Tirupati Balaji temple, where even 1 day does not go in 12 months of the year when there is no influx of devotees to visit Venkateswara Swamy. Lord Vyankatesh Swamy is considered the lord of the entire universe.
Who does not know the importance of the temple of Lord Tirupati Balaji located on the Tirumala mountain. Every year crores of people come to visit this temple. It is believed that this place is the center of attraction for most pilgrims of India. In addition, it is also considered one of the richest religious places in the world.
Lord Venkateswara or Balaji is considered to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is believed that Lord Vishnu lived for some time on the banks of a pond called Swami Pushkarani. This pond is located near Tirumala. The hills around Tirupati are called ‘Saptagiri’, built on the basis of the 7 fauna of Sheshnag. This temple of Sri Venkateswaraiah is situated on the 7th hill of Sapthagiri, which is famous as ‘Venkatadri’.
According to another observation, Saint Ramanuja climbed this 7th hill of Tirupati in the 11th century. Prabhu Srinivasa (another name for Venkateswara) appeared before him and blessed him. It is believed that after receiving the blessings of the Lord, he lived till the age of 120 years and wandered from place to place spreading the fame of Lord Venkateswara.
On the occasion of Vaikuntha Ekadashi, people come here to have darshan of the Lord, where after coming, all their sins are washed away. It is believed that after coming here one gets freedom from the bond of birth and death.
History- The history of this temple is believed to start from the 9th century, when the Pallavas, the ruling dynasty of Kanchipuram, established their suzerainty at this place, but the fame of this temple remained limited even after the rule of the Vijayanagara dynasty of the 15th century. . After the 15th century, the fame of this temple started spreading far and wide. From 1843 to 1933 AD, the Mahant of Hatiramji Math took over the management of this temple under British rule.
In 1933, the Madras government took over the management of the temple and handed over the management of the temple to ‘Tirumala-Tirupati’, an independent management committee. After the formation of the state of Andhra Pradesh, this committee was reconstituted and an administrative officer was appointed as the representative of the Government of Andhra Pradesh.
This sacred and ancient temple of Sri Venkateshwara is situated on the 7th peak of the mountain called Venkatadri, which is situated on the banks of a pond called Sri Swami Pushkarini. For this reason, Balaji is known as ‘Lord Venkateswara’ here. It is one of the few temples in India whose doors are open to all devotees.
According to ancient literature sources like Puranas and Alwar articles, liberation is possible only after receiving the blessings of Lord Venkateswara in Kali Yuga. More than 50,000 devotees visit this temple every day for darshan. These pilgrims are fully supervised by the TTD.
Under this, the devotees dedicate their hairstyle to the Lord, which means that they surrender their conceit and pride with hairstyle to God. In earlier times, this ritual was performed by barbers in the homes, but over time this ritual was centralized and it was performed collectively in a place called ‘Kalyan Katta’ near the temple. Now all the barbers sit at this place. After Keshadan, we bathe here and then after a bath in Pushkarini go to the temple to have a darshan.
Sarvadarshanam means ‘philosophy for all’. The entrance to Sarvadarshanam is the Vaikuntham complex. Currently, there is a computerized system to collect tickets. There is also a system of free and paid darshan, as well as for the disabled people to enter through the main gate called ‘Mahadwaram’, where there are helpers to help them. Here a special route named Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam has been made for pedestrians to climb the hill . Through this, the desire to reach God is fulfilled. There is also a route from Alipiri to Tirumala. There is a system of food offerings in the form of prasad, under which offerings like charanamrit, sweet pongal, curd and rice are offered to pilgrims after darshan.
‘Panayaram’ means Laddus are sold outside the temple, which are bought here to offer as prabhu’s offerings. To buy these, tokens have to be put in rows. Devotees can buy laddus from outside the temple premises after darshan.
The most prominent festival of Tirupati is ‘Brahmotsavam’ which is basically considered a festival of happiness. This festival, which lasts for 9 days, is celebrated once a year when the sun comes in Virgo (September, October). Along with this, there are other festivals celebrated here – Vasantotsav, Tapotsav, Holy Festival, Adhikamasam etc.
There is a ‘Purohit Sangham’ here, where various rites and customs are performed. Major rites of this include marriage ceremony, naming ceremony, Upanayana ceremony, etc. All the rites are performed here according to all the customs of North and South India.
Where to stay – Tirumala has a very good stay around the temple. Various categories of hotels and dharamshalas have been built keeping in mind the convenience of the travelers. Their pre-booking can be done from TTD’s central office.
There is also a small airport at Tirupati.
Road and Rail- Tirupati is 130 km from Chennai, which is also a main railway station. APSRTC bus service is also available, which takes only 20 minutes to reach the campus. There is also a road and rail system for Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai from here.