Renigunta Airport - also known as Tirupati airport - is located in Tirumala city in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India, and serves the city of Tirupati. It is currently a domestic airport with only one terminal, but plans are underway for its development to international status; 400 acres of land have already been set aside in preparation for expansion of the airport that currently has an area of more than 300 acres. As of July 2014 the airport is served by domestic airlines like Spice Jet and Kingfisher Airlines, and has flights to major Indian cities such as Hyderabad, Bangalore, Delhi and more. Managed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), Renigunta Airport also offers numerous options for retail and dining within its compounds.
Renigunta Airport is located about 14 kilometres east of Tirupati. To get from the airport to the city, passengers can choose to take a public bus that will take them directly into the city from the airport at a very affordable price. For most tourists, however, taxis are a more popular option for transportation as they are readily available and also relatively inexpensive. Car rental facilities are also available at the arrival lounge of the airport.
What to see and do
Tirupati - located at the foothills of the Eastern Ghats - is known mainly as a ‘pilgrimage city’ and is home to many temples and buildings of religious significance. It is an extremely popular destination for pilgrims and is one of the busiest pilgrimage centres in the world. Even if you are not religious, a visit to some of these magnificent temples should not be missed.
One such example is the Sri Venkateswara, one of Tirupati’s most ancient and revered temples. Located on the seventh peak of the Tirumala Hill (which has seven peaks, supposedly in representation of the seven heads of Adisesha, the king of serpent deities) the Sri Venkateswara is a key site of Indian religious lore. It is supposedly said in certain Hindu hymns that one attains ‘mukti’ (a state of enlightenment) in Kali Yuga (Age of the Demon or the Dark Age) only by worshipping at 2 temples - one of which is the Sri Venkateswara. The temple has also been described as the ‘Bestower of Boons’, and contains a massive 7-foot-tall idol of Lord Venkateswara (to whom the temple is dedicated). As such, the Sri Venkateswara temple is an extremely popular destination for devotees and tourists alike.
Other temples worth a closer look are the Goddess Alamelumanga Temple - dedicated to the compassionate Goddess Padmavathi, the consort of Lord Venkateswara and a popular stop before Sri Venkateswara Temple - as well as the Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple, which houses an idol of Lord Ganesha that locals claim is continuously growing in size.
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