<head> <title>Tirumala pilgrimage 2005</title> <meta name="Author" content="B. J. Ram Rao"> <meta name="Keywords" content="Lord-Venkateswara, temple, pilgrimage, Tirumala Tirupati"> <meta name="Description" content="Report on visit to Lord-Venkateswara, temple, pilgrimage, Tirumala on Sat. 20-Apr-2005"> <meta content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1" http-equiv="Content-Type"> <title>Tirupati trip 2005</title> </head> <!-- E:\RamRao\personal\on-abajirao\travel\tirumala\index.html --> <body> <h1 align="center"><b><font face="Arial">Tirumala pilgrimage 2005</font></b></h1> <p> Lord Shri Venkateshwara is our family deity ( A 2 & H 5 $ ).<br> The resplendent Lord Venkateshwara and Devi Padmavati Ammavari have eternally looked after us<br> from the mirror framed picture in the home temple at our residence,<br> in my family's entire living memory and then some.<br><br> They have fed us, rested us, protected us and sustained our family's values, morality, ethics, self-respect, sanity and intelligence.<br> <br> The Lord's gold-spired temple at Tirumala is 909 km SE in the line of sight (heading=129.85) from my home in Mumbai.<br> I undertook a pilgrimage for the first time after growing up, in the summer of 2005.<br> All travel from Bombay to Tirumala and back was by bus. </p> <h2>Sat 23 Apr 2005</h2> <p> Deciding to visit the Tirupati Venkateswara temple, I purchased a Volvo bus ticket to Bangalore. Rs. 1275/= </p> <p> 15:48 Started off for Bangalore in Sharma Travels coach KA 01 B 2615. </p> <div style="text-align: center;"> <img alt="The bus" src="images/bus-exterior.jpg" width="800" height="601"> </div> <p> Scheduled departure was: 16:00. But as all passengers were present, the coach started ahead of schedule. The coach had 1+2 seating and 2 video screens. </p> <div style="text-align: center;"> <img alt="The bus" src="images/in-the-bus.jpg" width="800" height="601"> </div> <p> 20:30 We made a dinner halt at <a href="http://wikimapia.org/#lat=18.302650&lon=73.871940&z=17&l=0&m=h"> Hotel Natraj, Shivapur</a>, 16 km from Pune on the Pune-Satara Highway.<br> Shivapur is known for the Dargah of Hazrat Qamar Ali Durvesh (9 [ 0 $ X . 0  2 @ & A 0 M 5 G 6 ). The dargah has two huge stones which can be supposedly be lifted by reciting the sacred name of Qamar Ali Durvesh in one breath. Four km before Hotel Natraj is a toll station. One more km before the toll station is a 'T' junction called Khed-Shivpur faaTaa ( G ! -6 ? 5 * A 0 + >  > ). from where one could take the road westward about 585 m to the dargah. </p> <p> 22:50 By the time sleep overwhelmed, we were at <a href="http://wikimapia.org/#lat=17.0869757&lon=74.2191254&z=17&l=0&m=h">Nerle </a> in Walwa taluka, Sangli district. </p> <h2>Sun 24 Apr 2005</h2> <p> 01:51 am The coach had stopped at a petrol pump (MK) in Hubli for a bio-break for the crew. </p> <p> 06:23 We were on NH48 at <a href="http://www.wikimapia.org/#lat=14.2187181&lon=76.4157722&z=17&l=0&m=h"> Chitradurga, Karnataka</a>. Chitradurga is famous for its schist belt and basaltic rock formations.<br> <i>Schist is a coarse-grained, strongly foliated metamorphic rock that develops from phyllite(slate) and splits easily into flat, parallel slabs.</i> </p> <div style="text-align: center;"> <img alt="Chitradurga 1" src="images/chitradurga-1.jpg" width="800" height="371"> <br> <img alt="Chitradurga 2" src="images/chitradurga-2.jpg" width="800" height="496"> </div> <p> 07:19 The coach made a halt for breakfast at Amanthrana restaurant, Hiriyur pin:572 143, Karnataka on NH4. Hiriyur has the oldest dam in Karnataka, built on Vedavati river, named <a href="http://wikimapia.org/#lat=13.8884483&lon=76.4893805&z=17&l=0&m=h">Mari Kanive</a>. It was built by the Mysore Maharaja: Shri Krishnarajendra Wodeyar, pre-independence. </p> <p> The driver opened the engine cover of the Volvo coach to cool down the engine  a probably entirely unnecessary procedure, but don t rural Indian drivers have their own idiosyncracies?