..................... HOME                                                                            My Tirupati History   (Sri Venkateswara temple at Tirumala)

Sri Venkateswara is an avatar of Vishnu, the preserver and protector of the universe. The temple is also known by other names like Tirumala Temple, Tirupati Temple, Tirupati Balaji Temple. Sri Venkateswara is also known as Balaji.   

'My' town of Tirupati is the starting point for pilgrims to the temple, hence the large rail and coach stations, the pilgrim choultries and the large number of hotels.
Tirumula is 15 miles from Tirupati, reached by one way road system. When I was first there in 1982 there was no one-way system so it was a very nerve-racking drive.

It is the richest temple in the world in terms of donations received and wealth. The temple is visited by about 50,000 to 100,000 pilgrims daily (30 to 40 million people annually on average).

To visit the inner holy sanctum it is usual to queue for many hours and there are covered 'caged' walkways going all around the central part of the temple. I visited the inner sanctum only once - in 1982 where my hosts fought with elbows to get me through as a VIP.

Most politicians and academics visiting the State of Andhra Pradesh make a point of going up to see 'The Lord' in Tirumula.

My friends from outside Tirupati also visited there; I often joined them so I became well-aquainted with Tirumula

  Official Tirumala temple website               Wikipedia description including history etc
  Back to the links to all My Tirupati History pages
  Index page to all my India pictures
  1982       1993      1996    2007
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  On the way up from Tirupati Dr Srinivasulu (later to be Head of Department) with my hosts on the right
  A typical crowd. Those with shaven heads have offered thir hair to Sri Venkateswara The gopuram at the entrance

I asked if I could take a phot of the musicians. They were very enthusiastic that I should and then I had to parade under the canopy with them and the flaming escort all around the perimeter.
The carnatic oboe (nadaswaram) has a very loud sound.

1993 The dreaded meeting with a bus on the corner Tirupati
  In one of the outer courtyards The exit from the inner sanctum
  Entrance to the place for offering hair. A quarter of the world's wigs come from here Like all major religous centres there are the shops for buying presents
TOP On the way home
1996 Arjuna's chariot at Geethopadesam park in Tirumala Surya, my great friend and guide
  Erection of the wind farm in the sacred hills caused many protests One of the golden domes
  Part of the packed queues for darshan of the god The queue in a gilded cage
  The entrance gopuram. Since early pictures it has become festooned with electric lights The red sign is for phone - in days before mobiles
..................... Always confused by this; enclosures whre food (?) was offered Great Indian entrepreneurs; what do you need if your have lost your hair?
  I love the colours More presnt buying
  A cooling off hall  
TOP Just outside temple perimeter by the car park; a small Ganesh temple More Indian entrepreneurs; "rupees for looking after your car"
  Tirupati from our winding mountain road The gopuram
  The inner sanctum. At the base of the wall you can see the fenced in queue Roof detail
2007 I never really undderstood this enclosure. Fire, noise, braking coconuts
  Always plenty of stone steps for rest Subsidiary gods (Iam assuming)
  Mosquitoes everywhere I don't know what he is making and selling
2007 She hurried up to get in the photo Pretending to be a pilgrim
  Pilgrim followers of Ayappan. One photo sir
  They were the only people in the huge square Mor colour
2007 Colour colour everywhere Catching up with the real world
TOP Wanting to sell me coconts but then preferred a photo. Selling marigolds