Tirupati – A sacred journey

Tripoto
17th Nov 2017
Photo of Tirupati – A sacred journey by Rashmi Shetty
Photo of Tirupati – A sacred journey 1/4 by Rashmi Shetty
Photo of Tirupati – A sacred journey 2/4 by Rashmi Shetty
Photo of Tirupati – A sacred journey 3/4 by Rashmi Shetty
Photo of Tirupati – A sacred journey 4/4 by Rashmi Shetty
Day 1
Photo of Tirupati – A sacred journey by Rashmi Shetty

A journey to have Sri Venkateshwara’s darshan – The God who dwells in seven Hills

Honestly this family vacation wasn’t my idea, it was my Dads idea as he overheard that my grandparents wished to visit Tirupati to seek God Venkateshwara’s blessings.

Sometimes, what's more interesting than the destination is the journey itself. I am glad to have agreed to go to Tirupati by train. I don’t remember the last time the full family was together all at the same time same place in that small train compartment,

The CHENNAI EXPRESS..........

Photo of Tirupati – A sacred journey by Rashmi Shetty

It is part of Indian tradition to be late for trains. We just cannot board a train with recreating the SRK scene! A true Bollywood fan as you may know. ????

MY LOVELY FAMILY...

Photo of Tirupati – A sacred journey by Rashmi Shetty

Tirupati. In the state of Andra Pradesh has the hectic buzz like any other city in modern India .

Tirpati marks the beginning of an uphill journey through the seven hill ranges , the journey through these enchanting hills leads to the temple town of Tirumala.

Photo of Tirupati – A sacred journey by Rashmi Shetty

Tirupati is one of the most ancient and sacred pilgrimages in India and there are several legends associated with it making it an interesting attraction. The prominent place to visit in Tirupati is the Tirumala Venkateswara temple. Other places of interest are the Padmavati temple and the Kondandarama Swami temple.

“Om Namo Venkatesaya. Om Namo Venkatesaya. Om Namo Venkatesaya.”

The powerful chanting inside Sri Venkateswara Temple exudes a positive energy that stays with you long after you have left the sanctum.

A visit to this temple is the highlight of any trip to Tirupati. The mad rush, non-stop chanting, high security, heavily adorned idol and the compelling aura around the deity – everything about Tirupati is simply alluring. Nothing more, nothing less

This ancient and sacred temple of Sri Venkateswara is located on the seventh peak, Venkatachala (Venkata Hill) of the sacred Seshachalam ranges and lies on the southern banks…

Photo of Tirupati – A sacred journey by Rashmi Shetty

One must turn the pages of the holy Puranas to find the mythological concept of the holy Trinity . Vishnu manifested as Sri Venkateshwara Swami and the benevolent deity took up permanent residence in Tirumala . We know him by different names including Sri Venkateshwara Swamy, Tirumala Balaji, Gowinda and Srinivasa.

The Tirumala temple is a towering example of Dravidian architecture a style which dates back to the 7th century . This architecture has pyramid like structure known as Gopurams and pillared halls known as Mandapams with inscriptions and hand crafted sculptures that tells stories of different dynasties

Photo of Tirupati – A sacred journey by Rashmi Shetty
Photo of Tirupati – A sacred journey by Rashmi Shetty
Photo of Tirupati – A sacred journey by Rashmi Shetty
Photo of Tirupati – A sacred journey by Rashmi Shetty
Photo of Tirupati – A sacred journey by Rashmi Shetty

Millions of devotees come here to get a glimpse of the eight-foot tall idol of Lord Venkateswara adorned with gold, diamonds and flowers and standing under the gilded dome, Ananda Nilaya Divya Vimana.

Darshan of Lord Venkateswara teaches us the art of patience – Wait …wait. Your turn will come.

The path to fulfilling Darshan isn’t without efforts, for the journey is long, after waiting in line for hours, we reached the threshold of the inner sanctum for the darshan.

From the Bangaru vakil ( Golden entrance) a series of dark halls leads the way to the inner sanctum, each chamber narrowing its width . It is believed that this narrowing symbolizes the souls journey into the womb of the Divine. Which is why the innermost sanctum where the main deity resides is referred to as the Garbha Griha ( womb like chamber) . It’s here that we could see the Mool Virat of the Sri Venkateshwara Swamy stands tall at 8 ft in black stone.

