Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Trip to Tirupati

I was fortunate enough to visit Lord Ventashwera last Wednesday...but the trip was tough and hard for me and I lost my camera on the way back ... and lost all the pics that I took in remembrance of the trip...

I faced a lot of trouble reaching there..but God was always there with me and I am feeling him right now too.... sharing few tips with you along with the trip.....

1) People up-north have this notion that south people are not cooperative.. but I should say I have a mixed response... they were completely uncooperative when they heard I lost my camera in the bus and literally shoved me away.. but whenever I asked the direction... people did help me.. so if you need the direction just say "Anna" " Way" and " Name of the place" "Anna way bus Chennai"... They are poor in Hindi and indeed poor in English too ..and I don't blame them..their education system is very poor and their government are to blamed for that... so it is not they don't like north ones..they don't understand the north ones..

2) Book your trip with travel agencies.. they have special channel to let you in and lodging boarding and everything is 2 hours form Vellore and 4 hours from Chennai and 6 hours from Bangalore

3) But if you are traveling alone or in group and don't wanna book then you must way is climb up the hill walking and you can get the dharshanam fast...

4) Now!! Tirupati is the place where you can start but it is not holy site.. it is 27 kms up in hills ...the holy place is called as Tirumala. You can either stay in Tirupati and then move to Tirumala or you can just go to Tirumala..they have excellent boarding facilities.. but it is better to book earlier via their website.. but they have spot booking too..  you get down from Tirumala bus stand and walk towards CRO office..they do the is Rs. 350 refundable deposit and Rs 50 rent per room for 24 hours....otherwise you can stay in dormitories .. they call it PAC... PAC 3 is new and is best... where they have lockers which you can get by refundable deposit of Rs. 350.. and mat and rags for Rs 150 refundable deposit...Single guys don't get rooms..they only get lockers.. so don't bother for booking a room.

5) There are multiple ways for Darshanam... Free, Rs. 50 and Rs. 300... you have to book your ticket in all three categories... The free darshan and Rs. 50 can be booked from Tirupati bus stands .. they have many counters in all adjoining towns plus you can book via internet.. they have biometric scanning for identification.Rs. 300 ticket can only be booked from Tirumala counters.... Free darshan normally  takes 12-15 hours and sometime on rush day can take up to 36 hours...but sometimes you can get Darshanam earlier if it is not too rushy.. Paid darshan normally takes an hour or 3 tops..depending on the rush...I will suggest you to book earlier...before coming to Tirumala.

6) It is better to stand in queue from night if you want a fast darshanam...temple closes at 1 am till 4 am.. so be sure to queue up earlier...

7) If you can speak tamil.. you can influence the guards with bribes to get a rapid darshan...:D..I bribed one for Rs. 200 and got my Darshanam in two hours via free line... :D..god forgive me...but you ain't  lucky always..

8) There is a laddoo counter ..where you can buy coupon for Rs. 20 for two Prasadam can book 2 each for each of the member in your group...if you want more.. you can buy for 4 for Rs 100 or you can buy in black at a rate of 4 for Rs 140.

9) There are 6 more places in Tirumala ...which you can ride by either temple bus or by booking a jeep.. they are picturesque places and worth takes Rs 100 to 150 per person.

10) Do visit Varaheshwara before Lord Venkateshwara and if possible Vaishno devi before that..Don't forget to Visit Devi Padmavati's temple in no Darshan is complete without need to donate in Hundi as mythology says.. that lord took loan from Kuber and we are needed to pay for his debt and he will grant our wish. The donation of hair.. is also a ceremony which has mythological value..  there is a story behind that...

