Ted and myself are traveling for Tirupati Balaji darshan by a south bound train. Seated in A/C three tier compartment. This is fictitious but the conversation is to evoke interest.
Hullo, ted from New York. Oh I am mrs Balakrishnan from Mumbai nice meeting you.
First of all, I have come on a personal tour to India .Further, I have seen many places in Mumbai and now I am going to visit Lord of seven Hills Lord Venkateshwara.
Oh, I too am going for Tirumala Tirupati Balaji Darshan by IRCTC.Are you part of our crowd.
No No I booked a ticket for South bound train. I learnt that we get down at Renigunta and take a bus/car to the Hills.
Oh. is it so? But have you booked Tirumala darshan tickets, Tirumala room booking or Tirumala accommodation or Tirupati Tirumala devasthanams rooms. Nowadays everything is available online. You should have booked 300rs ticket in Tirumala online booking to get special Tirumala Tirupati Balaji darshan.
I heard different views about large crowd, availability of tickets, accommodation etc so I decided to go there and decide.
You can book online three hours in advance for Tirumala 300rs darshan and ac rooms in Tirumala through Tirumala official website. However it is better you check ttd darshan availability chart.
Daily lakhs of people visit Tirumala city to have a glimpse of this god. TTDC Tirumala is finding it very difficult to manage the crowds if we reach there without any booking. Even you have to stand in long queues for free Tirumala Tirupati Balaji Darshan, for buying Tirumala 300rs. tickets , 100rs rooms in Tirumala hills or 150rs rooms in Tirumala hills.
There are nandakam guest house Tirumala, ahobali mutt Tirumala accommodation, dormitory in Tirumala etc but availability is not assured. For your stay in Tirumala you have to go prepared so that you don’t get messed up and frustrated . You should enjoy every part of your journey. Okay you have one and half days so you can book any time. Now let me give you some information about Tirumala.
where is Tirumala located ?
Tirumala is situated 3200 feet above sea level and covers an area of 10.33 sq. miles.
which are the peaks surrounding the hills?
The seven peaks of seshachalam range Eastern Ghats viz Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrushabadri, Narayanadri and Venkatadri. The temple of Lord Venkateshwara is on the seventh peak. on the southern banks of sri Swamy Pushkarini, a holy water tank.
What is Tirumala?
Tirumala is a census town in Chitoor district in Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The town is part of Tirupati urban Development Authority and located in Tirupati Mandal of Tirupati revenue Division.It is a town where Tirumala Venkateshwara temple is located or it is the abode of the lord.
what is census town?
Census town is a town with more than 5000 people.75% are working outside agriculture. and has a maximum population density of 400 per km.
What is Silathoranam ?
Silathoranam is a natural arch and distinctive geological wonder is located in Tirumala at 1 km distance of Tirumala Venkateshwara temple.
How do you reach Tirumala temple?
You can reach Tirumala on foot, road, rail, air.
What is the significant feature of Tirumala?
The hill contains seven peaks representing seven heads of Adisesha the king of Nagas or serpents. Hence the temple is known as temple of seven Hills. The lord is also known as lord of kali yuga.
what is kali yug Does it represent the age of the earth?
kali yug is the” Age of downfall” is the fourth and final era in the spiritual evolution of man. This is also called iron age or kalyug. Yug denotes time cycle. Kali yug means period where there is lot of strife, quarrel, discord, contention. In Brahma purana it is stated that Kalyug will end in Feb 6898.
what is the dress code for Tirumala temple?
The dress code is white kurta, dhoti for males and sarees for females.
what is the cusisine of Tirumala?
Tirupati known for its world famous Tirupati laddus. It is prasadam at lord Venkateshwara temple.
You told you can go by foot ? How?
There are two paths to travel on foot. These paths called Sopanamargas.To fulfil their vows to lord Venkateshwara people take this route. The paths completely roofed and pass through seven hills which are part of seshachalam hills. The two paths are Alipiri methu and Srivari methu. Alipari methu stats from Alipiri Padmanabam temple . it has 3550 steps. It is old route. The distance is 11kms.
The Srivari Methu originates from Srinivasa Mangapuram 15 kms. from Tirupati. it is 2.1 kms long . This trail has 2400 steps and shorter than Alipiri.
What is the revenue of this temple?
The revenue of this temple is approx.. Rs2894 crores in a financial year. A six day Vedic ritual conducted from August10 to August 16. This ritual called Astabandhana Balalaya Maha Samprokshanam‘ ritual. This ritual held once in twelve years. It decided only to allow 30000 devotees to the temple. Hence there was a revenue loss from Rs3/- crore to Rs73 lakhs per day besides gold and other donations. A complete ban on the entry of devotees announced by TTD. Similarly online ticket issue halted for this period.
What are the neighboring districts of Tirumala?
It is 435km from Vijayawada, 571 Km from Hyderabad, 781 km from vishakapatnam.
what is the right time to visit Tirumala?
people flock to this place all through the year. There are no natural barriers or seasonal hazards for reaching or staying here in spite of hot and humid summers , cool winters and heavy rains.
Which are the nearby temples, sight seeing places their timings, fees, significance ?
Sri Govindraja swamy temple : Sri Govindraja Swamy temple is at 1 km from Tirupati Railway station and half km from RTC bus stand. It believed that Sri Govindraja Swamy was the elder brother of Venkateshwara. During the Muslim invasion in South Govindrajaswamy from Chidambaram brought to Tirupati till the situation calmed down. After the situation calmed down govindrajaswamy brought back to Chidambaram. However Govindrajaswamy appeared in the dream of Saint Ramanuja Acharya and asked him to take him back to Tirupati because he wanted to settle down in Tirupati. Then the saint asked the king to build the temple and houses for people working there.
There is also a story which says Govindrajaswamy performed the divine marriage of Padmavati and Venkateshwara. he took a huge loan from kubera King of wealth . However his left hand shows four lines an amazing sight and it indicate he is expected to return four times the amount So it is said he helps in managing wealth.People to increase and manage wealth visit this temple. This temple is open from 5a.m. to 9 p.m. and entry ticket is Rs5/-. After visiting Lord Venkateshwara and Padmavati people visit this temple and then proceed to sri kalahasti.
padmavathi temple :
There are many stories in the puranas to say lord Venkateshwara is actually lord Vishnu who came to earth seeking goddess Lakshmi who has descended as goddess Padmavati. The temple is 5 km from RTC bus stand and 5.5 km from railway station/ entry fee is Rs5/- The temple is open from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. The stories are given here,
lets see other sight seeing places in next blog
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