How to Plan For Tirupati Darshan

how to plan for tirupati darshan, tirupati balaji temple
tirupati balaji temple




Tirupati Balaji is a religious destination where devotion meets grandiosity.  This place is the 2nd richest religious place around the globe, where nearly 5 lakhs devotees come every month to pay vows. The Tirupati temple also known as Shree Venkateshwara Swami Temple is the temple of deity Venkateshwara (Lord Vishnu). Tirupati temple is located at the hill top of Tirumala hills, which falls in the city of Tirupati, Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh. Tirumala hills, which comes under the Seshachalam hill ranges, is assumed as the 2nd oldest mountain in India.




HISTORY OF TIRUPATI TEMPLE


Tirupati temple was founded in 300 AD but during the dominance of Vijayanagara rulers, the treasures of Tirupati Balaji Temple increased. In mid 18th century, the generals of Maratha rulers Raghoji Bhonsle created a stable body to control the temple activities. Later on TTD (Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanam) was created in 1932 under TTD Act.


STORY OF TIRUPATI BALAJI


According to mythology, Once Rishi Bhrigu went to Deity Vishnu’s place to test him. Deity Vishnu was resting at that time and didn’t notice Rishi Bhrigu. This made Rishi Bhrigu angry and he kicked Deity Vishnu on his chest, but rather than getting angry, Vishnu massaged Rishi Bhrigu’s feet. By seeing this Goddess Laxmi got angry with Vishnu and left Vaikuntha. Deity Vishnu also left Vaikuntha and searched Goddess Laxmi in forests and hills but didn’t find her. After that, Deity Vishnu took birth as Srinivasa in Bhulok.
In Bhulok, he met Padmavathi (daughter of Akasa Raja) and wanted to marry her. To organise a lavish wedding, Lord Srinivasa took immense amount of debt from Kuber, the wealth Lord. It is believed that this loan was so huge that it will complete at the end of Kalyug. To help Srinivasa pay his debt, till now huge offerings are offered by the devotees daily at the Tirupati temple.

When Goddess Laxmi came to know about the marriage of Srinivasa and Padmavathi, she came there and confronted Srinivasa in front of Padmavathi. When Srinivasa got confronted by both his wives, Padmavathi and Laxmi, he converted himself in a black stone of granite (Swami Venkateshwara). Afterwards, Deity Shiva and Brahma revealed that all these were just the ‘Leela’ done by Deity Vishnu for the wellbeing and liberation of the people. Knowing that, Padmavathi and Laxmi decided to be with Deity Venkateshwara Swami. That’s why devotees witness Goddess Laxmi on the left side and Padmavathi on the right side of Swami Venkateshwara’s idol inside Tirupati Balaji Temple.


How to Reach Tirupati Temple

  • Tirupati is easily accessible from all the major cities of India like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore etc. by flight.   
    how to plan for tirupati darshan, tirupati airport
    tirupati airport

  • Direct trains are available from the major Indian cities to Tirupati railway station. Some trains run up to Renigunta Railway Station, which is approx, 10 kms away from Tirupati City. You will easily get trains, buses or taxis from Renigunta railway station to Tirupati.  
    how to plan for tirupati darshan, tirupati railway station
    tirupati railway station
  • Tirupati is well-connected with most of the cities such as Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pondicherry, Kochi etc. by bus.

 
how to plan for tirupati darshan, tirupati tirumala
tirupati to tirumala


Note:  In Tirupati railway station, clean waiting rooms are available with bathrooms and dressing rooms. So you can freshen up there and go directly to Tirumala for Darshan.


Tirupati City to Tirumala Hills


how to plan for tirupati darshan, tirupati to tirumala
tirupati darshan



There are many ways by which you can get to the Tirumala Hills from Tirupati City.

  • By APSRTC Buses – Every half an hour you will get an APSRTC bus for Tirumala. This bus stand is only 1km away from the Tirupati railway station. The auto fare from railway station to bus stand is 50rs (you can bargain). The APSRTC bus fare to Tirumala is 55rs per person. It takes around 1 hour to get to Tirumala bus stand. You can enjoy the breathtaking views of Tirumala during the journey.

 
how to plan for tirupati darshan, tirupati bus
tirupati bus


  • By rental cabs & prepaid taxis – Rental cabs like Ola & Uber are available in Tirupati, which you can book for Tirumala. Prepaid taxi counters are available outside railway station, they charge around 300rs to 500rs. The travel time is approx 1 hr.


  • By private car – You can also get to Tirumala by your private cars at your own convenience.


