Six of us from Bangalore took a bus on a Thursday night and headed to Tirupathi. The plan involved visiting two temples there and returning back the next day.
It was a short and comfortable journey. We reached Tirupathi around 4 in the morning, freshened up in 40 minutes and left for the Padmavathi Ammavari temple straightaway.
The Padmavathi temple is situated in Tiruchanur, at a distance of 5 km from Tirupati in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. Padmavathi (or Alamelumanga) is the main deity of the temple. Padmavathi is the incarnation of goddess Lakshmi and is the consort of Lord Venkateswara.
We reached the Padmavathi temple and had to wait in a queue to get the tickets for darshan. There are three types of darshan one can avail – a free darshan, a 20 rupees ticket darshan and a 100 rupees ticket darshan.
We waited for around thirty minutes to get hold of the tickets and then another thirty – forty minutes for the actual darshan of Padmavathi.
Post Padmavathi darshan, we had to change our bus as the bus which brought us from Bangalore wasn’t allowed to go up the Tirumala Hills. So we got into an APSTC bus which took us to the Tirumala Hills.
Sapthagiri, also known as Tirumala Hills, is 853m above sea level and is located in the Eastern Ghats. It has seven peaks – Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrushabhadri, Narayanadri and Venkatadri. The seven peaks represents the seven heads of Adisesha (In the Puranas, Adisesha is said to hold all the planets of the universe on his hood and constantly sings the glories of God Vishnu from all his mouths. It is said that when Adisesha uncoils, time moves forward and creation takes place.). The Venkateswara temple is on Venkatadri, the seventh peak, and is also known as the “Temple of Seven Hills”.
It was a beautiful and scenic journey. We reached there in another forty minutes and kept all our shoes and electronic devices in a shop before entering the temple. This temple is dedicated to Lord Sri Venkateswara, an incarnation of Vishnu, who is believed to have appeared here to save mankind from trials and troubles of Kali Yuga. Lord Venkateswara is also known by many other names like Balaji, Govinda and Srinivasa.
We headed straight to the temple and didn’t have to bother ourselves for queues and tickets as the Sheegra Darshan passes were included in our bus tour package.
People from all across the world come here to pay a visit to Tirupati Balaji. They stand there in queues for hours to get a glimpse of Venkateswara for few seconds. Like everyone else, we stood in queues for around 80-90 minutes for Balaji Darshan. The chants of “Govinda Govinda” accompanied us all throughout this time.
I have heard and read about people waiting in queues for 14-15 hours for this. Whereas, we were fortunate enough to complete all this within a time of 6-7 hours.
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