The real temple run: Why Marasa Sarovar is a must-visit for anybody heading to Tirupati
Tirupati may not be a choice destination for those who love to gaze at mountains or hills, even though the place sits atop one of the seven Thirumalai hills in Andhra Pradesh. Heck, there’s really nothing much to do in the place apart from signing up for the many ‘temple runs’, or in other words, paying a visit to the many temples in the area. And, this is exactly what we did when we landed at Marasa Sarovar, a 5-star property situated there. Located on Karakambadi Road in Upadhyaya Nagar, Marasa Sarovar Tirupati is one of the 70-plus hotels owned in the country by the Sarovar Hotels group, which is headquartered in Haryana.
Dubbed as the first hotel in India whose interiors and design are inspired by the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu, the hotel doesn’t really exude a religious vibe at first glance. But on further prying, we learn that the hotel is designed according to the aesthetics of a classic temple, and at its heart lies a tribute to Vishnu and his ten avatars though ten different spaces in the hotel, starting with the swimming pool to the spa. At night, the hotel transforms into a riot of colours, as hundreds of lights dazzle and light up the entire property, coupled with an impressive fountain in the central open courtyard and water-body, which also resembles features found in a temple.
Upon entering the property, we couldn’t help but notice how neatly the structure blends with the majestic hills in the background. Indeed the hotel is built at the foothills of a short hill range, which is about the only view worth looking for in the area. The rooms (around 121, including suites) are adequate and functional and provide just about everything that is expected from a star hotel, including a super comfy bed, of course. We are not really sure if having a hill in a close range as a view from the room will impress everybody, but we were pretty happy with it, considering that we would be seeing a lot of them in the following days of our stay there.
Subhomoy De, the General Manager of the hotel, accompanied us for lunch on the first day. “One of the main aims of this hotel is to provide a comfortable destination for those who visit Tirupati during the temple season when people from across the country come for darshan,” says Subhmoy. Of all the temples, the one that sees the most number of people arriving in is the Sri Venkateswara Swamy Vaari Temple, and we paid a visit there on the last day of our trip. But before that, we made sure we had enough of the special Temple Food Thali at their Krishna vegetarian restaurant. The other restaurants are the Lotus Cafe and Somasura Bar.
Below is the list of temples and other tourist hotspots we paid a visit to, during our trip:
Sri Kapileswara Swamy Temple
Sri Kalyana Venkateswara Swami Temple
Silathoranam Rock Garden
Japali Anjaneya Swamy Temple
Sri Venugopala Swamy Temple
Prasanna Venkateswara Temple, Appalayagunta
Sri Venkateswara Swamy Vaari Temple, Thirumalai
In short, Marasa Sarovar Tirupati is the ideal destination for anybody coming to Tirupati to spend the night in. After all, in a town that offers not much in terms of entertainment or art, comfort is the next best thing! And, this hotel serves enough of it, but at a price.
Check their website for details on tariffs and offers.
(The writer was at Marasa Sarovar Tirupati by invitation)