Venkateswara Temple
Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh


Golden templetop crowning the inner shrine of Lord Venkateswara,
a form of Vishnu, the sustainer of the world,
The white Gopuram adorns the main temple entrance.

The most famous pilgrim site in India, the Venkateswara Temple in Tirumala on a rainy day

Entrance to the shrine

Lord Venkateswara or Balaji are here wearing a precious diamond crown.
The idol from whom everybody of Hindu faith are sincerely keen to the get the darshan of.

The Venkateswara Balaji Temple

The most popular destinations for Hindu pilgrims in India is the Venkateswara Balaji Temple situated in Tirumala Hills, near Tirupati. Itīs a 30km beautiful drive or walk up hill 700m above the town Tirupati.

The temple eclipses Jerusalem and Rome in the number of pilgrims it attracts on average around 60.000 pilgrims a day and up to 500.000 on festival days. It is the most visited place of worship in the world.

The seven sacred hills of Tirupati are believed to symbolize the seven-headed serpent god Adisesha, on whose coil Lord Vishnu sleeps, thus the name, Seshachalam.

The aura that surrounds Lord Venkateswara, a form of Lord Vishnu, the "Bestower of Boons" has made the temple the most visited and the riches in India. Vishnu is also known as Balaji, and the temple is therefor also called the Balaji Temple.

The entire complex is built to accomodate the huge influx of pilgrims, who come to seek the favours of Lord Venkateswara.
This temple is one of the few temples in South India where non-Hindus are allowed into the inner sanctum.
Devotees wait patiently in long queus for a special darshan, and make offerings of money, gold and jewellery that provide the temple with an annual income of nearly 1,5 billion rupees.

The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam runs the temple and employs over 6000 to see to the pilgrims needs and maintain the temple premises. 


The Deity

The Lord Venkateswara idol a jet-black stone image of 2m hight stands on a lotus and is adorned with rubies, diamonds and gold.

The Deity wears a diamond crown, believed to be he most precious ornament in the world. The deity is flanked by his consort Sridevi and Bhudevi.

Several legends are associated with the manifestation of the Lord in Tirumala. According to one legend, the temple has a murti (deity) of Lord Venkateswara, which is believed shall remain here for the entire duration of the present Kali Yuga.

Venkateswara Balaji flanked by his consort Sridevi and Bhudevi

The Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji,
pontiff of Avadhoota DattaPeetham, Mysore
in prayer in front of Lord Venkateswara

The One of many beautifull depictions of the Lord with his consorts, Sridevi and Bhudevi

Life in the temple compound

The Venkateswara Temple dates back to the 9th century, although it has often been expanded and renovated from 15th century and onwards.
The temple is the riches pilgrimcentre and the most visited place of worship in the world.
The entire complex is built to accomodate the huge influx of pilgrims, who come to seek the favours of Lord Venkateswara - anually 30-40 million pilgrims a year.

In the numerous shops all nessesities are available

At a rainy day pilgrims are few

Worship with kum-kum the red powder available all over India

Worship with insence, kum-kum etc.

Pilgrims resting in the huge mantapa,
between large korridors with shops on both sides 3,4 and 5 floors up

Ornament adorning a building

Pilgrims waiting in line to get to the inner shrine.
It can last several hours to get the darshan of Lord Venkateswara,
depending on how many pilgrims that day.
A good time to visit is between 8 and 10 AM,
at that time in the morning there are less visitors.

Young men are making a good living photographing visitors

 Here a family has been photographed to have a memory of the event -
100 Rupees for one photo!


Getting there

Tollgate before commencing on the hill road

Driving up hill through a beautiful landscape ...

... with Tirumala seen at a distance

Tirumala wiev from the serpentine road

The road is prepared for the numerous pilgrims
coming from all over India and abroard

A Hanuman shrine on the road

Shrine under the huge Hanuman idol


Pilgrims on the road to Tirumala


Amongst the numerous pilgrims, several are walking on foot to the Tirumala Balaji Temple.
On all the roads leading to the 7 hills you find pilgrims coming from all over India and abroard.


Pilgrims from all over India patiently waiting for darshan


The Venkateswara Temples official website:
Wikipedia:  ►  created by BP