Sunday, March 20, 2016

Tirupati - A Heritage, Religious or Natural Getaway?


That is he entrance to Tirupati
India is a religious country, period! And there is no dearth of holy cities in India. But did you know two of the top five ‘Most visited religious centers of the world’ are in India? Tirupati Balaji Temple and Golden Temple, in case you didn’t know. Anyways, since a long weekend is here and summer is done, for people in Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai – Tirupati is not a bad option for a getaway!

The only Part of the shrine you can click, because cameras are a strict no in the main premises

Spot the Shrine
No, I am not forcing anyone to believe in God. Nor am I asking you to get all spiritual but I have my reasons to claim why Tirumala Tirupati would be a good option for the weekend. I visited Tirupati a couple of years back, and to be very frank I had mixed feeling. Not a religious monk but I like history and spiritual aura that some places have. The history of Tirupati is one of the most complicated and unbelievable mythological stories ever (Not going to turn this article into a wiki article, don't worry). The never ending lines and the commercialization of darshan was annoying, given the fact that the complex is big enough to accommodate all the devotees and allow them to roam around freely and visit the Sanctum sanctorum. But at the same time, the calm and the positive vibes on the Venkatadri Hill or Venkata Hill is something you just can’t deny and the cleanliness of the area and beauty of nature around is just amazing!  

The Calm of the hills. This is where I stayed.
Unlike majority of the temple of South India, which are actually places where royal families held public gatherings, Tirupati was actually open to public and royals alike and had been growing as ‘the place where wishes come true’  for centuries now. Tirupati temple, the second most visited and richest temple complex is situated on one of the 7 peaks of  Seshachalam range or Tirumala Range hence is cooler than the close by areas and serves as a mini hill station. Being an important pilgrim center, devotees throng the temple grounds the year round and there seems to be no respite from the never ending crowd. But here is a secret, somehow the temple sees less footfall during Holi or Vasant Panchami and Ganesh Chaturthi so standing in the 300 INR queue would be a 2 hours affair max (it is very less trust me)! So now you know why I said this would be the perfect getaway.


Well, history seemed too much to I enjoyed the architecture.
Also if you are not a big devotee, you can always enjoy the beauty of the hills and the spirit that whiffs in the winds there! The Hanuman temple complex near the main temple, Chandragiri fort, Akaasa Ganga and Kapila Teertham Falls and numerous hike trails might also interest you and who knows you might spot a free wild spotted deer somewhere which are abundant in the area!


Structure at Swami Pushkarni Pond in the Tirupati Temple Complex
There are somethings to keep in mind when you visit this pilgrim town – book your tickets for the darshan online and make advance hotel bookings without fail and take the guest house a bit far away from the temple complex (reasonable rates and awesome views). And yes stay on Tirupati Hill and not in Tirumala. Local food stalls are open for almost 24 hours and are very reasonable.


Lord Anjaneya aka Hanuman's Massive statue at Tirumala
This was my experience and my take on why you should visit Tirupati. How was your experience? Or would you visit this place? Let me know in the comments below.

For Bookings, Please check these links:
http://www.tirumala.org/darshan.htm
http://www.ttdsevaonline.com/



Wilderness, Spring and no Flowers? Can't happen right!

10 comments:

  1. nice pics. i hv a plan to visit Tirupati temple at least for one time.

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    1. Thanks :) And yes do visit! It is a nice place.

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  2. The temple architectures are gorgeous. I know what you mean by commercialization of darshans... its sad...

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    1. I hope this commercialization stops at some point else the whole feel of temples would be lost completely very soon

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  3. Always wanted to visit this place! Such fabulous pictures :) Commercialisation is everywhere. That is the sad reality of faith in our country! Alas!

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    1. It is a very beautiful place Divsi! You would love it...but the commercialization part is a kill joy.

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