andhra pradesh,  tirupati balaji, jay govinda

TIRUPATI BALAJI… IS THE RICHEST TEMPLE OF INDIA

“Faith is that miracle which dispels the dark clouds of doubt and opens the door of our heart towards sunshine.”

It is the faith that begets such an amount of devotee’s every day in Tirupati. Tirupati Balaji, located at Tirumala hills of Andhra Pradesh, is one of the most revered and wealthiest temples in India. The temple is dedicated to Sri Venkateshwara, manifestation of Lord Vishnu.  

Tirupati is always buzzing with tourists every day. Every time, devotees eagerly and patiently wait in queues for Tirupati Darshan to get divine blessings from Lord Venkateshwara.

My mother believes that no one can visit any temple unless God allows him/her to enter their abode. These words of mother I truly realized when I visited Tirupati Balaji temple.  If God gives you permission to visit his abode, he will clear all the obstructions.

We were in Vellore for treatment in March, 2019. It was our ardent wish to visit Tirupati but I was in dilemma.  As we all know, to get darshan of Balaji, prior booking is necessary.   But we didn’t have any prior booking. 

That night one of my friends posted pictures of Tirupati hill on FB.  I called her. She guided us properly. She told me that spot booking is available. So, need not to worry and advised us to visit the temple on weekdays. 

We decided to visit on Tuesday. From the Vellore taxi stand, we hired a cab. He picked and dropped us for Rs 4000. Our taxi dada was an expert guide. He told us to bring a voter card and aadhar card along with us.

We were thrilled to visit Tirupati. We started from Vellore at 2.30 am and reached Tirupati within 5 am. Taxi Dada took us to Srinivasam pilgrim amenities complex from where spot booking of tickets is done. There were big lines against each counter. Counter opens in the morning. Luckily we got the ticket for darshan at the time slot 12.30 pm. The price of the ticket is Rs 300 with Single Laddu free of cost. Srinivasam pilgrim amenities complex is very neat and clean and along with a booking counter it also comprises many shops of handicrafts, clothes etc. 

entrance
the complex

shops inside
showpiece for sale
outside the complex

After receiving the tickets, we had our breakfast in a restaurant and started our journey towards the wealthiest temple of India.

Tirupati hill is immensely beautiful. The blooming vibrant flowers make the journey more enchanting. The beautiful road enthralled us.

beautiful road
on the way
blooming flowers
vibrant trees

There is a check post while reaching the temple. The intricate design of the check post is truly commendable. The hills leaning over the check post makes the whole area magnificent. For the pilgrim service, there is a toilet near the check post.

check post
check post
we
outside the toilet complex

We reached the temple premises after 1. 5 hrs drive. The most awaited darshan which I didn’t dream of. It’s truly God’s grace that he permitted us in his abode. My ardent wish to visit the richest temple got fulfilled.

tirupati hill
well decorated roads

Driver Dada stopped the car in the parking lot. As it was 10 am and our allotted time to enter the temple was 12.30 pm, we had ample time. So, we roamed the temple premises. 

There is intricate and exquisite architectural work in and around the temple. The craftsmanship is so beautiful.here are myriads of shops and stalls. It is a perfect place for shopping.

entrance to the temple complex
stalls
stalls
shops

The temple complex is very huge. There is a big water body and a huge aalpona (patterns drawn on floor). The place was flooded by devotees.

inside temple complex

There are intricate and exquisite architectural work in and around the temple. The craftsmanship is so beautiful.

intricate detail work
elephant
designed column

The temple complex comprises of many buildings, mandap, statues, water body and many more. We roamed in and around the temple and took many photographs.

waterbody
aarati
inside temple complex
huge temple area

There is a huge mandap where devotees were resting.

mandap
outside the mandap

The intricate work at white towered temple is splendid.

temple
vertical garden
we

At 12.15 pm, we came back to the parking lot and dropped our mobiles and all the accessories in the cab. My husband and uncle changed their attire and wore dhoti. Now we were ready for darshan. At the entry point for darshan, security guards were checking tickets and the allotted time slot. After the checking, we entered the abode of the Lord. The queue in Vaikuntam Queue Complex was large but their administration was too good. There are many facilities provided by TTD for pilgrims.

