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Tirupati Balaji Temple: A Complete Travel Guide

10 mins. read

India is a land of culture, where an amalgam of various traditions from different religions can be seen. The country houses various temples, mosques, churches, and gurudwaras, where people pay their respects and pray to the Almighty, irrespective of caste or creed. The unity in people, the fervour with which all the festivals are celebrated – that’s the beauty that India reflects on other countries.

People in the country undertake a lot of pilgrim yatras, which has made some of the religious places well-known amongst tourists. One such famous religious sites in India is the Tirupati Balaji Temple.

Also known as the Lord Venkateshwara Temple, it is one of the richest temples in the country, located in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh. Perched in the Tirumala Hills, it is said that the temple is constructed where Lord Venkateshwara (a form of Lord Vishnu) took the form of an idol. Tirupati is one of the oldest cities in the country, having various mentions in Vedas and Puranas; Tirupati Balaji’s darshan will bring you closer to such ancient scripts. The Tirumala Hills is a Saptagiri (one of the seven hills), surrounded by the Eastern Ghats. It is believed that the seven peaks are the seven hoods of the Adishesha or the Sheshnag (Serpent God) that cushions Lord Vishnu.

Going Down the Historic Lanes of Tirupati Balaji Temple

Every ancient religious site or forts in India has a history associated with it. Legends that can intrigue you, interest you into visiting the place. And rightfully so, even the Tirupati Balaji Temple has a history that you should know of.

Tirupati’s history has always been associated with the Venkateshwara Temple and its origin predates to the ancient times of kings and rajas. The rulers of various dynasties of the South, over different decades, and their devotion towards Lord Vishnu has helped in preserving the authenticity and beauty of the temple, which visitors can see today by booking their Tirupati package for a devotional time.

The Pandayas, Pallavas, Cholas, and Kings of the Vijaynagar Empire were the main contributors who enhanced the wealth and value of the temple. Krishnadevaraya is said to have contributed to the most. What’s more interesting is that he got gold statues of himself and his wives installed in the temple premises. Apart from the main contributors, other Hindu rulers like Ragoji Bhosle also contributed to the wealth of the temple. The treasure of the temple keeps growing every single year as pilgrims and devotees donate part of their earnings and riches to the temple, in the devotion of Lord Venkateshwara.

Deities Residing in the Temple

Along with the 8-feet tall idol of Lord Venkateshwara, other deities that reside in the temple are Dhruva Beram, Sanapana Beram, Kautuka Beram, Utsava Beram, and Bali Beram. Each of the deity is worshipped according to the majestic rituals that were laid down centuries ago. When the rituals are performed, the vibe in the temple becomes so divine that you are bound to slip into a different world. So, if you are booking Tirupati Balaji darshan, you can also pay your respect to the other deities residing there.

The temple is echoed by the non-stop chanting of ‘Om Namo Venkatesaya’, which lifts the spirituality in the aura, making pilgrims submerge themselves in the lap of Lord Vishnu’s devoutness. This is something that attracts tourists and pilgrims from all over the world, making it India’s most-visited temple.

Attractions that Will Make Your Divine Spirit Even More Content

There are a lot of places to visit near Tirupati; listed below are some of the temples that you must make a stop at: –

The Tirumala Venkateshwara Temple

This temple has a magnificent architecture that leaves you completely awestruck with its beauty. It has a gold plated Vimanam – the tower that houses the main idol of Lord Vishnu, Bangaru Vakili, Padi Kavali, Vendi Vakili, and Garbh Gruha. The presiding deity, Lord Venkateshwara, is believed to be based here till the Kaliyuga ends. The temple celebrates festivities with grandeur and several Vaishnava festivals are celebrated, making the temple an even more famous attraction for pilgrims and tourists all around the world, let alone India. You can opt for online booking of Tirupati Balaji through their Devasthanam site, in case you don’t opt for a package.

Silathoranam

The Silathoranam is a natural rock formation that resembles a conch, discus, and serpent hood, which is similar to the one of Adishesha. Adishesha is known to be the supporting nether of Lord Vishnu, making the Silathoranam an attraction of utmost importance in Tirumala.

