Tirumala is a famous abode of Lord Sri Venkateswara, which attracts thousands of pilgrims every day. Along with other modes of transport, the famous route that many pilgrims prefer is walk path/footpath called 'mettu' in Telugu.
Recently, an image of a girl standing beside a signboard that reads: "Srivari mettu starting point. Total steps – 2388 and distance – 2.1kms" in both Telugu and English.
The image is going viral on social media with a claim that "Reliance has come up with a new way for pedestrians to Tirumala. Via this route, we can reach Tirumala in just 2388 steps. By the old route, however, 6588 steps had to be climbed. For everyone who wants to go for a walk on foot.#[email protected]"
The claim that the shortest footpath to Tirumala 'Srivari Mettu' is built by Reliance recently is FALSE.
The footpath is NOT recent and has been part of Tirumala history from a very long time.
When searched with the keywords "Srivari mettu", we found several YouTube videos and websites in Telugu language explaining the importance of Srivari mettu.
According to the publications, Srivari Mettu is another footpath to reach Tirumala Hills along with the Alipiri Footpath. It is also considered the shortest route to reach Tirumala hills. It is also described as Pathway to Lotus feet of Sri Lord Venkateshwara. It has around 2388 steps.
From Tirumala's history, it is said that this is the route that Lord Srinivasa himself took to reach Tirumala after six months of his marriage.
The claim also states the alternative mettu/ footpath has 6588 steps, which is also false. Alipiri mettu/ footpath is another route that is famous among pilgrims. It is approximately 9 km and has 3550 steps whereas Srivari mettu/ footpath is only 2.1kms to Tirumala. Local vendors reaching Tirumala on foot usually take this route.
According to various articles, this footpath is open from morning 6 am to evening 5 pm and the number of tickets sold per day is 6,000 only and it takes 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.) to reach Tirumala hills.
Therefore, the claim that Reliance has built the shortest footpath to Tirumala hills recently is FALSE.