The rishis headed by Kasyapa began to perform a sacrifice on the banks of the Ganges. Sage Narada visited them and asked them why they were performing the sacrifice and who would be pleased by it. Not being able to answer the question, the rishis approached Sage Bhrigu. To reach a solution after a direct ascertainment of reality, Sage Bhrigu first went to Satyaloka, the abode of Lord Brahma.At Satyaloka, he found Lord Brahma, reciting the four Vedas in praise of Lord Narayana, with each of his four heads, and attended upon by Saraswati. Lord Brahma did not take notice of Bhrigu offering obeisance. Concluding that Lord Brahma was unfit for worship, Bhrigu left Satyaloka for Kailasa, the abode of Lord Shiva. At Kailasa, Bhrigu found Lord Siva spending his time pleasantly with Parvati and not noticing his presence. Parvati drew the attention of Siva to the presence of the sage.Lord Siva was furious at Bhrigu's intrusion and tried to destroy him. The sage cursed Lord Siva and left for Vaikuntam.At Vaikuntam, Lord Vishnu (also called Srimannarayana) was reposing on Adisesha with Sri Mahalakshmi in service at His feet. Finding that Srimannarayana also did not notice him, the sage was infuriated and he kicked the Lord on His chest, the place where Mahalakshmi resides.At once, Lord Vishnu hastened to apologise to the angry sage and pressed his feet to allay the pain caused to Bhrigu's leg. In doing so the Lord removed the eye in the foot of the sage, which gave Bhrigu power as to defy the Devas. Thereupon, the sage decided that Lord Vishnu was the most supreme of the trimurthis and told the rishis the same. Thereupon, they decided that Lord Vishnu was the fruit of the yaga. Sri Mahalakshmi was angered by the action of her Lord in apologising to Bhrigu who committed an offence. She, therefore, left Vaikuntam without heeding the entreaties of the Lord.At the commencement of the current Sveta Varaha Kalpa, the whole universe was filled with water and the Earth was immersed in it. Lord Vishnu assumed the form of a white boar (Sri Varaha) and dived into the water to lift the Earth. He slew the demon Hiranyaksha who was obstructing Him and rescued the Earth.Brahma and the other Devas praised Sri Varaha for saving the Earth by chanting the Vedas and showering flowers on Him. Lord Vishnu decided to stay on Earth in the form of Sri Varaha for some time, to punish the wicked and protect the virtuous. The place then came to be known as Varaha Kshetra and the Varaha Kalpa commenced. After the departure of Mahalakshmi, a forlorn Lord Vishnu left Vaikuntam and took abode in an ant-hill under a tamarind tree, beside a pushkarini on the Venkata Hill . Taking pity on Lord Vishnu, Brahma and Maheshwara decided to assume the forms of a cow and its calf to serve Him. Surya, the Sun God informed Mahalakshmi of this and requested her to assume the form of a cowherdess and sell the cow and calf to the king of the Chola country. The king of the Chola country bought the cow and its calf and sent them to graze on the Venkata Hill along with his herd of cattle. Discovering Lord Vishnu on the ant-hill, the cow provided its milk, and thus fed the Lord.Meanwhile, at the palace, the cow was not yielding any milk, for which the Chola Queen chastised the cowherd severely.To find out the cause of lack of milk, the cowherd followed the cow, hid himself behind a bush and discovered the cow emptying her udder over the ant-hill. Incensed over the conduct of the cow, the cowherd aimed a blow with his axe on the head of the cow. However, Lord Vishnu rose from the ant-hill to receive the blow and save the cow. When the cowherd saw the Lord bleed at the blow of his axe, he fell down and died of shock. On the death of the cowherd, the cow returned, bellowing in fright and with blood stains all over her body, to the Chola King. To find out the cause of the cow's terror, the King followed her to the scene of the incident.The King found the cowherd lying dead on the ground near the ant-hill. While he stood wondering how it had happened, Lord Vishnu rose from the ant-hill and cursed the King saying that he would become an Asura because of the fault of his servant. The King pleaded innocence, and the Lord blessed him by saying that the curse would end when the Lord was adorned with a kireetam presented by Akasa Raja at the time of His marriage with Sri Padmavati. Thereafter, Lord