Want your children to start the new school year on an auspicious note? Here is why it is a good idea to visit the Tirumala temple and get a glimpse of Lord Balaji right now
By Team ParentCircle
There are many enchanting stories in the Puranas about how the Sri Venkateshwara Swamy temple (also popularly known as the Balaji temple), in Tirumala came into being. Legend has it that Lord Vishnu came down to Earth from his abode Vaikunta and resided in the seven hills of Tirupati to emancipate people from the difficulties of Kali Yuga (the last of the four stages of the world). That is why, it is often said that a visit to the Balaji Temple can be a soul-stirring experience.
That is not the only premise for devotees to flock to the temple by the thousands each day. Be it a newly-wedded couple, elders on a pilgrimage, individuals seeking peace or reverential students before starting a new course – why does everyone come to Lord Balaji to seek his blessings?
We give you 7 reasons why it is a good idea for families to visit Tirumala before the start of the new academic year –
1. Auspicious beginnings – In Indian culture, it is part of tradition to invoke God before starting anything new. What is more opportune for a child than to get a glimpse of Lord Balaji before starting school? “Any beginning that you make, whether it is the start of an education, a new job or a new venture, it is always auspicious to seek the blessings of the Lord. If it is possible to go to Tirupati and pray to Lord Balaji before the start of classes, then it is the best thing to do,” says C S Rangarajan, Head Priest of the Chilkur Balaji temple in Hyderabad.
2. Glimpse of the divine abode – According to spiritual gurus, Lord Balaji came down from his heavenly abode and began residing in Tirumala to bless the people who come to him. When devotees visit the Tirumala temple and glance at the idol of Lord Venkateshwara, they are supposed to get a peek into his ‘Divine Abode,’ known as Vaikunta, a place of peace and tranquility, where there is no hindrance. This is an indication that a glimpse of the deity can be a path to salvation for the devotees.
3. Connection between learning and the divine – The Puranas mention that the Lord of the seven hills embodies the qualities of every divine being. “Lord Balaji is the Kalyug Pratyusha Devam, the divine incarnation for the period of Kali Yuga. This means that he is the embodiment of all qualities – giver of knowledge, remover of obstacles and so on, and that is why devotees pray to him for a variety of reasons. So, children usually seek blessings from Lord Balaji to achieve success in academics , to help them stay away from distractions and grant the power of concentration,” priest Rangarajan adds.
4. Celestial location – Tirumala Balaji temple is also called the ‘Temple of the Seven Hills’ because of its unique location. It stands on the Tirumala hills, which is a part of the Seshachalam hill range in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, which comprises of seven peaks. The breathtaking beauty of the hills along with the celestial presence of the temple, makes it an important pilgrimage for people in India and abroad. Apart from visiting Lord Balaji, you can also take your children to the Sri Bhu Varaha Swamy temple, Swami Pushkarini, the temple museum, Akash Ganga waterfalls and many other attractions in and around Tirupati.
5. Enchanting architecture – According to historical records, Lord Venkateshwara is supposed to have made Tirumala hill his abode around 5,000 years ago. The temple, spread over 16.2 acres, is built in the Dravidian-style of architecture and was opened to the public in 300 A.D. It enjoyed the patronage of many powerful dynasties including the Pallavas, Cholas, the Vijayanagara kings among others. Many tourists come from all over the world just to witness the grandeur and magnificence of the temple structure.
6. Blessed with prasadam – Can any pilgrim, especially a child, think of returning from a visit to the world-famous temple without receiving the famous Tirupati laddu as prasadam (offering)? Definitely not. Also called the Srivari laddu, this delicious offering was first made to Lord Venkateshwara as far back as the 18th century and since then it is being distributed to the devotees every day. Children and adults alike love the taste of the laddu and feel that they have received the blessings of the Lord through the prasadam.
7. Good time to visit – Thousands of devotees visit the Venkateshwara Swamy temple and seek his divine intervention in their lives every day. There are many festivals celebrated at the temple, and such days are considered auspicious for devotees to visit. During special occasions such as Brahmotsavam, which is celebrated in September-October, Pavitrotsavam, Makara Sankranti and so on, millions of pilgrims come from all over India and abroad to pay homage to the Lord. The summer months may comparatively see a slight drop in the number of devotees coming here, because of the hot weather. So, this would be a good time to take your children to seek blessings from Lord Balaji, before the start of the new academic year.
Hyderabad – 587 km; Bangalore – 252 km; Chennai – 133 km
How To Reach: The nearest railway station is in Tirupati, which is about 25 km from Tirumala. For those coming by air, Chennai airport is the closest, from where you can hire a cab.
Places to Stay: The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams provides some accommodation to pilgrims based on availability. Pilgrims can stay only for 24 hours in the accommodation. Apart from these, there are many 2-star and 3-star hotels and cottages in Tirupati that are comfortable for visitors.
Whatever may be the reason for your visit, a glimpse of Lord Balaji and the magnificent temple can be a once in a lifetime experience. So, what are you waiting for? Plan your visit for a memorable trip with your children.
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