With the ceaseless blessings of the Almighty, Sri Venkateswara Temple continues to be the most visited shrine in the world. Not only most visited, it also claims the distinction of being the world's richest temple too. Tirupati Balaji Temple is perched on the Venkatachala or Ventaka Hill (the seventh peak of the Tirupati Hill) at Tirupati, which comes under the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. Dedicated to Sri Venketeshwara, Tirupati Temple is the most sought after pilgrimage site of the Hindus.
Owing to the fact that Tirupati Hill has seven peaks, Shri Venkateswara
is also called as the 'Lord of the Seven Hills'. He is considered as a
form of Lord Vishnu, who is believed to be the 'Preserver of the
Universe'. In the southern part, 'Venkateswara' is the popular term,
while 'Balaji' is common name of the Lord in the northern parts of
India. Millions of devotees get attracted by the divine aura of the
shrine, where queues stretching to kilometers can be seen.
Tirupathi Balaji Temple has been held high in the ancient scriptures,
like Shastras, Puranas and Sthala Mahatyams. In Kali Yuga or the Dark
Age, it is believed that worship of Lord Venkateswara is the sole means
to obtain salvation (mukti). Infact, Rig Veda and Asthadasa Puranas have
suggested visiting this pilgrimage. As per the legends, Tirupati has
been visited by great personalities including Ramanuja Acharya.
The kings of the dynasties like the Pallavas, the Cholas, the Pandyas
and Vijayanagar kingdom are said to compete with one another in order to
visit the shrine and offer donations. Following the philosophy of
Vaishnavism, the temple observes equality, love and prohibits animal
sacrifice. Even today, Sri Venkateswara Temple observes an array of
rituals and sermons, which were recommended by Ramanuja Acharya in the
Tirupathi Balaji Temple is the standing testimony of ages. Being a fine
specimen of Dravidian style of architecture, the edifice has 'Gopuram'
(tower) and gilded cupola (Vimana). In the enclosures, there are many
statues of legends, including King Krishnadevraya and Todarmal (minister
of Akbar). In the main sanctum sanctorum, the spectacularly beautiful
idol of Sri Venkateswara / Balaji captures the attention of everyone.
Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) is the association that manages and
the affairs at the temple. Ranging from accommodation to food,
clealiness to shelters, & toilets to drinking water, TTD looks after
the each and every concern at Tirupati Temple. Each day is a day of
festivity and celebration here. At regular intervals, different pujas
and darshans are conducted to keep the visitors at ease. 'Brahmotsavam'
is the major festival observed here. In September, this nine-day
festival attracts vast number of devotees and pilgrims from all parts of