Tirupati – A thrilling experience!

I am back!. Our three days trip to Tirupati went well by God’s grace. As planned, we started early morning at around 5.30 AM on Saturday, and came back yesterday i.e., Monday at around 10 PM.

The route that we took for Tirupati was Mangalore – Hassan – Bangalore – Kolar – Chittoor – Tirupati.

We stopped for breakfast at Hassan. Next on route was Bangalore. We kind of got stuck in the Bangalore traffic. Horrible. I wonder how people travel in Bangalore. We did not enter the Bangalore city. We moved towards Kolar. We reached Kolar at around 4 PM, and we hadn’t had lunch. So, we stopped at a hotel called Kamat Upchar on the highway. Had lunch/snacks and continued our travel. We reached Tirupati at around 8.30 PM.

Sign on top of the Tirumala Hills

I think we were kind of very lucky. All along the trip, it did not rain!. (not even a single drop of rain!). Given the fact that cyclone warning was issue in and around this area, its a miracle!!! Also, due to the cyclone warning, and heavy rains, lot of trains and buses to Tirupati were cancelled. So, there wasn’t any crowd!. Now, thats the second miracle! Just to give you an Idea, on an average, Tirupati temple is visited by around 1,00,000 devotees every day. Normally, people spend hours (and in some cases, days) together in queues to get a glimpse of Lord Venkateshwara. And on festive days, the number doubles!. There is a very efficient system of queues etc to control the crowd. But, the point is, you need to wait!! On the day we reached Tirupati, it was virtually empty. So, it was really our luck. Or, you can say, God’s Grace.

The temple complex
The Temple Complex. Image Courtesy : Tirumala.org

BTW, Tirupati is the name of the city. Lord Venkateshwara’s temple is located on Tirumala Hills. Its around 22 km uphill from the Tirupati city. Devotees can either take the road route to reach Tirumala, or can walk (i.e. climb the stairs) all the way up. Its an 8 km walk. It takes around 4 hours to go walking to the top.

Around 9 of our family members decided to walk to the Tirumala hills. I took the road route. We reached Tirumala at around 11 PM, and occupied the guesthouse that we had booked. The room was decent enough. It was a three bedroom apartment with some basic facilities. At around 1.30 AM, the folks who had decided to walk reached Tirumala.

We had booked for something called the “Archanantara Darshana” early in the morning at around 5 AM. So, we had to get up early in the morning. We reached the temple at around 4.15 AM, and soon we were on the queue. As per my estimate, there were around 600 to 700 people already on the queue. But we didn’t have to wait for long. We got Lord Venkateshwara’s Darshana at around 5 AM.

Belive it or not, its really a thrilling experience to see the Lord Venkataraman’s Idol. I just can’t describe it! You have to feel it for yourself. Due to massive amount of people, you hardly get few seconds to see the Lord’s Idol. But belive me, its one thing that you have to experience. Its like the God is standing right there in front of you!

Lord Venkataraman's Idol
Lord Venkataraman’s Idol. Image Courtesy : Tirumala.org

After the Darshana, we came back to our room, took some rest. We had booked one more Seva in the evening called the Sahasra Deepalankarana Seva. So, we were kind of free for the whole day. So, we decided to see some other temples around Tirupati. We started at around 9 AM, and returned back at around 4 PM.

We saw the Sri Kapileswaraswami Temple, Sri Kalahasti Temple, Sri Padmavathi Ammavari Temple.

Sri Kapileswaraswami Temple
Sri Kapileswaraswami Temple (Click to Zoom)

Sri Kalahasti Temple
Sri Kalahasti Temple (Click to Zoom)

Sri Padmavathi Ammavari Temple
Sri Padmavathi Ammavari Temple (Click to Zoom)

We went back to the Tirumala temple at 5 PM for the Sahastra Deepaalankara Seva. This Seva is a very beautiful one. The God’s Idol (not the one inside the Garbagudi*) is placed over a Swing, and the Seva goes on.

Sahastra Deepaalankara Seva
Sahastra Deepaalankara Seva. Image Courtesy : Tirumala.org

From the Tirumala Website:

This seva is performed in the Unjal Mandapam. The Mandapam glows with the lights of sahasra deepa (a thousand earthern lamps). The Lord is seated on an unjal, which is rocked gently to the accompaniment of a clarinet orchestra.

After the Seva, we got chance to see the Lord again. Again an wonderful experience.

We came back at around 7 PM. After the Darshana, we decided to go around the shopping complexes. My folks did some minor shopping. Majority of the stuff in almost all the shop is somehow related to the Lord! But there is other stuff too. At around 9 PM we returned back to our room after having dinner.