Many devotees will have to follow their Line of sight within the Bangaru Vakil , If they are lucky they will get a few seconds . We were lucky enough to spend 5 mins in front starring at the idol of Sri Venkateshwara Swamy.

When I was 15 year old, my parents had took me to Tirupati. All I remembered about that trip was we were asked to sit in a huge que like cell and every few hours , the grill will be opened to reach the next few cells/rooms where devotees had to wait to take darshan of Lord Sri Venkateswara. I was too small to understand we are going to have darshan of God and got fed up with the waiting.

my Dad offering a Coconut.... 

Photo of Tirupati – A sacred journey by Rashmi Shetty

Try the Prasadam offered to pilgrims by the temple, it’s the famous “Tirupati ladoo”. After the dranshana we lined up for the Prasadam the Ladoos from one of the 60 counters, These ladoos are given GI. (Geographical indication status) which means there preparation and quality is unique to this temple and entitles only Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams to make or sell it.

the camphor lamp... 

Photo of Tirupati – A sacred journey by Rashmi Shetty

The laddu has a special place in the food story of the temple , it’s an integral part of the Nevedyam offered to the Lord,

Many other prasadams are also available including daddojanam (curd rice), puliohora (tamarind rice), Vada and chakkera-pongali (sweet Pongal), miryala-pongali, Appam, Paayasam, Jilebi, Muruku, Dosa, seera (kesari), Malhora.

offerings to the God ..

Photo of Tirupati – A sacred journey by Rashmi Shetty

Do try and visit Tirupati during the celebration of their various festivals (annual Brahmotsavam), the air is charged with energy as masses of people negotiate the crowd to pay their respects to the deity. The experience is surreal.

There is a tradition of Tonsuring (Shaving head).The objective behind shaving ones head for the lord is to demonstrate that he/she completely surrenders his/her ego at the feet of the Lord .

Tonsuring token ... 

Photo of Tirupati – A sacred journey by Rashmi Shetty

Lastly once you have taken the blessings you can roam around and scan those numerous stalls selling idols of Venkateshara  or other Gods as well as we can choose some souvenirs to take back home. 

Tip: Book your trip to Tirupati temple darshana at least a month in advance on Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) the official online booking site of the temple for darshana as well as accommodation, In the home page go through the online services where you will find availability of tickets for various sevas and accordingly you can book tickets for the sevas you like to attend well in advance. as about 60,000 pilgrims visit it every day, making it one of the most visited temples in the world.

You can also book a day tour with the TTD. They do offer packages for local temples for a fees of Rs 80 & surrounding temples package for Rs 100/200. It takes 6 hrs. For the local temple visit.

my dad taking a dip into the water at SRI KAPILESWARA Temple.. 

Photo of Tirupati – A sacred journey by Rashmi Shetty
Photo of Tirupati – A sacred journey by Rashmi Shetty
Photo of Tirupati – A sacred journey by Rashmi Shetty
Photo of Tirupati – A sacred journey by Rashmi Shetty

Don’ts:

1. Wear inappropriate clothing - Tirupati is a town for devout pilgrims and it is best for women to be dressed in Indian traditional dresses like a saree or a suit with dupatta.

2. Consume alcohol and non-vegetarian food - Hindu religion considers egg and fish as meat, so it is best avoided.

3. Carry phones/cameras/video cameras inside the temple - It is forbidden to carry any recording device inside the temple during darshan. Lockers are provided to stow such gadgets.

Location: Tirupati is a city in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

Local language: Telugu, English.

Best Time to visit: Nov- Jan when weather gets cool.

I guess this was so far the best family vacation ever. The smile on grandparent’s faces makes this trip worth it. It gave a sense of satisfaction. 

The smile on grandparent’s faces makes this trip worth it

Photo of Tirupati – A sacred journey by Rashmi Shetty

Makes me think I should plan such family vacations more often. Vacations will pull a family together and reinforce the fact that quality time is essential.

Photo of Tirupati – A sacred journey by Rashmi Shetty
Photo of Tirupati – A sacred journey by Rashmi Shetty

“Perhaps nothing helps us make the movement from our little selves to a larger world than remembering our creator in gratitude.”

1 Comment(s)
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Its nixe destination for visiting a devotional progress. Its must be important to us for joining to this places for our satisfaction againt our bust schedule in our life. So its must be important to visiting this place....
Sun 12 17 17, 20:58 · Reply (1) · Report
Indeed it’s a spiritual getaway for us from our busy chaotic life
Tue 12 19 17, 14:00 · Report