Hello Blog Readers!
As I mentioned in my last trip, I am back with one more trip, this time both spiritual and scenic place Tirupathi.
It is a district located in Andhra Pradesh, surrounded by beautiful hills and waterfalls. As most of you know, the world’s famous Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple is located above the seven hills known as Tirumala. Tirumala is one of the ongoing place with devotees throughout the year. People come from different places to see Lord Venkateswara.
I planned my trip in July, i think this is the best time to visit, as summer season ends and rainy season starts.
As a ritual, I checked my car fuel levels and nitrogen levels in tires. I started on Saturday morning at 8am from my home in Chennai. With the help of google maps, I started towards Tirupathi. It takes 3 hours to Tirupathi. On the way I had breakfast and continued my journey.
I reached Tirupathi by 11.30am. I was searching for an accommodation in makemytrip.com, I found one in my budget but it was not at all good. Later I went for one more hotel and it was well maintained. Usually I prefer for budget stay considering safety and comfort.
The hotel where I stayed was totally operated by Women, They speak Telugu, Tamil and English. I checked-in and relaxed for some time. I had my lunch in a restaurant operated by hotel management. After long time I had Andhra meals and it was super tasty.
Whenever possible I prefer going by walk from Tirupathi to Tirumala. There are two ways one could reach Tirumala from Tirupathi by walk.
- Sri Vari Mettu – It is around 2kms with 2400 steps. This is the shortest path but it is very steep.
- Alipiri – It is around 11kms with 3550 steps.
At 3pm I started walking from Sri Vari Mettu, as this route is shorter and has lesser steps. For the first 1000 steps I could make it with joy but after that it is getting steeper and it became difficult to walk. Every 50 steps I started taking breaks and the speed of the walk got decreased gradually.
Usually there will be so many stalls throughout the way where we can buy juices, snacks and all other eatable items, that’s why I didn’t carry a water bottle. But to my shock there were no stalls, I was so thirsty and my situation became horrible. There were drinking water taps for every half kilometre, but I didn’t prefer as I just recovered from illness and I don’t want to trouble myself. So you could understand my situation. After 2000 steps I found a stall where they were serving lemon juice and butter milk but by that time I became accustomed to the situation, I started moving forward and in later stage I had lemon juice and continued my walk.
For every devotee who walks to Tirumala TTD will provide a free darshan ticket, but that darshan will take long time. So I pre-booked 300 rupees darshan ticket online.
Finally with all efforts I reached Tirumala by 4.30pm. It took just one and half hour. Then I had some snacks and started towards Special darshan line.
I deposited my foot wear and mobiles at free counter as we are not allowed to take for darshan.
Now the biggest task, as it is on weekend there were more devotees than normal days. I have no idea when I will reach inside the main temple. After an hour or so, the line was stopped for long time and people were losing their patience. Luckily one side door was opened and the line was diverted to the main temple J. I was really happy that I will finish darshan in a very short time. Now one more hurdle once I entered the temple main entrance, it started raining heavily, everybody ran under the mandapam and the queue was stopped for some time. So there were not much people. I entered the main temple and I always prefer going to the right most line in the main temple as you can get more seconds to see Lord Venkateswara (it’s an open secret). As there was not much rush, darshan was very calm and I was totally happy with that experience. The idol may be of height more than six feet decorated with jewelry and flowers. No words to explain its beauttiful, one should experience that. I felt blessed and came out with full of positive energy. Earlier I went so many times but this time it was a bit special darshan as it was not much crowded because of rain and darshan happened peacefully.
After that, I was roaming at the shopping area and was buying few things. Later I took a bus to Tirupathi. In bus, I was standing as there were empty seats here and there but I prefer sitting next to a lady and I requested a couple of guys sitting in a staggered way and asked them adjust in the other seat but they are not ready to change the seat and on top of that they were started talking unnecessary things, then I started giving back to them then conductor came and made them to sit in other seat and offered me the ladies seat.
