Saturday, September 19, 2015

A NO CROWD Visit to Tirupati Balaji Temple

“Can we plan for Tirupati Balaji Mandir on 17th ?” An unexpected noon phone call from Hubby.

“I may, if you want to go…." I was quick to reply, but, added one "But" to it....

"But I won’t guarantee whether I would go inside the temple or not….if it’s too much of crowd, I may give up half the way too…” I clarified.

So, a quick plan was made with two other families, Hubby’s colleagues, Basav and Silky with their families. 

It’s been long time, though I felt like visiting this - one of the richest temples in the world, it was not in my wish-list as I heard it is one of the most crowded temples too. On an average 50,000 to 100,000 devotees visit the Tirupati Balaji temple at Tirumala every day. Sandip, Nabami, Mittal, so many friends of mine shared their experience with me that it’s just for 5 -10 seconds, one get a glimpse of the Idol of Lord Balaji. The pushing crowd and security personals would push you forward automatically.  

On 16th, the day was too hectic for me. Work, dizziness and the tension of facing huge crowd at the temple made me so exhausted that sleeping queen refused to come to my eyes even for a minute, though I tried to bring her in at least for 4 hours.

We started at 1:57 AM from Bangalore on 17th, while I vomited on the way twice, because of my uneasiness. I just recalled my pregnancy time that moment. We reached Tirupati town at 7:30 AM. We already had booked one hotel. This time, sleeping queen attacked me badly and took me to a deep sleep for at least one hour.

Somehow, I managed to get up from Bed at 8:30 AM, quickly took bath and tried my level best to be positive in attitude. We were out from the hotel by 9 AM.

In the first entrance of the Temple campus, we had a proper security check; every individual, the luggage, and the vehicle, all were scanned.

First entry  on the way to hilltop

Beautiful view, cleanliness of the town, stunning curvy roads made us fresh and positive. There was a special instruction on speed limit while driving up the Tirumala hill, 25 kilometer of ascent is to be completed not earlier than 28 minutes. In case, any vehicle reaches there early, it will be penalized for driving fast. 

Beautiful Rock- view

Don't drive fast, soak the scenic beauty and click few memories...

Mailar  family with lovely smiles...

Silky, utilizing all features of iPhone....

Beautiful curvy roads...

No Rush on the way....

Basav shaved his hair, and during that time, rest of us just had some quick breakfast in one of the roadside stalls. I was just amazed to see the cleanliness all around. Some people were sitting in the middle of the road even, to eat food.

Basav after shaving hair.....The Chanakya Look!!! :)

People eating food sitting in the middle of the Road

Yum, Yum Badam Milk

For darshan, the available tickets are free tickets (10-12hrs), Rs. 50 tickets Sudarshan (6-8hrs), Rs. 300 tickets Shegra darshan (3-4hrs). We had booked the Rs. 300 ones online and went to catch the queue at around 11 AM. But, we all were shocked to see that there was no rush, no as such queue, not many people even. We wondered if it was closed, but was not, Thank God! For Basav’s family, it was second visit and their eye-brows rose with a Big question mark. Probably, it was just because of Ganesh Chaturthi, and the start of Brahmoutsav.

We covered the whole queue area in 20 mins. No electronic items are allowed, such as camera, mobile phones, but they allow wallets. Everyone has to wear traditional dresses, for man, dhoti or kurta were mandatory and for woman, Saree, Salwar suit etc. There was a strict security check just before entering the main temple area. There were drinking water tanks in every 100 mtrs distance. And free food items were offered to the people while in the queue.

On the way, we saw many waiting rooms which were locked. Other days, the devotees are released from these rooms slot by slot, to make queues. The most important entrance of the place, where the statue of Lord Balaji is kept, aadat se majbur people were pushing forward for no reason, though there were not lots many people. Basav, from his previous experience suggested us to keep ourselves extreme right so that we could see the statue without any distraction. Luckily, I managed to keep some gap in the last moment, while hubby picked son on his shoulders and the divine moment stayed with me for at least 15 seconds while I kept  my eyes on the most desired statue at sanctum sanctorum.

While coming out from that space, there is another chamber where one can write his/her wish with a coin and drop that coin there itself. When the secret wish accomplishes, the person has to come back to say “Thanks”.
Prasad in the form of Ladoo is available outside the temple premise.  Two free ladoos which are very tasty, prepared with ghee and dry fruits are given per Sheegra darshan ticket. Each extra ladoo costs Rs 25. There is free food service also, but we were so tired that we could not eat it.

So, coming out from the main temple, there is another temple of Hanumanji. One can break a coconut and devote there. One thing, I noticed is that, you won’t hesitate to sit on the floor anywhere inside the campus, as it was very clean.

There are many food stalls, and lines of shops, where the stuff were not so costly, be it home décor, idols, devotional items or cloth.

Lovely experience it was…..Lucky was me as I did not have to give up half the way, not had to face crowd, and above all, had a longer glimpse of Lord Balaji!

Beautiful View while coming down from the hill....

While coming back, we had a great family time inside the vehicle, tired, but satisfied minds and souls.

Kids.....Tired but fresh....

Grabbed Tasty food in the Dhaba on our Way back...

At last, posing for a pic......


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