“Do we really need to go there after going to India, or shall we plan it next year?” He muttered. I replied “We are doing the same thing since last four years and unnecessarily the trip is getting postponed. Now kids have grown up and they have school holidays as well, so we can go to Tirupati Balaji temple before going home.” And somehow the hubby got convinced to go to Tirupati. As nearly 50000- 100000 people visit The temple daily and managing kids in such a huge crowd were the main concern for us. Many times people have to stand in long queues for hours to see the Lord. He was worried if kids start crying in between we can’t come out of the queue. But I talked with kids and they were Ok to visit the place. We started searching for flights and accommodation details at Tirupati. We asked our friends and relatives to collect as much as information about the place. Standing in the queue along with kids was tough and we wanted to have quick darshan. We visited the sacred place before 10 years and everything (Rules, regulations, facilities)had changed in recent times. One of my friends (Who visited the place recently )suggested the new facility: special darshan pass. It helps to get the quick darshan and no need to stand in queue for long hours. It can be booked online /TTD counters and costs 300 INR per person.
Tirumala Tirupati devasthanam website :
You can book accommodations (the guest houses) at Tirumala online using the above website. It’s available at a very affordable rate. Also, you can order ladoos (Prashadam) and pay for it online. Whoever visits the temple get 2 free ladoos as a prashadam and if you want more ladoos then it needs to be bought either online or at a counter.TTD offers special darshan facility for senior citizens, physically challenged people and NRI’s. You have to carry necessary papers while going to temple for using these facilities.
We took flight from Hyderabad to reach Tirupati and stayed at hotel fortune select grand ridge. We planned the trip in such a way that we could visit Lord Balaji temple on Saturday morning. We reached Tirupati on Friday and spent the day to visit local temples. We were unaware of the new dress code rules for visiting the temple and hotel staff informed us about the same. We bought dhoti for the hubby as we didn’t have it.
Here are a few ways you can make fast darshan Of lord Balaji:
- Book special darshan pass using the ttd website/or ttd counters.
- Select days like weekday except for Friday. Always avoid weekends, Ekadashi, public holidays, school holidays and festival days as it’s fully crowded on these days and there will be long queues than usual.
- Select early morning slots for special darshan as mornings are less crowded.
Follow these tips while visiting the god’s abode and have smooth darshan. Here is some rules, dress code that needs to be followed while visiting the temple:
Rules to visit the Lord Balaji temple for darshan:
1. Western clothes are not allowed inside the temple. Dress code for women is Indian wear like sari, Punjabi suit with odhani. Dress code for men: Dhoti and shirt.
2. Leather belts, wallets and any other leather wearable’s are not allowed inside temple so remove them outside only.
3. Any of the electronic gadgets are also not allowed inside the temple so keep your phones and other electronic gadgets at a hotel room.
4. Only water bottles for small kids are allowed. Food/drinks are not allowed inside the temple.
Coming back to our visit to the temple. We selected Saturday morning first slot of 9 a.m. for the darshan. As we were staying in Tirupati, we started by a car at 7.00 am to reach Tirumala. We reached before time and waited for few minutes to open the special darshan gates. We entered the temple at 9 am sharp and had security checks. After walking for a few minutes we reached at the Entrance gate no. 23. It was fully occupied with the devotees like us and we could hardly get a space to stand. Kids were a bit scared as they never saw so much of crowd. We could walk through the queue but couldn’t see anything in front. It took 1 hour and 10 minutes to reach the main temple. By that time Sara was comfortable with the crowd and was ready to walk along with me. (Till that time I was carrying her, as there wasn’t any space to stand). In the next few minutes we reached inside the temple and we maintained the exact right side of the queue. It’s necessary to be at right to have the complete view of the god and it gives the fraction of second more time to see the lord. Me and hubby were carrying children as high as possible so that they could also see the Lord Balaji. The wait was over and for this moment we were planning for last 4 long years. Hurray!! We all could see the God for 50-60 seconds. It was the divine, the enchanting and most peaceful moment of our lives. One can realise the sheer happiness after seeing the Lord. We came out with the satisfaction and smile on our faces. Our trip was successful and we could do this in merely one and a half hour. Many times people can’t see the lord because of the huge crowd and long waiting hours. I told hubby that he was unncessarily worried and how easily we could get Darshan of the lord Balaji.
After coming out of temple there was another queue to avail prashadam of 2 ladoos. As kids were thirsty and we didn’t go for the prashadam queue and went out of the temple. Then we collected the laddos from Prasadam counter which was pre-booked online. We received a big bag of 16 ladoos. It’s very delicious and they were bigger than usual ladoo size.I absolutely love ladoos and this ladoo has a very unique taste.
We spent time in local markets and bought Pooja material and photo frames of the lord. If you are planning to buy pooja material, photos, statues, imitation jewellery then Tirumala is the perfect place. We visited other sacred temples of Govinda, Padmavati in the Tirupati on next day. It was a 3 days trip to the place and we could do most of it. Kids enjoyed the trip and visit to the main temple as well.