I really wonder how people’s behavior changes when they are with their families, and when they are alone. They don’t behave nice to other ladies but they expect others to behave nicely to their family members especially ladies. It was so pity, I don’t understand, when we will change our way of thinking. Whether we are moving forward or we are cremating ourselves. Is this the future we want to give to the younger generation? I have no idea. One should question themselves.
So many thoughts were running in my mind, hmmmm, I left all that unnecessary thoughts in the bus and moved forward. It was around 10 pm I reached Tirupathi. I could see so many travel buses and lot more traffic. It’s an ever green place. I crossed the road to take an auto to my hotel, there I saw Falooda bandi, after shifting to Chennai I was missing that. I tried in few of places in Chennai but that was not as good as what I was expecting. I took a Falooda and it was so tasty.
Reached hotel, had dinner and slept off. Plan for the next day was Talakona water falls.
Second day morning got ready by 8am, had breakfast and started to Talakona.
Here government offers a forest ride which is charged. I am not sure about the price. If you go as a group then it may be less per head.
Once you enter the forest, you need to pay the toll and enter the hill area, till some extent roads were good but after that mud road, mostly up and down roads. But for me it was exciting. After a while you could see all the vehicles parked, so I also parked my car and started towards the falls.
I walked for a while, it’s a bit steep and was surrounded by greenery, it was really beautiful. It’s a very good tourist place and there were so many tourists who were enjoying nature, some were taking bath in falls, it was awesome.
The falls is divided into three parts, one is lower part where most of the people were taking bath and it was totally crowded. So many people were shouting from other two stages. They were trying to get out of there day to day stress by screaming hahaha. I think vacation is very important for everyone.
I walked for a while to reach next level that is medium hill, where I saw a little less crowd mostly young crowd. Next is third level I don’t wanted to go that height and risk my life, coz there was no safety mesh, but people were going up for excitement but for me excitement is important in life but not at the cost of life. So I enjoyed at the second level and after 2 hrs or so, I came down took my car came out of the hill area in search of food. I was totally hungry, I still don’t understand when we are at water area or in a forest you feel hungrier than in normal times.
So I found one very small hotel in a hut, I ordered for meals, by the time I reached there, all the food was over and the hotel lady was preparing hot hot rice. She served hot rice, with some dal, chutney and ladies finger fry. It was very very tasty. I could not find such taste in any big restaurants.
With full of joy in heart and stomach I started back to tirupathi. While returning, I planned to go to Srnivasa Mangapuram. It is just one hour drive from Talakona Waterfalls. The idol in this temple is as same as Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala. Here we get a chance to see the idol very closely.
Next day I was planning to visit Chandragiri Fort, which is just 16 kms from Tirupathi before returning to Chennai.
On the third day I had Breakfast in the hotel where I stayed and checked out. As per the Plan, I started towards Chandragiri Fort. As I have gone through Wikipedia, this Fort has been under the control of Vijayanagar rulers and has a rich history associated with it but currently it is maintained as a Musem by Archaelogical Survey of India. As I started approaching the Fort, I could see the ruins of old Fort and damaged structures on the nearby hill. About half kilometer from the Fort there is small Mandapam which I hope is the entrance to the Fort. From the Manadapam the roads are very narrow and compounded by stones which gives an impression that we are near the Fort. As I expected, I reached the Fort within few minutes from the Mandapam.At the Entrance need to take a ticket which is Rs.30 I think. The Fort is located on the Foot of a Small hill. Basically there are two Forts there. The bigger one is called Raja Mahal where the King stays and Rani Mahal was the Queens Palace.
Raja Mahal is surrounded by a beautiful garden, which was well maintained and also there is a Pond where I found some pedal boats but not in a useable condition.There were quite few archaelogical items displayed in the Raja mahal. It was well construted with windows on all directions in such a way that always there will be air flow in the mahal. Rani mahal looks smaller compared to the Raja mahal and we are not allowed to enter inside.
Overall exploring Chandragiri Fort didn’t consume more than 2 hours.
It was a very cool trip, which was much needed for me, as I was very busy with some tasks; So I was badly in need of a vacation..
See you all in the blog…till then Have a happy and safe travelling…