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city, southeastern Andhra Pradesh state, southern India. It lies about 67 miles (108 km) northwest of Madras in the Palkonda Hills. Tirupati is known as the abode of the Hindu god Venkatesvara, Lord of Seven Hills. About 6 miles (10 km) northwest of Tirupati, at an elevation of 2,500 feet (750 m), is the sacred hill of Tirumala, which was considered so holy that before 1870 non-Hindus were not permitted to ascend it. At the hill's summit is a temple dedicated to Venkatesvara. This temple, nestled among sacred waterfalls and tanks (reservoirs), is a fine example of Dravidian art and is one of the most important pilgrimage centres in India. The temple, which is of great antiquity, is now the centre of Sri Venkateswara University (1954). Pop. (1981) 115,292; (1991 prelim.) 174,393.