  • Via Alipiri mettu pathway – You can get to Alipiri mettu pathway starting point via auto/cabs. The fare will be nearly 70rs (you can bargain). Alipiri mettu pathway is stretched up to 11kms. It has 3680 stairs. It takes 5 to 7hrs (depend on person to person) to get to Tirumala top. This pathway is 24 hrs open. This pathway is totally roofed, with drinking water facility after every 50 stairs. Hotels are available in Gali Gopuram which is after 1800 stairs. Toilets and medical facilities are available throughout the pathway. On the way you can collect the Darshan tokens.


how to plan for tirupati darshan, alipiri
alipiri mettu




  • Via Srivari mettu pathway – This is the path used by Deity Srinivasa himself. Srivari mettu is 18 kms away from railway station & APSRTC bus stand. It takes around 1hr & 20 mins to reach the hill top (depends on person to person). This pathway is stretched up to 2.2 kms. There are total 2387 stairs to get to hill top. This pathway is open at 6 am & closes at 5pm. The facility of free transport for your luggage is available at Srivari mettu. On the way you can collect Darshan tokens. Food, medical & toilets facilities are available throughout.



how to plan for tirupati darshan, srivari mettu
srivari mettu



Note: Nowadays Alipiri mettu pathway is well-liked by the pilgrims than Srivari mettu pathway, but anyways the final choice is yours only. There is a check point at the start of journey to Tirumala hills via buses/cabs/ taxis. Any electronic items (except mobiles, chargers & power banks) and plastic bottles are not allowed after that check point.


Accommodation in Tirumala


After reaching Tirumala, you have to go to the CRO office for room booking. For booking you will need your Aadhar Card. Bookings are only given to the male persons.

1 male person = 1 room & 1 room = 6 person maximum.

No rooms will allotted to females, so u must have a male person in your group. The rooms are allotted for 24 hrs only. For further extension you can contact to the reception of your allotted guest house. The room tariff starts from 50rs to 250rs depending on availability and season.

You can also book your rooms online on the TTD website (www.tirumala.org) 2 to 3 months prior to your Tirupati Darshan. The rooms are allotted randomly to different guest houses. These rooms are very well maintained and include 2 single beds and attached bathrooms. You can check your allotted guest house on the ticket given to you at the CRO office.
Outside every guest house, you will find many food stalls, puja items stalls & souvenir stalls. Drinking water counters are available outside every guest house.


Note: Free TTD buses are available to take you to different places in Tirumala. Sharing taxis & jeeps are also available which takes 20rs per head. 


how to plan for tirupati darshan, tirumala
tirumala bus



Tirupati Balaji Darshan


how to plan for tirupati darshan, tirupati balaji
tirupati balaji



Tirupati Darshan is available from 3:00 am to 12:00 pm. 1:00 am to 3:00 am temple remains closed. You have to take Darshan tokens from token counters available outside every guest house. Types of Darshan:

  • Sarva Darshan - 1 token per person is needed for Sarva Darshan token which is for free. You need to show your Aadhar card. Sarva Darshan is a lengthy process which takes 8 to 10 hrs normally and up to 24hrs during festive days. During Darshan, chambers are there to sit & take rest. Drinking water/toilets are available throughout.


  • Special/Sheeghra Darshan – For special Darshan tokens, you have to pay 300rs per person. It takes 4 to 5 hrs and can extend during festivals. Drinking water/toilets are available throught.


how to plan for tirupati darshan, tirupati balaji darshan
tirupati darshan



Note: No western outfits or shorts are allowed in Tirumala. For Sarva Darshan men can wear shirts & trousers (no jeans) or white dhoti & shirt. No caps are allowed during Darshan. Women can wear sarees or suits. For Special Darshan White dhoti is a must for men. If you opt for Special Darshan, it’s better to bring a dhoti as the quality of dhotis available in the stalls of Tirumala are not of good quality and are expensive too. Mobiles, cameras, slippers are not allowed during Darshan.


Darshan Procedure


Deity Venkateshwara Swami avowed that the pilgrims should take bath at the Pushkarini pond 1st and then go for the Darshan of Deity Varaha Swami (temple located near the Pushkarini pond). After that only, pilgrim should go for the Darshan of Tirupati Balaji. After Balaji Darshan, pilgrims should also go for the Darshan of Deity Padmavathi (temple located in Tirupati City). Those who will follow this procedure will get answers to their prayers soon.

how to plan for tirupati darshan, tirupati temple
pushkarini pond



For Balaji Darshan, different entry points are there in Tirumala. After taking tokens you can ask for your nearest entry point to the TTD employees in the token counter. On the way to Darshan, you will cross a Silver Door & than a Gold Door, before crossing the Gold Door, you will get 2 queues (Right & Left) out of which, if you select the right queue than you will get a better Darshan of Deity Venkateshwara Swami. After reaching the gold door, there will be 3 doors in the middle of the main sanctum & you. The priests are only permitted to go inside the main sanctum. No electric lights are permitted inside the main sanctum. So, you have to see the Deity in the light of the oil lamps only, but the Darshan is do divine that it will give you goosebumps.
You can go for Darshan anytime but it will be better if you take the slot of 9pm - 9:30pm. In this slot crowd will be comparatively less than the other slots and you will get a better view of Deity Balaji and can complete the Darshan in maximum 1-2 hours in normal days. We also opted for 9:30pm slot and completed a hassle free Darshan. If you don’t like crowd, then avoid weekends.  