<br> <div style="text-align: center;"> <img alt="Volvo Engine" src="images/volvo-engine.jpg" width="800" height="601"> <br> <img alt="Volvo Engine Closeup" src="images/volvo-engine-closeup.jpg" width="800" height="361"> </div> <br> First time I saw the green-painted six cylinder Volvo B7R engine. It drove two alternators, airconditioner and fan on a gargantuan radiator. </p> <p> 09:20 We reached Tumkur 572102, Karnataka </p> <p> There was a giant statue of Hanuman (Aanjaneya). Painters had erected a bamboo scaffolding to paint it. </p> <div style="text-align: center;"> <img alt="Tumkur Anjaneya" src="images/tumkur-anjaneya.jpg" width="800" height="455"> </div> <p> 10:35 We reached Bangalore 560002. </p> <p> The Bangalore station area is called Majestic. Checked in to Hotel Mayura, 16, Tankbund Rd, Subhashnagar,Bangalore 560009, across the street. A deluxe double room (non a/c) cost Rs. 600 per night. Lay down on the bed and fell asleep. </p> <p> 14:00 Awoke, showered and had lunch at Kamats restaurant downstairs. </p> <p> 17:21 Met friends at Barista, St. Marks Rd, Bangalore. </p> <p> Returned to Hotel Mayura, checked out and took an autorickshaw to the APTDC office on Race Course Road. </p> <p> 19:22 Reached APTDC off., Bangalore. It was on the first floor. </p> <p> 19:36 Walked to the APTDC Volvo. It was an old white coach with non-radial tires and parallelogram wipers. Commenced journey to Tirumala (Tirupati). </p> <p> 20:58 National Hwy.4 (49th km) Dinner halt at Kamat Upachar, Byrasandra Village,Narasapura, Dist. Kolar,Karnataka </p> <h2>Mon 25 Apr 2005</h2> <p> Arrival at Srinivasam Pilgrim Amenities Complex, Tirupati. The Srinivasam is administered by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD). </p> <p> The new guide met us. We were given 1 hours to freshen up and report to theTTD bus at 02:30. The TTD bus was a plain, blue and white Tata APSRTC bus. It was marked as  Acceptable for ghats . </p> <p> 03:00 am Departure for Temple. </p> <p> The Lord s name: Venkateshwara means Lord of the Venkata hill: Venkataachala/Venkatadri. He is also called the Lord of the Seven Hills. </p> <p> The seven peaks are called Seshadri, Vedadri, Garudadri, Anjandri, Vrishabhadri, Narayandri and Venkatadri (adri: Skt for hill) </p> <p> Situated on the most picturesque top of the the seventh peak, Venkatadri: 2,820 ft a.s.l., against the backdrop of the Golden Vimanam, the Tirupati Hill, and the southern bank of Sri Swami Pushkarini, Tirumala - the sacred ancient temple, housing Lord Venkateshwara is reputed to be the second oldest temple in India. </p> <div style="text-align: center;"> <img alt="Sri Venkateswara Temple" src="images/ancient-temple.jpg" width="800" height="361"> </div> <p> This temple has unique sanctity in Indian religious lore. The Shastras, Puranas, Sthala Mahatyams and Alwar hymns all unequivocally declare that, in the Kali Yug, one can attain <i>mukti</i> (salvation), only by worshipping Venkata Nayaka or Sri Venkateshwara. Sri Venkateshwara is the great bestower of boons. The Rig Veda and Asthadasa Puranas cite the benefits acquired by a piligrimage to Venkatachala. </p> <p> So sacred is the Venkatadri that Shri Ramanuja, the great saint, teacher and founder of the VishishTadvaita Vedanta (5 ? 6 ? 7 M  & M 5 H $ 5 G & >  $ ) phil. school, climbed the holy hills of Tirupati on his knees for fear of desecrating them with his feet. </p> <p> Our blue and white TTD bus climbed up the twisting and turning mountain road. The road itself is a very smooth engineering marvel. Numerous boulders along the route were painted in praise of the Lord with hymns and shlokas. </p> <p> <b>04:00</b> Arrival at Tirumala temple </p> <p> The <b>Garbha Griha( 0 M -  C 9 )</b> or sanctum sanctorum housing the awe-inspiring <i>Dhruva beram ' M 0 A 5 , G 0  (. B 2 5 ? 