Vishnu or Srinivasa, decided to stay in Varaha Kshetra, and requested Sri Varahaswami to grant Him a site for His stay. His request being readily granted, Srinivasa ordained that a pilgrimage to His shrine would not be complete unless it is preceded by a bath in the Pushkarini and darshan of Sri Varahaswami, and that puja and naivedyam should be offered to Sri Varahaswami first. Yasoda brought up Sri Krishna, the son of Devaki, in his early years. However, Yasoda was not blessed to witness the marriage of Sri Krishna with Rukmini and she felt very sad. Sri Krishna promised to fulfil her desire in her next birth as Vakuladevi in his next avatara as Srinivasa. In Rukmini's next birth as Vakuladevi, she was serving Lord Varahaswami when He sent her to serve Srinivasa. Sometime later, a King named Akasa Raja who belonged to the Lunar race was ruling over Thondamandalam. He had a brother named Thondaman. Akasa Raja had no heirs, and therefore, he wanted to perform a sacrifice. As part of the sacrifice, he was ploughing the fields when his plough turned up a lotus in the ground. On examining the lotus, the King found a female child in it.  Akasa Raja was happy to find the child. He carried it to his palace and gave it to his Queen. At that time he heard a voice from above which said, "Oh! King, tend to it as your child and fortune will befall you." As the child was found in a lotus, the king named her Padmavati.  In course of time, Princess Padmavati grew up into a beautiful maiden and was attended to by a host of maids. One day, while she was spending her time in a garden picking flowers with her maids, Sage Narada approached her. Assuring her that he was her well-wisher, he asked her to show him her palm to read her future. He foretold that she was destined to be the spouse of Lord Vishnu himself.  At this time, Lord Srinivasa, who was hunting, chased a wild elephant in the forests surrounding the hills. In the elephant's pursuit, the Lord was led into a garden, where Princess Padmavati and her maids were picking flowers.The sight of the elephant frightened the Princess and her maids.. But the elephant immediately turned around, saluted the Lord and disappeared into the forest. Lord Srinivasa, who was following on horse back, and saw the frightened maidens, who accosted Him with queries.Lord Srinivasa gave the maids details about his birth and parentage. He, in turn, enquired after their princess, her birth and parentage. When the maids informed Lord Srinivasa that the princess was Padmavati, foster daughter of Akasa Raja, He expressed his interest in her. However, He was repulsed with stones thrown at Him by the maids. He returned to the hills in haste, leaving His horse behind. When Lord Srinivasa returned, Vakuladevi brought him his usual dinner comprising various delicacies. However, she found him lying on his bed, pining for his love. When she enquired about the cause, the Lord informed her that unless he married Princess Padmavati, he would never be well again. Vakuladevi then asked Him to tell her all about the Princess. The Lord then narrated the story of her (Padmavati’s) previous birth and his promise to wed her.In olden times, Lakshmi, in the form of Vedavati, was staying in an ashram in the forests. At that time, Ravana, the lord of Lanka tried to tempt her. In anger, Vedavati cursed him saying that she would bring about his death. To show how true her words were, Vedavati walked into the fire, but Agni, the Fire God rescued her. He took Vedavati to his house and entrusted her to his wife's care.When Ravana was about to carry away Sita from Panchavati, in the absence of Rama and Lakshmana, Agni appeared and offered Vedavati to Ravana as the real Sita who was kept with him by Rama to evade Ravana. Ravana was tricked into thinking that Vedavati was the real Sita.Ravana took Vedavati to Lanka thinking she was the real Sita, while Agni took Sita to his house and asked his wife Swahadevi to look after her. After the destruction of Ravana, Vedavati entered the fire when rejected by Rama. Then, Agni, offered the real Sita to Rama. Rama then questioned her as to who the other lady by her side was. Sita informed Rama that the lady was Vedavati who endured Ravana's torture for ten months in Lanka for her sake. Sita requested Rama to accept Vedavati also as his spouse. But Rama declined her request saying that he