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Chennai (Madras)

Located 138 Kms from Chennai, it is one of the most famous shrines in the country thronged by continuous stream of devotees. Known as Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanam or the abode of the Lord Tirupati, is among the most visited holy place in India for Hindu’s. Situated amidst lush greenery atop a hill surrounded by outcroppings of red rock, the Tirupati temple attracting thousands devotees every day, is dedicated to Sri Venkateswara -one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu.

Tirupati is also known for being one of the richest shrines in the world. Tirumala-Tirupati is built around seven hills that are also known as Sapthagiri after the seven hoods of the cosmic serpent Sheshnag. The temple of Sri Venkateswara is situated on the seventh peak called Venkatadri.

Many a pilgrim get their head shaved when they visit the Tirupati temple and offer their hair to Balaji and this tonsuring of the head is a ritual that is strongly associated with Tirupati. The temple houses a heavily garlanded idol of Sri Venkateswara. In that time you’ll see the stupendously opulent vimana covered in gold and finely sculpted columns. The ‘darshan’ is followed by a round of ‘prasad’, food that has been blessed by the deity and must be received with both hands cupped, right palm above the left one.

From the Tirumamani Mandapam, one can enter the Bangaru Vakili (Meaning Golden Entrance in Telugu) to reach the inner sanctum sanctorum. There are two tall copper images of the dwarapalakas (Guards) Jaya and Vijaya on either side of the door. The thick wooden door is covered with gilt plates depicting the dasavataram (incarnations) of Lord Vishnu. The doorway is directly in line with the Padi Kavali and the Vendi Vakili (Meaning Silver Corridor in Telugu). It admits pilgrims to the Snapana Mandapam. Suprabhatam is sung in front of this door.

One of the most important offering in this temple, is the 'thulabharam.' In the Thulabaram ritual, a devotee sits on a pan of a weighing balance and the other pan is filled with materials greater than the weight of the devotee. Devotees usually offer sugar, jaggery, tulsi leaves, banana, gold, coins. This is mostly performed with newborn babies or children. Located 138 Kms from Chennai, it is one of the most famous shrines in the country thronged by continuous stream of devotees. Known as Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanam or the abode of the Lord Tirupati, is among the most visited holy place in India for Hindu’s. Meeting/pick-up point: Pick up at the hotel at 5.30am.

Duration: 12 – 13 hours.

Start/opening time: At 9am.

End/closing time: At 6pm.

Languages: English.

Others: Non-Hindus are allowed inside the temple complex. Please contact the tour operator prior to the excursion.