June 29: Visit to Chilkur Balaji Temple!
We (Vandana, Me & Mukund) set out for Chilkur Balaji temple in the morning, it was in a long time that I was visiting a temple. Full credit for this visit and divine experience goes to Vandana & Jijaji ( Anil Kumar Saxena), who made it possible. The drive was pleasant as the weather was breezy and cloudy and even sunny some times. Enroute, we saw Golkunda Fort also. It took us around one – hour to reach there. In the morning, Jijaji had given me some finer points about this temple which I would like to share with you.
This temple is also popularly known as “Visa Balaji temple”. Apparently, the temple is known for fulfilling devotees’ wishes to get a visa for going overseas. Chilkur Balaji is also known for being one of the very few temples in India without any hundi or donation box, preaching only the devoutness in one’s nature. So, if you have visa issues, visit Chilkur Balaji temple. Secondly, you have to make a wish with your eyes open and thirdly, there is no donation box, which is a rarity for any place of worship. For the first time, I saw Tulsi mala made of fresh green big Tulsi leaves, which all devotees offer to the deity. I loved the mala, how I wished I could carry it!
The temple premises were very crowded as it was a Saturday and it was some auspicious day. There was a long queue, but it was not at all tiring, as we all wanted to reach the temple and make a wish. Indeed, the crowds were very disciplined, moving in the queue properly.
Balaji temple is located almost 30 kilometres from Hyderabad, in Chilkur, which is a small picturesque village and a popular pilgrimage. On the banks of Osman Sagar Lake, close to the Vikarabad road, this temple attracts hordes of devotees from all over the country. Chilkur Balaji temple has a pleasing architecture too, boasting of being one of the oldest temples in Telangana. It is said that this temple was built more than half a millennium ago, the temple is being considered as an alternative of Tirumala temple. The main deity of the temple is Lord Balaji Venkateswara along with Sridevi and Bhoodevi accompanying him.
Usually, the devotees follow a common pattern. They offer 11 “pradakshinas” and their prayers to the deity. Once the wish is granted, they take 108 pradakshinas of the temple to show their gratitude and thank the God.
The rounds are done amid the chanting of mantras and religious yet lively talks of the highly educated priests, who speak and motivate devotees in English and Telugu. This temple is known for its positive and peaceful atmosphere, away from the commercialized touch.
Chilkur Balaji temple darshan timings are from 5 in the morning to 8 in the night. It is open throughout the week. Devotees can be seen doing pradakshina since morning till late in the night. Outside the temple, there are many small hotels as well. For accommodation, you can go to the Haritha Hotel by Telangana Tourism which is located very near to the Chilkur Balaji temple.
Our visit was not complete without some more shopping of bangles…
…Thanks, Vandana & Jijaji for this divine experience!