The Lord of the Seven Hills – India

By on November 29, 2014

India is a land of Heritage and Culture. Thousands of temples exist in this land of yore, seeming to the Westerner to be one of the last few threads of connection to an ancient mystic world – a world where spiritual attainment and material affluence walked hand in hand.

Indeed, a visit to India would be incomplete without a visit to the Lord Venkateswara temple, nestling in the Eastern Ghats, at a height of about 3000 ft. in the village of Tirumala.

The significance of the temple in Indian Lore

According to Indian Mythology, the lifetime of the Universe is divided into endlessly repeating cycles. Each of these cycles in turn has several stages, the last of which is the Kali yuga, the yuga which corresponds to the present day. Lord Venkateswara, it is believed, is the redeemer for this age, and the spectacle of the lakhs of devotees visiting this temple everyday, is enough to make a believer out of anyone. The shrine is managed by a trust, which continues to try keeping up with the exponentially increasing crowd, the money generated by the shrine (reputed to be the richest shrine in India), going toward creating the necessary infrastructure and upkeep.

The “sevas” (offerings) of the temple begin before dawn and end late into the night, with everyday being a festive day at this temple. To cope with the tremendous tourist inflows (which sometimes require a waiting period of 2 days or more), the temple authorities have come up with an unique idea of handing over barcode embedded bracelets, which indicate the hour and day when you are likely to get the “darshan” of the Lord. Should this be a time, say two days ahead, you could continue to stay in Tirupathi partaking of the various other sights that this amazing historical town is bestowed with or venture to nearby attractions.

The Lord of the Seven Hills

How do I get there?

Tirupathi is accessible through air, rail and road. The following table describes the approximate distances from the nearby Metros to Tirupathi:

 

Distance in kms                                          Air          Rail        Road

Chennai -151                                                      yes         yes         yes

Hyderabad -617                                                yes         yes         yes

Bangalore -248                                                No          Yes         Yes

A wide range of accommodation facilities ranging from “three-star” to Budget accommodation is available. Cottages in Tirumala are one of the best options, but it is advisable to book in advance due to demand.

Tips for making your visit better

As with most religious places, Tirupathi has its own list of guidelines and do’s and dont’s.Observing these would go a long way toward helping you have a god “darshan” and understanding the spirit in which millions from all over the world flock to this hill temple every year.

Let us close with a much rendered verse in Tirupathi:

“There is a wonderful uniqueness associated with Lord Venkateswara, and His abode, Venkatadiri.”

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