Tirupati... What is there in this place? why do thousands of people throng this place? Why do people pour their money like water here? Why do people get their heads shaved off here? I'm astonished to see even women; who consider hairs as their most valuable asset, without even slight hesitation, get their heads shaved. Why?
Lots of unexplained, unanswered questions remain.. but He keeps attracting people like a magnet. No one can escape from his magnetic force( this is the reason for his name, Krishna... one who attracts).
Being attracted by that force, I went to Tirupati on 5-06-2006 along with my school buddy Satish Nandihalli. Since we left by the 7:30pm bus from Bangalore, we reached Tirupati by 1:30 am. I thought, since we'll be reaching in odd time, we can get the darshan by afternoon. But... there is no odd time in Tirupati. We got the darshana time on 6th 11am. So, we had more than one full day with us to roam around!!!.
We had decided earlier to climb the Tirumala mountain by foot from the Alipiri gate. But, there was no bus to Alipiri. So we had to start our trek from Tirupati bustand itself at 3am. By the time we reached the top, it was around 7.
On the first day, we visited SrIkALahasti and tiruchanoor.
It is believed that the incident of BeDara kaNNappa happened at SrIkALahasti. The temple complex over here is very huge and ancient.
By evening we visited the Padmavati temple at tiruchanoor and returned back to Tirumala. Strolled around for a while and had a hearty sleep at the Tourist Amenities Complex.
Next day morning, we visited the SrI veMkaTeSwara museum. The museum is well maintained and informative. I came to know many new facts about Tirupati.
The mountains of Tirupati had born because of the movement of tectonic plates. The area had risen from the sea due to the motion of Indian plate. The proof of which, stands the stone arch which is said to be formed due to erosion by waves. And this incident is attributed(by geologists) to Lord Varahaswamy lifting the earth from under the sea.
Surprisingly, the mountain range is in the shape of a serpent whose hood appears to be at the Seshadri(Tirumala).
After seeing the museum, we joined the queue for darshan at 10am. After 2 and a half hour(only), Lord gave darshan to us.
Rest of the day, we spent roaming around the nearby places.. Papavinasanam, Akashganga, Hathiram baba muth..etc. But, due to lack of time, we couldn't see the stone arch.
By evening, we were in Tirupati. There we strolled around for some time and by 10pm, we sat inside our bus. Thats all we knew. When we opened our eyes, we were in Kempegowda Bus Station, Bangalore at 3:45am.
And again with the same set of unanswered questions, my countdown for the next visit has started...