a waterfall on the Tirumala hills. As with most sacred places, this one too has a story behind it – Once, Tirumalai Nambi, one of the most ardent devotees of the Lord, was carrying water from Papavinasam to the temple. He was met along the way by an old hunter, who asked him for water to quench his thirst. Tirumalai Nambi refused, saying that the water was meant for the Lord; and not for an untouchable like the hunter. At this, the hunter pierced the pot with his arrow and drank all the water. When Tirumalai Nambi protested, the hunter drew his bow and directed an arrow at the hillock, from which gushed out water. As Tirumalai Nambi stood, mesmerized by the sight, the hunter asked the sage to use the pure water for the Lord’s bath, and disappeared. Tirumalai Nambi was now convinced that the hunter was none other than the Lord himself, and from then, water from here is used for the Lord. It is believed that this waterfall originates at the feet of the Lord himself!
This one is believed to have been formed by the Sudarshan Chakra of the Lord, and I have already written about it. You can read that post at
The following Teerthams are also on the hills, and accessible by short treks. I have not yet visited any of them, but have heard lots about them, and these are certainly interesting places to visit.
This is where the sage Jabali performed penance and there’s a pond as well as a temple to Lord Hanuman beside it. It is considered a very sacred spot, but is not much visited because it involves a short walk (about 1 Km) to reach here. I too have not yet visited this, but you can read a wonderful account of this teertham at
Sanaka Sanandana Teertham
These are twin ponds named after the sages Sanaka and Sanandana who performed penance here. Read about a visit to these ponds at
Situated well inside the forest, the Tumburu teertham is one I have heard about, but know absolutely no details. To know more about this one, go to
Another waterfall in the heart of the jungle, this one is connected to Kumara or Karthikeya… Again, no details about this one which I wonder if I shall ever have the fortune to visit, but read an interesting account of the falls at
There are still more Teerthams all over the hill, all of which involve some amount of trekking. Unfortunately, (or maybe, fortunately…..) many people don’t visit these places, so not much information is available. Some of these are….
Gogarbham is another body of water, a source of a stream, which is considered to be a holy place. Today, a dam has been built here too…..
All the Teerthams mentioned so far are located on the hill. Most of them are in the forest range of Papavinasam. The only teertham at the foothills is the
This is where the sage Kapila is believed to have meditated, and there is a temple to Lord Shiva here. This is the only Shiva temple which is counted among the Vaishnavite temples of Tirupati. This is because the sage Kapila himself is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Located right next to a waterfall, the temple is a beautiful sight, and unfortunately is thronged by pilgrims at all times of the day!
There are lots of such interesting places on Tirumala, especially waterfalls and plenty of trekking opportunities. Read about one such interesting trip at
This at last concludes my series on Tirumala – not the entire Tirupati tour, but just Tirumala – the hills. We had hired a jeep to visit all the places of interest on the hill, and it cost us about Rs. 500. The bus is an easier and cheaper option, costing just Rs. 10 per person, but the buses are all point to point, and having Samhith with us, we did not relish the prospect of having to get in and out of different buses all the time…..besides, the jeep gave us the option of lingering on at places we liked, and rushing off from places we didn’t want to be in!
There’s lot more coming up, now about places to visit on the foothills and the temples around Tirupati, so look out for the posts coming up!