believed in having only one wife during his life time. However, He promised to wed her in her next birth as Padmavati, born as the daughter of Akasa Raja, when Rama himself would take the form of Srinivasa. After listening to Srinivasa's story of how he had promised to marry Vedavati in her next birth as Padmavati, Vakuladevi realised that Srinivasa would not be happy unless he married Padmavati. She offered to go to Akasa Raja and his Queen and arrange for the marriage. On the way she met the maid-servants of Padmavati returning from a Siva Temple. She learnt from them that Padmavati was also pining for Srinivasa. Vakuladevi went along with the maidservants to the Queen.  Meanwhile, Akasa Raja and his queen Dharanidevi were anxious about the health of their daughter, Padmavathi. They learnt about Padmavathi's love for Srinivasa of Venkata Hill. Akasa Raja consulted Brihaspati about the propriety of the marriage and was informed that the marriage was in the best interest of both the parties. After the departure of Vakuladevi, Srinivasa could not rest in peace. He doubted if she would succeed in her mission. He, therefore, assumed the form of a lady fortune-teller and entered the streets of the capital telling fortunes. Padmavathi's maids saw her and invited her to the presence of their Queen.  The maid-servants informed Queen Dharanidevi that the fortune-teller was hesitating to enter the palace without the Queen's invitation. The Queen came out herself and invited the fortune-teller into the palace.The fortune- teller was taken to the presence of Princess Padmavati.The fortune-teller read the palm of the Princess and told the Queen about the cause of Padmavati's indisposition. She advised the Queen to give Padmavati in marriage to Lord Srinivasa. She also told the Queen that a lady would approach her shortly on behalf of Lord Srinivasa, to formally request Padmavati's hand in marriage.After the departure of the fortune-teller, Vakuladevi arrived at the palace, and was taken by the maidservants to the Queen. She informed the Queen that she had come on behalf Lord Srinivasa to request the hand of Padmavati in marriage. Having consulted Brihaspati and heard from his Queen about the prediction of the fortune-teller and the arrival of the messenger from Srinivasa, Akasa Raja decided to hand his daughter in marriage to Srinivasa. He asked the palace purohits to fix a muhurtam for the marriage.Akasa Raja informed his ministers and other officials of his plans. Immediately, a letter was drafted requesting Srinivasa to come and marry the Princess. Akasa Raja entrusted the delivery of the letter to Sukamahamunin. Suka went to the Venkata Hill with Vakuladevi. He presented the patrika to Lord Srinivasa, who was very happy. The Lord sent his garland for Padmavati through Suka. Kubera lent money to Lord Srinivasa to meet the expenses of the marriage.Lord Srinivasa, along with his consorts and Lord Brahma and Lord Siva started the journey to the residence of Akasa Raja with his vehicle Garuda.At the palace entrance, Lord Srinivasa was received by Akasa Raja with full honours and taken in procession on a mounted elephant to the palace for the marriage.In the presence of all the Devas, Lord Srinivasa wed Princess Padmavati, thus blessing Akasa Raja.And Mahalakshmi still stays in his heart as the marriage of Padmavati and Srinivasa is for eternity.

9) We donate money to pay the debt to Lord Kubera about the money he loaned and we donate hairs to hid the wound that Srinivasa got in head while hit by cowherd ...Newly wed couples should go to Tirupati to get blessings of Lord Venkateshwara for  marriage lasting till eternity...

10) Elderly and handicapped people gets early entry...and try booking earlier in all cases...No entry for people of other religion in the temple.. but Tirumala hill they can visit always..

I helped..if you have any query you can ask me in comment section.. and I will try to answer as best as I can....So say Jai Govinda!!!.. Om Namah Venkateshawaraya Namah!!

PS: For visiting a Tirth Sthanam.. you need to have a devotion and God makes the way..:)


  1. Glad to know tht the trip went well, except for the fact that u lost ur camera.
    I m sure this will help all the ppl who want to go there.

  2. Ria..
    u r newly married.. you should go if you find time...


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