I now begin my travel segment in this blog with my most visited destination and the place of my home deity Tirupathi. It would be my foolishness to repeat the things which many of you might know. Hence I decided to make an attempt to include few places around Tirupathi which many of you might have not known about. Well of course I admit that most of the time goes in long queues in the Tirumala temple to have a glimpse of the almighty which is worth waiting for so long. However there are some temples around Tirupathi and Tirumala which have prominent importance.
First and foremost let us see what are the places to visit on Tirumala Hills. Earlier it was hard to reach these places. But now because of the scheduled timings set for the darshan, pilgrims have sometime to reach these places and because of that the roads have been laid well and the journey is made easy.
- Silathoranam: A natural Arch which is incredibly old. It is so beautiful that you can’t get your eyes from it. It has its legendary importance too. It is open until 5.00 PM in the evening and there is no entry fee charged for it. The arch is protected with the fence and is securely locked preventing to go near to it. Here is a Pic of this Silathoranam.
- Chakra Theertham: Chakra theertham is just behind Silathoranam and is a good place to visit especially among the youth as it is kind of trekking. There isn’t much water left there. But still people visit and pray the consorts there.
- Srivari Padalu: This will be the next destination in the same route to Silathoranam. This is situated on top of a cliff and one can view the entire Tirumala Temple Complex from here. Legend says that Lord Venkateswara first landed on this spot on Tirumala. There is an impression of feet which is enclosed by a stone carving depicting the same dimensions. Earlier pilgrims were allowed to touch the feet and offer their prayers. However in recent times it so happened a person has broken the coconut on the Lords feet as an offering. Hence there was hairline damage to the thumb. From then on the feet are enclosed in a glass box. This is how pilgrims have lost the opportunity of touching the feet.
- Tarikonda Venkamamba Samadhi: Venkamamba was one of the great devotees of Lord Balaji.and She has written many poems on the almighty. Even today a harathi by name Venkamamba Harathi or Muthyapu Harathi is offered to god at the end of every day. Her Samadhi is in a school which is in the street adjoining the Varahaswamy Temple.
- Bedi Anjaneyaswamy Temple: This temple is very easy to locate. It is very close to Temple Gopuram. Story says that Anjana Devi, mother of Lord Hanuman had tied him up with chains and ordered him to stay in front of the temple and did not return back.
The above are just few of the legendary places in Tirumala. While some are deep in the forest some are in ruined state. I wish to cover as many places as possible which are visiting. Let us see how much strength the almighty gives me. Many more places around Tirupathi will be covered in the sequel of this write up.