 After standing half an hour in the queue, we got the opportunity of darshan. We got hardly 20-30 secs to gaze at the pristine beauty of Balaji. It was a divine moment.  Our mouths were agape. Sparkling glow of the Lord beautified our souls. The deity was glittering like gold as he was adorned with precious jewelries.  We were basking in the afterglow.

Devotees were shouting by saying ‘Jay Govinda’. We had our goose bumps and our eyes were felt with tears of joy. It was a divine moment which I will remember till my last breath.

After darshan, we came out from the exit gate and now it is our turn to collect free laddus. We went to the laddu complex. The whole building was filled with the beautiful aroma of laddu. There are enormous laddu counters. If any visitor wants to buy extra laddus, they can buy from there by paying at the counter. Price of one laddu is Rs 50 and its weight is 175 gm. Laddu prasadam started in 1715 and is one of the most loved prasadam.

world famous GI laddu

We ate laddu. They were very delicious and made from pure ghee. Before leaving the temple, we again roamed around its every corner and captured every details and moments through our eyes. It was a mystical experience.

 We came back to Vellore on that day and caught our train to Kolkata. That night I realized that without the permission of God, nothing happens. We make our plans, but only God made it happens.

Jay Govinda.

Visitor’s information

We ate laddu. They were very delicious and made from pure ghee. Before leaving the temple, we again roamed around its every corner and captured every detail and moment through our eyes. It was a mystical experience.

 We came back to Vellore on that day and caught our train to Kolkata. That night I realized that without the permission of God, nothing happens. We made our plans, but only God made it happen.

Jay Govinda.

Visitor’s information

Booking of tickets for darshan

The wealthiest temple of India is run by TTD, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, under direct control of Andhra Pradesh government. Administration, management and other services of Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, all are controlled and managed by TTD. Advance online ticket booking for darshan is done through website, https://tirupatibalaji.ap.gov.in, and Indian Post Offices. Spot booking is done in Srinivasam pilgrim amenities complex. The price of the ticket is Rs 300 along with a free laddu. Automated time slot provided against each ticket to avoid gathering.

Darshan

Every day the temple is flooded with devotees. Approximately lakhs of devotees come here to get divine blessings from Lord. Darshan is open for 18hrs on normal days and on peak days, it remains open for 20hrs. Devotees have to stand in a long queue to get a glimpse of the Lord. 

For the betterment of the devotees, TTD has constructed Vaikuntam Queue Complex. The complex has enormous halls interconnected to each other that lead to the main temple. TTD provides special amenities to the devotees standing in queue like milk, coffee, tea, water, well maintained toilets etc. in free of cost

Accomodation

TTD has constructed many complexes for the service of pilgrims. Srinivasam, Vishnu nivasam and Madhavam complex are one of them where staying options for the visitors are available. If possible, prior online booking of rooms should be done.  AC and non AC rooms are available here with a starting tariff Rs 200/-.  Myriads of hotels are also available. Online booking of accommodation in TTD are done through

https://tirupatitirumalainfo.com/srinivasam-complex/

https://ttdsevaonline.com/#/accommodationCal

Architecture of the temple

The temple complex is sprawling over 16.2 acres of land. At present, the height of the main entrance is nearly 50feet. SHANKHA NIDHI – PADMA NIDHI are the two angels installed at the third entrance to guard the treasure of Lord Venkateswar. On the right hand side of the main entrance, there is a large mandap and near to it is a tall copper statue of the emperor of Vijayanagara kingdom, Sri Krishnadevarayalu and his two consorts. 

 Kitchen of the temple is called Padi Potu where Sweets and savouries like ladoo, vada, appam, dosa, poli, sukhiya, jilebi, and so on, which are offered to the Lord are prepared here in large quantities. To the East of this kitchen is the ‘Flower Chamber’. 

All the flowers and garland offered to Lord are supplied from here and a flower well is constructed at the north of the flower chamber where the used flowers for worship are disposed here. The last and the most important gate for going into the sanctum sanctorum is this golden gate. The glimpse of pristine beauty of the Lord can be witnessed from this point.

Dravidian architecture has been used for the construction of temples. Garbhagriha, where deity resides, is also known as Ananda Nilayam. Here, Lord Vishnu is in a standing position and oriented in the East direction. Lord Venkates is adorned with precious jewels.

