Friday, July 22, 2011

Visiting Tirumala atop 7 hills on pilgrimage

The Tirumala Venkateshwara temple is 3200 ft above sea level, and is about 10.33 sq miles in area. It comprises seven peaks, representing the seven hoods of Adisesha, thus earning the name, Seshachalam. The seven peaks are called Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrishabhadri, Narayanadri and Venkatadri. It is around 500 km (310 mi) from Hyderabad, India  where my parents stay.

Legend has it that anyone visiting this temple will be cleansed of all their sins. Since my childhood we have visited this temple once every few years and the last time I had visited here was in 2007,

Learn about the temple at the website of the temple :
The Wikipedia page of the Tirumala Venkateshwara temple  provides a interesting read.

Some points of interest from the wikipedia page:

  • Most visited temple with over 30-40 million visitors a year
  • Second richest pilgrimage center  in the world ( just moved to 2nd place after the discovery of wealth at Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Kerala
  • Origins almost 300 BC
Due to the large volumes of pilgrims there is usually a wait to see the deity. I have spent on an average 3 to 5 hours each time I have visited to worship here. Another highlight of this visit was the trek to the top almost 11 kilometres with about 3550 steps that are steep at times. I am proud to say my 5 year old also trekked with me and I must confess he and my daughter beat me in both speed and agility while climbing.

Here are a few pictures from the scenes during the climb and feel free to ask me any questions on this temple and the pilgrimage.