Another popular tourist places in Tirupati is Silathoranam, a natural rock formation, with immense archaeological significance along with religious importance. Near to the Chakra Teertham Silathoranam is at a distance of only 1 km from the famous Tirupathi Temple. The rock formation is called as Silathoranam, which is Telugu Language means as rock (Sila) and arch (Thoranam).
With a height of 3 meter and width of 8 meter, it presents a captivating view. According to geological findings these rocks belong to the pre-Cambrian era and about 1.5 billion years old; suggesting billion years of history of Tirumala hills as well. It was in 1980s when geologists had found out that two different rock sets are connected through an exceptionally thin link.
There have been many views regarding its shape. Scientifically, this formation of rocks is associated with extreme climatic changes and corrosions. This phenomenon is considered to be very rare and termed as ‘eparchean unconformity’, denoting rare geological fault. According to another view, this rare rock formation of Silathoranam has been carved out of a quartzite.
According to beliefs, this natural rock is associated with Lord Venkateswara as the rock is naturally created in the shape of a serpent’s cover, some associate the shape of the rock with arch, discus and conch. Many also believe that Lord Venkateswara entered Tirumala through this place.
Another important feature of Sila thoranam is its exclusivity. According to Geologists, there are only two other sites in the world with similar features. One rock formation is in UK that cuts through the cape of Dalradian Quartzite while the second one is in USA- Rainbow Arch Bridge of Utah.
Irrespective of the reasons and beliefs, Silathoranam is a site worth visiting. Situated at a distance of only 4 km from Tirupathi Bus stand, Silathoranam is easily accessible. Usually devotees visit the Sila thoranam and Chakra Teertham together. Presently, TTD has made good arrangements of visitors who come to see this natural wonder. The area has been developed into a rock garden, adorned with flowers, natural rocks and ample of benches for tourists to sit and enjoy the view. It is also now popular as Sila Thoranam Gardens. Tourists can also find shops offering a wide array of wooden and artistic materials. Srivari Padalu, which is also visited by devotees, is located closer by.