Donation

Donations are received from Devotees / Donors all over the world. The trusty board deposits all the donations in bank and utilizes the money accrued from the interest for the service of the temple and other expenses also.

Hair tonsuring

Hair tonsuring is another ritual where devotees offer their hair to the Lord to fulfill their vows. Tonsoring is done free of cost at Kalyanakatta building. Tons of hair tonsured here daily and they are sold in the international market. In 2017, female barbers are also employed for doing tonsuring.

Thulabaram

It is a special offering which is performed inside the temple. Devotees sit at one side of the weighing machine and on the other side materials like sugar, bananas, gold, and coins are placed weighing more than devotees weight. In general, this ritual is performed with new born babies.

Niluvu Dopidi

It is another offering where devotees offer their ornaments to the Lord in Hundi to fulfill vow.

World famous Laddu

In Tirupati, Laddu is distributed as Prasad. Tirupati laddu is world famous and has got Geographical indication tag. In this whole world, only TTD has the authority to make or sell this laddu.  Visitors can buy laddu by paying at counter for Rs50/each. One laddu weighs 175gm. .

Festivals

It is believed that Lord Sri Venkateswara enjoys festivals (utsavams), and therefore, every moment in Tirumala is considered a festive occasion. 

  1. Sri Venkateswara Brahmotsavams is one of the major events of Balaji temple which is celebrated in October every year. The event is held for nine days and lakhs of devotees gather during Brahmotsavam.
  2. Vaikunta Ekadasi- On this auspicious day, darshan of Balaji is allowed through a special entrance called “Vaikunta Dwaram” which encircles the inner sanctum.
  3. Rathasapthami – another important festival where Venkateswara’s processional deity, ‘Malayapp’ on seven different vahanas is taken out for procession around the temple.
  4. Janmasthami, Ugadi, Teppotsavam, Sri Padmavati Parinayotsavams, Pushpa yagam, Pushpa pallaki, Vasanthotsavam (spring festival) conducted in March–April, Ram navami are also celebrated.

Location

S Mada St, Tirumala, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh 517504

How to reach

By air- The nearest domestic airport is Renigunta. Regular flights from major cities are available. The nearest international airport is Chennai. It is well connected with major cities of India and abroad. Tirupati is nearly 200km from the airport. Cabs are easily available to each Tirupati.

By road- Regular buses from Chennai, Vellore and Bangalore to reach Tirupati. Cabs are also available on hiring.

 By train- There is no direct railway station in Tirumala. The nearest railway station is Tirupati railway station. The distance between Tirumala and Tirupati station is 26 km.

Points to remember while visiting the temple

  1. To get darshan of Balaji, prior booking as well as spot booking, both can be avail. For advance booking of tickets, log on to https://tirupatibalaji.ap.gov.in/#/login Website. And for spot booking, go very early in the morning to the booking counter and stand in the queue to get a ticket. Price of the ticket is Rs 300 with Single Laddu free of cost.
  2. Bring a voter card and aadhar card along with you for spot booking of tickets.
  3. No puja accessories like garland, flowers, agarbatti, sweets are needed for darshan of Balaji. Because nothing is allowed inside the temple.
  4. Do wear proper Indian clothes. Like salwar kameez with dupatta and dhoti kurta.
  5. Mobile phones and other gadgets are prohibited inside the temple.
  6. Try to avoid flowers at Tirumala temple. It is believed that all flowers of the sacred hills are for the Lord only.
  7. Laddu Prasad of Tirupati has a GI tag. It cannot be sold outside the temple. So, don’t buy laddu from any brokers or third party sellers.

I have tried to provide the necessary information regarding darshan of Tirupati Balaji. Hope this will be helpful for your visit to Tirupati. Please subscribe and leave your comments. Your comments and suggestions will help me to develop further.

4 Comments

  • Sudipta Majumder

    Very beautiful and informative creation. It will be more interesting, if some detailed descriptions of the temple and the idol of Balaji were added. Carry on.

  • Susmita Mitra

    As usual lovely write up and pictures .. I also wish to visit this place some day ..
    The mandir complex is actually situated in the top of Tirumala hill , please add the information ..

    Next time when you visit Tirupati and Tirumala ,Do the sightseeing also ..

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