If you need to travel to India, then one of the most sacred places you must visit is the “Lord Venkateswara” temple in Tirumala. This “Kaliyuga Vaikuntam” (home of Lord Vishnu in the last of the 4 yugas as described in the Indian scriptures) is located in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. If you go into details, this hill town is located in the Chittoor district. It’s a major pilgrimage centre for Hindus and is situated 26 kilometres (16 mi) north of Tirupati, 86 kilometres (53 mi) north-east of Chittoor, 160 kilometres (99 mi) north-west of Chennai and 573 kilometres (356 mi) south-east of Hyderabad.
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. The Venkateshwara temple is a religious landmark and is thronged by masses of people perrenially. The temple is also referred to as the “Temple of seven hills” and is spread over a massive 26.75 sq.kms of area. Shri Venkateshwara temple is the wealthiest temple in the Indian subcontinent because of the number of donations offered every year. The temple provides food to the pilgrims, includes pilgrim lodging centers and hair tonsure buildings. To visit Tirupati Balaji, is finding tranquility among chaos.
People throng to this venue either via train, buses or air routes. Traveling via train is what makes this trip even more exciting. We started from Ajmeri Gate, New Delhi via Kerala Express. At the very next stoppage we reached Mathura Junction. We ordered Mathura special peda in train. We ordered our lunch from Railrestro as we were about to reach Agra Cantt. Food was delivered fresh and tasty. By evening we had reached Jhansi, the historical place where we had or evening tea. Fellow passengers informed us that the train reaches Bhopal junction by 21:40. We planned to have a combo veg thali. We ordered the same via e-catering service providers.
Next morning when we woke up, we had reached Balharshah junction. We found out that now we all can enjoy south indian breakfast and ordered the same to be delivered at Ramagundam station. The mesmerizing aroma of South Indian food was really tempting. By afternoon, one reaches Vijaywada and one can order an hour in advance for lunch in train. By evening we had reached Gudur junction, where we ordered special chai and aaloo bonda as breakfast in train. We were supposed to reach Tirupati by 9:00 P.M. We just planned to have meals belfore so that we can just head over to our hotel and sleep. So we ordered food in train at Ranigunta Junction. The food vendors were very friendly and food served was awesome.
To reach Tirupati by air, Renigunta is the nearest airport (15 km away) which serves direct flights from Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai as wellas Bangalore. It also has a well equipped railway station which connects it to all the major cities of India. Buses are another means to reach Tirupati. Services are available from Tirupati as well as the Tirumala Hills to the adjacent cities of Chennai, Vizag, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Buses are operated by APSRTC, KSRTC and other operators.
We entered the queue complex at 8:30 am in morning. There was one more queue within the dormitory for the laddu tickets. Each adult above 10 years gets first 2 laddus at Rs. 20. (Subsidised price) and 2 more extra laddus can be bought at Rs. 50. We had to wait till 3 pm in afternoon in the dormitory till the gates were opened for darshan. The devasthanam during the waiting period is serving free food and milk to the waiting pilgrims. That is a very commendable job. We had darshan at 4:30 pm. The laddu was being given against the tokens purchased at queue complex at the back side of temple. We can get it after coming out of the temple.
- Sri Kalahasti Temple: Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Sri Kalahasti Temple is an hour’s drive from Tirupati and should be visited if you are planning a trip to Tirupati.
Places to Stay:
While there are many hotels in Tirupati, it is recommended that you book a guesthouse or Kalyana Mandapam located close to the main temple. Hotels like Fortune Select Grand Ridge, Ginger Tirupati, Sri Sai Residency and Bhimas Deluxe Hotel are hotels available at Rs. 500-3000 per night.
We enjoyed the trip and the South Indian Cuisines served in train. If you are planning a trip to Tirupati, don’t miss to order local cuisines in train.