Since Tirupati is a high security risk zone, there is strict security check when you enter Vishnu Nivasam.Your baggage is screened and pilgrims are subjected to a body search.There is a huge expansive hall on the ground floor. On one side are the rooms booking and allotment counter. As and when rooms are vacated by pilgrims a sign board displays a room vacancy chart. Vacant rooms are allotted to those who are physically present and standing in queue.Generally you find there is a large influx of pilgrims coming into the complex in a continuous stream, many of them not needing a room, but only some shelter for a short period of time, before they proceed with their onward journey. The ground floor was teeming with such transit pilgrims and common toilets and bath areas are provided for their convenience.
There is also a canteen (Govindam) run by IRCTC on the ground floor whereas there is a TTD dining hall on the second floor providing free meals for pilgrims - morning afternoon and night. Apart from this free medical facility is provided to pilgrims who are sick or indisposed.There is a cloak room facility where you can deposit you baggage for safe keeping. They also provide an amazingly unbelievable facility for pilgrims proceeding uphill on foot. They collect your baggage at the complex and then deliver the same to you at Tirumala after a specified time.
The complex has 6 floors with 2 lifts operating throughout the day with pleasant faced and courteous lift men some of them physically challenged,performing their duties tirelessly.Each floor has close to 100 rooms and a total capacity of 600 rooms. Rooms are allotted for minimum two persons only. However there is no limitation on the number of persons staying in a room.Single persons will not be allotted a room though.Each floor has huge corridors which are frequently swept clean and maintained in sparkling condition.The corridors are designed in such a manner that they are well ventilated and receive plenty of natural lighting. Each floor is provided with fire extinguishers and sand buckets at strategic locations and also garbage bins for litter collection.
From our 6th floor corridor we had a vantage view point of the magnificent gopuram of the Govindaswamy Temple as well as the Lotus Tank. APRTC buses ply frequently from Tirupati to Tirumala and you have a bus leaving almost every 10 minutes or so. A one way ticket costs you Rs.45 adult/Rs.23 children while a return ticket costs Rs.82. You can board the bus right outside the entrance gate of this complex.
On the whole a very impressive complex with superb facilities for pilgrims - probably unparalleled anywhere else in India.
|Complex entrance where baggage screening and security check take place|
|Another view of the classy and magnificent complex|
|Pilgrims rest and relaxation area|
|IRCTC's Food Court|
|Sparkling well illuminated well maintained corridors|
|View of the Gopuram and water tank of Govindarajaswamy Temple|
|Bus Ready to depart fro Tirumala|