Last month, my Husband and I visited India to attend his Nephew’s marriage. We left USA on March 9th, making sure we finished our Beloved Rayaru’s b-day celebration. We landed early morning on March 11th. My Husband had decided that he would take me to Tirupathi at any cost.
The marriage was on March 18th, 19th and 20th. On Thursday March 20th evening, we left to Tirupathi by the ITDC bus. We took the bus around 9.00 PM at Jaynagar 4th block. The bus took us to Majestic, and we had to change bus. The Luxury bus was jam packed. It reached Tirupathi at 3.00 AM on Friday morning. They have rooms reserved for each family, and we were given an hour to take shower and get ready. The cost was Rs1800/ for each one of us.
We were later taken to the Padmavathi Temple at 4.00 AM. This is the only place we had to take a ticket for Rs.25/. There wasn’t any queue here, and we came back to the Hotel at 5.30 AM. We were taken to a dinning hall and given breakfast which included Idli, Dosa, Pongal, And Kesaribath.
We were taken to Tirumala using the TTD buses. There is lot of security. We were on top of the hills in Tirumala by 7.00 AM. The ITDC guide helps everyone put away their shoes, and also valuables. We were first taken to the Sree Varaha Swamy Temple. We were in the Queue for about 30 minutes, and once the darshan was over, we were asked to wait in Queue near the Rs.300/ door. There were many people waiting here for the door’s to open. The ITDC guide gives the ticket for everyone.The ITDC also collects all the Ladoos, and if you pay extra buys additional Ladoos as well.
Once the door opens the madness begins. The crowd for no reason goes crazy, and people were pushing, jumping on barriers. It is mind boggling, and I am scared of crowds and in general when people push. My Husband was trying to shield me as much as possible. Within 45 minutes of this maddening crowd, we were in front of Our Lord Venkateshwara. I couldn’t believe I was seeing the Lord. My Husband being very tall could see the Lord from a long Distance. I could see him only when I came in the front. And as I was trying to see him, the volunteers hold your arm and just push you out of sight.
Within seconds I was out of the temple, and even though I could see the Lord, was very very disappointed. I couldn’t imagine all the trouble we had taken, were over and we couldn’t even see him for a few seconds. It was Friday, and exam week in India. There wasn’t much crowd either. So, why were these volunteers pushing us around. I guess that’s how TTD temple is, right?
Anyway, I was lucky to see him at least for a few seconds during this visit. Not complaining there.
By 11.30 AM everyone had their Darshan, we were brought back down to Tirupathi, had lunch which again was arranged by ITDC. We left around 1.30 PM, and reached Bangalore at 6.30 PM.
An amazing trip you should take if you are time constrained. How do you all visit Tirupathi? Do you feel the same disappointment that you are not even allowed a few seconds to see the Lord even when there isn’t any crowd? Share your thoughts.