Lord Venkateshwaras Idols
Lord Venkateshwaras Idols (Click to Zoom)

Next day, i.e., Monday, we started our trip back. We stopped for breakfast at Chittoor. We reached Bangalore at around 11 AM. Luckily, this time around, the traffic was much less. May be because, Monday was a holiday due to Deepavali. So, we didn’t get stuck in traffic. We reached Hassan at around 3 PM. We had our lunch at Hassan, and visited one of our relatives house. At around 5 PM, we started back to Mangalore. We reached Mangalore at around 9 PM.

Some interesting things that I noted about Tirupati:
1. One must book all the Seva’s, Rooms, etc well in advance. Its always crowded, and difficult to get a chance at the nth minute. You can get the List of Seva’s that you can offer at the temple’s website.
2. I was told that the surroundings of the temple used to be very dirty couple of years back. But when we went this time, the old timers were surprised. Everything seems to be well maintained now! Clean and Neat!
3. The free toilets in the Tirumala area are clean, and very well maintained.
4. Lot of security systems are in place, after an incident in which a Former Chief Minster was targeted in a bomb blast by Naxalites when he was on the way to Tirumala Hills.
5. Within the main temple complex, lot of security cameras have been installed to prevent corruption amongst temple workers! And we saw it working :)
6. The entire Tirumala Hills is a no smoking zone. No alcohol too! You are not allowed to take, nor will you get any cigarettes in the Tirumala town.
7. The temple uses finger printing technology to identify the people who would perform the various Seva’s!. This is mainly to prevent corruption/bribes etc.
8. Everything goes as per the schedule. Right on the dot.
9. Due to the security measures, you are not allowed to take any device like camera, mobiles etc inside the temple. I could not click any photos since I had to keep my camera back in the car.

*Garbagudi – Inner most area of the temple.


  1. G Murali Mohana Rao

    LORD VENKATESWARA is ensuring never ending income in crores of rupees to the TTD. The authorities may kindly use the appeals/suggestions made by devotees.

    The TTD is unable to limit number of devotees reaching the hills in a day. Instead they are trying to send uncounted, up the hills by rapid means. Sending rapidly up the hills will only invite the troubles to the devotees because the accommodation/darshan are not ensured for the all.

    Instead the authorities are requested to permit only a fixed number up the hill and announce the number to the devotees. Permissions shall be given by prior booking by means of online facility from various centers across India.TTD should also display the number of tickets for each seva on the same boards where the names and timings are displayed.

    By sending lakhs of devotees up the hill will only create sheltered less waiting for days together.

    After having darshan devotees have to run for another queue for laddus. Instead the devotees can be given a facility of collecting paid prasadam in the temple itself after darsan. With HIS blessings every thing is possible but the authorities wish and will is more wanted towards these.

    OM namovenkatesayaha

    G Bhaskararao & Padmavati

  2. Anu

    On Namo Venkateshwaraiah Namaha!
    I visited Tirupati on 02nd Aug 2008. The experience of seeing him wright in front of you is unexplainable. I would just stay their if permissible for hours together by just looking at him. He is always smiling & welcoming you with a wramth feeling.
    It feels great to see him but sad as we had to move in just few seconds.
    The TTD authorities have to work on a new system regarding managing the crowd outside & inside the temple. The queues are not followed very deilgently people just run hither to thither when they see any way open. Instead why can’t the follow a lane system & also from so far of places people travel / walk up the hill to see the Lord & the temple staff just pull us from one side to another & just in few fraction of seconds (before u could realise) u r outside the temple. Please stop this & let us see the Lord peacefull … I guess the TTD officials have to do something on this badly (can’t blame anybody as the crowd is huge i guess nobody can to anything) but we his devotees would just stand n stand n stand n see him through out. God please give an oppourtunity to see to you for my life time.

    Let him grace & bless every life known, unkown on this earth.

    Waiting to see you again…….


    to reduce stress and strain at TIRUMALA

    Respective Sir

    Sir Everybody knows that the crowd management is a task at Tirumala but the present system is able to satisfy many! It is also a known fact that the devotees cannot avoid large queues for darshan.

    But they can be relieved off other strains and stress if TTD introduce computers reservation halls for Sevas and accommodations . Please issue tokens while entering these halls and let devotees wait in these halls for their turn indicated in the display.

    All the devotees will be benefited by introducing these waiting halls than by standing in the large queues for sevas and accommodations!
    Sir, the devotees reach the Temple town after lot of travel. Please gift these facilities using technology!

    Yours sincerely

    G Murali Mohana Rao
    43 Umanagar
    New Bowenpalli

  4. Narayana

    The greatness of Tirumala and Srinivasa is solely due to the magnificent services offered by Swami Ramanujar and Thirumalai Anantazhwan to the Lord. Indeed, if we are still worshipping Him today, it is due to the grace of Sri Ramanuja, also known as Bhashyakarar and other acharyas like Vedanta Desikan, Srimad Sundara Jamatru Muni, PB Annan, etc., who spent their earthly days at this divine place.

    Adiyen Ramanuja Dasan,


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