Kapilateertham

Tirupati is known to house mostly Vaishnavites temples; however, Kapilateertham is one of the Shaivites temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva and also happens to be one of the famous South Indian temples in the country. It is located in the foothills of the Tirumala Hills and houses a water tank, where all the pilgrims take a dip before moving ahead to the Lord Venkateshwara temple.

Govindaraja Swamy Temple

Located near the railway station in Tirupati, the Govindaraja Swamy Temple has a beautiful and prominent Gaali Gopuram that is visible quite from a distance. Along with the idol of Swamy Govindaraja, the temple complex has idols of other deities, who are worshipped by the devotees. During May-June, the temple celebrates Brahmotsavam and devotees and pilgrims from all over India visit the Govindaraja Swamy temple to participate in the celebrations.

Sri Kodandarama Swamy Temple

Sri Kodandarama Swamy Temple is dedicated to Lord Rama and his wife, Sita Maata. Lord Rama is highly revered as the incarnation of Lord Vishnu and Sri Kodandarama Swamy Temple was built in honour of the divine couple’s return from Sri Lanka. It is believed that Lord Rama and Sita Maata stayed inside the temple premises for a few days, making the place even more sacred for their devotees.

Sri Kalyana Venkateshwaraswami Temple

Believed to be the place where the mythological wedding of Lord Venkateshwara and Devi Padamavathi took place, this temple is of high significance to the pilgrims. The temple is located in Narayanavanam and every pilgrim visiting Tirupati Balaji makes a stop here.

It is reported that the temple welcomes around 50,000 pilgrims every day, which is the highest number of devotees visiting a temple in India. The entry for Balaji darshan at Tirupati is through the Vaikuntam Queue Complex. This complex is a series of interconnected halls that lead the pathway to the main temple. The halls of the complex are extremely clean and hygienic, with various facilities that make the pilgrims feel comfortable during their Tirupati Balaji darshan.

City Shopping in Tirupati

It may not be the ideal shopping destination but Tirupati does have places where you can shop for some unique, one-of-its-kind beautiful things. Starting with something that devotees will like – you can find various shops and stalls right outside the Tirupati Balaji temple where you can find beautifully crafted figurines of the deity, CDs filled with religious shlokas and songs, holy prasadams and laddoos that you can relish on.

Apart from this, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (the temple trust that enables online booking for Tirupati Balaji darshan) also publishes various religious books and periodicals that pilgrims can get their hands on. Audio and video cassettes/CDs of Vedas, Sankirtans, and Pravachanams are also released by the Devasthanam. If you plan on taking some souvenir back to your hometown, photo frames, jewellery, and idols made of brass and copper are also available with them.

Coming to the city shopping, Tirupati is famous for housing some of the most skilled craftsmen, who create marvellous paintings and handicrafts for your purchase. You can find various wood-carved toys, pottery items, Kalamkari fabric, and other such artworks that allures you to buy them for yourself and your loved ones.

The Tanjore Style Painting

One of the most famous and proud assets of Tirupati are the traditional Tanjore style gold leaf painting. Also known as the Thanjavur style of painting, it is practised at Mandanapalli, a town near Tirupati and is an authentic form of South Indian art that traces back to 1600 AD. The Tanjore style paintings are vibrant in colour with glittering gold foil, glass beads, and precious gems carved on them. The paintings are done on wooden planks, which are known as Palagai Padam and art-lovers, non-art-lovers, and everyone who sees the gorgeousness of the paintings fall in love with them.

If at all you feel like doing some luxury shopping during your Tirupati Balaji tour– Chandan Ramesh and TMC shopping malls are your places to go. For city shopping, you can visit places like Bazaar Street, Lepakshi Emporium, APCO Handloom House, Beri Street, A.K. Palli Road, and Prakasham Road.

Reaching Tirupati Balaji Temple

The location of Tirupati Balaji temple is accessible by local taxi, autorickshaw, and buses. However, to reach Tirupati, you can opt for travel by air, train, or by road. If you travelling from states like Delhi, Assam, and so on by air – the nearest domestic airport to Tirupati is Reniguta and the nearest international airport is Chennai. From the airport, you can hire a local taxi or cab to reach the actual location of Tirupati Balaji Temple.

The Tirupati Balaji or Lord Venkateshwara Temple is one of the holiest and wealthiest temples in India, where the divine aura will let you forget all your worries and take you to the mystical world of spirituality.

June 16, 2021

Author

Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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