0 >  )</i> of Lord Shri Venkateshwara is in the main temple complex of Tirumala. The idol stands majestically in the Garbha Gruha, directly beneath a golden dome called the Ananda Nilaya Divya Vimaana ( (  & ( ? 2 / & ? 5 M / 5 ? . > ( ). </p> <div style="text-align: center;"> <img alt="Ananda Nilaya Divya Vimaana" src="images/golden-vimanam.jpg" width="800" height="800"><br> <i>The golden vimaana.m over the garbha gruha</i> </div> <p> This exquisitely-wrought ten-foot high idol: the dhruvabera.m (' M 0 A 5 , G 0 . M ), is believed to be swaya.mbhuu (8 M 5 /  - B )  self-manifested . No known sculptor ever possessed the ability to sculpt idols so proportionately and beautifully. Further, no human being is known to have installed it in the shrine. The idol stands on an eighteen-inch platform. </p> <div style="text-align: center;"> <img alt="Lord Venkateswara" src="images/lord-venkateswara.jpg" width="800" height="1173"><br> <i>6 M 0 @ 5 G    >  2 * $ @ , 6 M 0 @ 5 G    G 6 M 5 0 , 6 M 0 @ ( ? 5 > 8 , 6 M 0 @ , > 3 >  @ , 6 M 0 @  ! A  K # M ! 2 5 > ! > , 6 M 0 @ 5 G    0 . # > , 6 M 0 @ . ' A 8 B & ( - K 5 ?  & -( > 0 > / # </i> </div> <p> Ordinarily, the Lord wears a gold crown with a large emerald embedded in front.<br> On special occasions, He is adorned with a priceless diamond crown (5  M 0  ? 0 @   ).<br> On his forehead, the Lord has a thick double patch of upwrought <i>naama</i> of refined camphor, which screens his eyes. Between the two white patches is a <i>kastuuriitilak ( 8 M $ B 0 @ $ ? 2  )</i>.<br> His ears are bedecked with shining golden <i>makar kundals</i>.<br> His raised right rear hand bears a gem-set <i>chakra</i>, and the corresponding left fist, the <i>shankh</i>. His front right hand is slightly outstretched. Its fingers point to His lotus feet: the only recourse for devotees to attain oneness with Him and enjoy eternal bliss. His front left hand is akimbo assuring devotees of protection, and to indicate that the <i>sa.nsaar saagar (8  8 > 0 8 >  0 )</i> is but hip-deep if they seek His refuge.<br> His body is clothed with a piitaambar tied with gold string, and a gold belt with tiny, jingling gold bells. He is adorned with precious ornaments. His <i>yajnopaviit (/  M  K * 5 @ $ ) sacred thread</i> flows down crosswise from His left shoulder. He bears Shri Lakshmi Devi on His right chest and Shri Padmavati Devi on His left chest. <i>NagaabharaNa.m (( >  > - 0 #  )</i> ornaments adorn both shoulders.<br> His lotus feet are covered with gold frames and decked with clinging gold anklets. A strong curved belt of gold encompasses his legs.<br> The diamond studded crown (5  M 0  ? 0 @   ) of the Lord and the glitter of gold everywhere was awe-inspiring! </p> <p> <b>06:00</b> Completion of Sri Venkateshwara Darshan </p> <p> <b>06:53</b> <div style="text-align: center;"> <img alt="Srivari Pushkarini" src="images/way-to-srivari-pushkarini.jpg" width="800" height="337"><br> <i>Way to Srivari Pushkarini</i> </div> </p> <p> <b>07:00</b> Departure for the Srinivasam Pilgrim Amenities Complex. </p> <p> A 51 minute TTD-bus ride down the ghats, twisting and turning at unnecessarily high speeds on hairpin bends and overtaking other buses on impossibly narrow roads. </p> <p> <b>07:51</b> Arrival at the Srinivasam Pilgrim Amenities Complex. </p> <p> Had a breakfast of idlis, wadas and coffee at the 1st floor restaurant </p> <p> <b>08:24</b> <div style="text-align: center;"> <img alt="View from Srinivasam complex" src="images/view-from-srinivasam.jpg" width="800" height="527"><br> <i>View from the Srinivasam complex. High beyond the cliffs, one can see the Tirumala temple?</i> </div> </p> <p> Sri Padmavati Ammavari Devi (6 M 0 @ * & M . > 5 $ @  . M . 5 0 @ & G 5 @ ) is the consort of Lord Sri Venkateshwara.<br> A visit to Tirumala is complete only after visiting the Sri Padmavati Devi temple. </p> <div style="text-align: center;"> <img alt="Shri Padmavati Ammavari Devi" src="images/sri-padmavati-ammavari2.jpg" width="800" height="1063"><br> <i>6 M 0 @ * & M . > 5 $ @  . M . 