Note: TTD help desk counters and TTD workers are available everywhere in Tirumala. If you have any confusion with locations, please feel free to ask them. You can also indulge in TTD Seva programs.


Prasadam

Prasadam hall is located near the Varaha Swami Guest house, where you can have annaparsadam everyday. The timings are:
  •      Breakfast – 8am to 9am
  •      Lunch – 10am to 2.30pm   
  •      Dinner – 8pm to 11pm


how to plan for tirupati darshan, annaprasadam
annaprasadam hall



Laddu prasadam counter is located near the Balaji Temple. You can buy tokens for Laddu prasadam on the way to Balaji Darshan. After Darshan you can go to the Laddu counters to collect the prasadam. Tirupati Laddus are very popular among the devotees. So recently, TTD has patented their Laddu prasadam.

1 Laddu = 180gms  



We took 12 Laddu prasadam of weight 2.5kgs approx at 200rs only. These Laddus are made of pure ghee & dry fruits & is really mouth watering.

how to plan for tirupati darshan, tirupati laddu
tirupati laddu


Note: Bring carry bag for taking Tirupati Laddu prasadam otherwise, you will have to buy the carry 1st from carry bag counter near Laddu counter.


Types of Vows and their Fulfillments


Here is a list of the types of Vows usually done at Tirupati temple for wish fulfillment:

  • KalyanaKatta – In this process you can shave your head before or after the Darshan. By shaving head, you are surrendering your ego at Tirupati Balaji’s feet. Kalyanakatta main counter is near Annanadanam complex and sub counters are available near different guest houses. This is for free, so don’t pay anything.


how to plan for tirupati darshan, tirupati balaji temple
kalyanakatta


  •  Angapradakshinam – In this process, devotees lie down on the ground and reach the temple by rolling in ground chanting Deity Balaji’s name. The intention is to humble themselves in front of Deity Balaji. This ritual is executed on the pathway called Vimana Pradakshinam near the Balaji Temple. Devotees, who want to execute Angapradakshinam, have to take tokens from token counters. Before performing this ritual devotees need to take bath at the Pushkarini (located near Varaha Swami Temple) & get to the primary temple complex by 1:45am via a particular queue which begins from PPC Sheds. Angapradakshinam can be executed only in weekends. It gets cancelled during heavy crowds.


  • Walking up via Alipiri or Srivari Mettu – In this process, devotees reach Tirupati Balaji walking through Alipiri or Srivari Mettu track. During the walk, they put Haldi & Kumkum on every stair or light up diyas at every stair after the fulfillment of their requests.


  • Tulabharam – In this process, devotees donate grains, sugar, jaggery, coins etc. equal to the weight of a specific person for whom they made that vow. This is usually executed for children. You can deposit the coins in the hundi. The other stuffs can be given to the authorities of temple.


  • Niluvudopidi – In this process, after wish fulfillment, the devotees donate their ornaments, which they were wearing at the time of making the vow. The intention behind this is that, whatever was mine is now Lord’s.



Note: Other than these vows, you can make your own vows as well. You can donate your offerings inside the hundi present inside the temple.


Tirumala Sightseeing


After Tirupati Balaji Darshan, you can spend a full day for the excursion of Tirumala hills. Here is a list of the places you can visit:

  • Sila Thoranam – It is an ancient arch shaped rock formation at the top most point of Tirumala.


how to plan for tirupati darshan, tirumala
shila thoranam


  • Srivari Paadalu – It is the sacred feet of Deity Tirupati Balaji. It is very close to Sila Thoranam.


how to plan for tirupati darshan, tirupati balaji
srivari padalu


  • Akash Ganga – This is a divine waterfall positioned at the hill of Venkatadri Tirumala. It’s among the renowned places of Tirumala.


how to plan for tirupati darshan, tirumala
akash ganga


  • Papa Vinashan – This is a waterfall believed to be sacred & it washes away all your sins if you bathe in it. It also has medicinal powers.


  • Chakra Theertham – It is a must visit place in Tirumala. Getting there is believed to be as sacred as touching God’s divine feet.



Note: For sightseeing, you can hire cabs that are available outside the guest houses & also outside the Annaprasadam hall. They charge around 800rs to 1200rs (you can bargain) for 2 to 3 hours.


Best Time to Visit Tirupati Temple



how to plan for tirupati darshan, tirumala
tirumala hills


You can plan for Tirupati Darshan all through the year. In summers, the temperature can rise up to 45 degrees and because of high humidity it feels uncomfortable to stand and wait for Darshan in queue. So, it is better to skip the months of summer specially April & May. These 2 months also experience heavy crowd due to summer vacations. Winters are pleasing and perfect for planning this once in a lifetime trip of Tirupati Balaji Temple.

how to plan for tirupati darshan, tirumala
tirumala map

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