5 0 @ & G 5 @ </i> </div> <p> <b>08:48</b> Departure from Srinivasam PAC for Padmavati Ammavari temple at Tiruchanoor. Also known as Alamelu-mangapuram, Tiruchanoor is about 5 km from Tirupati. </p> <p> <b>08:58</b> Reached Padmavati Ammavari temple. </p> <p> <b>09:38</b> Departure for Bangalore. </p> <p> <b>09:46</b> Halt to purchase handicrafts. </p> <p> <b>11:31</b> Chittoor </p> <div style="text-align: center;"> <img alt="Chittoor" src="images/chittoor.jpg" width="800" height="225"><br> <i>Chittoor</i> </div> <p> The Chittoor area was characterized by giant basaltic (granite) boulders on hills. Andhra Pradesh is one of India's largest producers of granites, with reserves said to be over 250 million cu.m. </p> <p> The boulders were transported to the road-side and sheets were cut out of them and transported away. The remnants were  L shaped with one smooth surface and one striated washboard-like surface. </p> <p> In this area, basaltic blocks were used as columns, beams and even fence stakes to fence off compounds. </p> <p> <div style="text-align: center;"> <img alt="Poultry farm shed, Chittoor" src="images/poultry-farm-shed.jpg" width="800" height="386"><br> <i>Poultry farm shed. Note the rough granite fencing posts</i> </div> </p> <p> The following areas of Chittoor produce top class granites. Mulbagal produces Mulbagal Grey. Madanpalli produces Tiger Black, Viscon Grey. Palamner produces Viscon Grey. Punganuru produces Viscon White. Kothamallipeta produces English Teak. Seedam produces Green Rose and Kuppam produces Kuppam Green. <p> <div style="text-align: center;"> <img alt="District Map, Chittoor" src="images/chittoor-dist-map.jpg" width="800" height="610"><br> <i>Map of Chittoor Dist.</i> </div> <p> <b>12:20</b> Lunch halt at <a href="http://wikimapia.org/#lat=13.2008935&lon=78.7419426&z=17&l=0&m=h">Hotel Green Park,Palamner</a>. Famous sight: Chandragiri Fort </p> <p> <b>13:12</b> Departure from Palamner. </p> <p> <b>13:53</b> </p> <div style="text-align: center;"> <img alt="Hoskote" src="images/hoskote.jpg" width="800" height="481"><br> <i>Hoskote</i> </div> <p> <b>15:01</b> passed through <a href="http://wikimapia.org/#lat=13.0736369&lon=77.7900007&z=15&l=0&m=h">Hoskote</a>. </p> <p> <b>16:00</b> Arrival Bangalore. It began to rain as we reached the outskirts of Bangalore. We got off the bus in front of the APTDC office at Racecourse Road. </p> <p> Took an autorickshaw to the Sharma Volvo office at Market, Kalasapalayam. The fare was Rs. 40. </p> <p> The Sharma Volvo office was larger than what I had expected. It had comfortable sofas and huge airconditioned waiting lounges.<br> The ticket was computer generated with my name and age. A huge LED display on the wall (not unlike what one sees in European railway terminals) indicated all Sharma Volvo bus routes and departure timings.<br> Then something, I was pleasantly surprised to see in 2005. A charging station for all brands of mobile phone. I recharged my Nokia 3230 battery here.<br> Bought 4 large bananas for Rs. 10. and set off. </p> <p> <b>18:25</b> Sharma Volvo bus started off on 1,002 km trip to Chembur. </p> <p> <b>22:00</b> Dinner halt at Amanthrana restaurant, Hiriyur pin:572 143, Karnataka </p> <h2>Tue 26 Apr 2005</h2> <p> <b>07:12</b> Now on Kolhapur-Satara highway. Covered 630 out of 1,003 km. </p> <p> <b>08:45</b> Breakfast halt at Hotel Park restaurant, Surur 415517, MH.<br> This restaurant is just 1.9 km north of the Wai-Panchgani junction on NH4. </p> <p> Khambatki ghat has now become just a straight long tunnel. </p> <p> <b>09:33</b> Khambatki Ghat Toll Plaza </p> <p> <b>09:36</b> 59 km before Pune </p> <p> <b>10:35</b> Reached Pune bypass </p> <p> <b>10:56</b> Reached Chandani Chowk </p> <p> 11:03 Reached Wakad flyover. </p> <p> <b>13:15</b> Entered Mumbai </body> </html>