Tirupati Darshan: 10 Interesting Facts You Must Know Before You Go
The grandeur of Tirumala Tirupati temple and the stories associated with it have piqued the interest of travellers worldwide. Whether you are a religiously-inclined or not, your trip to Tirupati is considered incomplete without Tirupati darshan.
Best time to visit Tirupati is during Brahmotsavam festival when the town is soaked in spiritual fervour. If you are planning your visit to Tirupati this Brahmotsavam, here are some interesting facts about Tirupati Temple that you must know before you go.
1. Tirupati Laddu Has A GI Patent
Yes, it’s true! Tirupathi laddu has a GI patent, which is only granted to identify a product as having specific provenance. The prasad laddu at Tirupati Balaji is arguably the first offering at any place of worship to be recognised as intellectual property, in this case, of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), that manages the temple.
2. The Temple Is The Most Visited Place of Worship In The World
Tirumala temple is visited by about 50 thousand to one lakh pilgrims daily. And, when it is a festival or a special occasion like Brahmotsavam, the number of devotees shoot up to 5 lakhs, making it the most-visited holy place in the world.
3. Lord Balaji’s Idol Maintains 110 Degree F Temperature Always
Tirumala Tirupati temple is located at the height of 3200 feet, and the surroundings are cool. Irrespective of this fact, the idol of Lord Balaji remains at a temperature of 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Every morning, after the bath ritual, droplets of sweat appear on the idol of Lord Balaji. On Thursdays, when the priests remove the ornaments of the idol for a holy bath, it is said that they come off with a sensation of warmth.
4. Oil Lamps Placed in Front of The Idol Are Perpetually Lit
5. Flowers Offered at The Temple Come Out 20 Km Away
At Tirupati temple, the flowers offered to Lord Balaji during morning worship are not thrown out of the Garbha Gudi (sanctum sanctorum). Instead, they are thrown into the waterfall that flows behind the rear side of the idol. Afterwards, the priests refrain from looking at the backside of the deity for the rest of the day. Interestingly, the discarded flowers can be seen at Yerpedu, 20 km from Tirupati.
6. Lord Balaji’s Idol Survives Strong Chemical Reaction
The idol of Lord Venkateswara (Lord Balaji’s another name) is adorned daily with Pachai Karpooram, a derivative of Cinnamomum camphora tree. It is known to be a highly volatile substance that leads to cracks and fissures on a stone. But not so in Lord Balaji’s case. The idol of Tirupati Balaji is resistant to the volatile chemical reactions of the substance even when it remains smeared with it most of the time.
7. Tirumala Has A Hill That Resembles A Garuda
Garuda is believed to be the vehicle of Lord Venkateswara. Surprisingly, you find a hill in Tirumala that features a natural rock formation in the form of Garuda.
8. There Are Mystical Hair On Lord Balaji’s Idol
The idol of Lord Balaji in the Tirumala temple has real hair on it. The authorities say that this hair has never entangled and is silky smooth. It is a mystery as to how an idol has real hair.
9. 10-Year Waiting Runs On Lord Balaji’s Garment Offering
Devotees who are willing to offer a dress to Lord Balaji have to wait for at least ten years for their turn. They have to submit an assigned sum at the temple office towards the cost of the dress which is made in a special village by weavers who need to bath thrice daily and refrain from alcohol and non-vegetarian food. Every Friday 15 such garment offerings are accepted by the temple office, and currently, there is a decade-long wait in place for new offerings.
10. Items Used in Lord’s Abhishekam Are Imported From Abroad
At Tirupati Balaji temple, every morning begins with an Abhishekam ritual. There are various items used for Abhishekam of Lord Balaji including saffron, sandal, a variety of flowers and fragrances etc. Interestingly, the saffron used in the ritual comes from Spain, Kasturi arrives from Nepal, Punugu from China, and specific fragrance material from Paris. This isn’t it! A sandal paste is prepared afterwards for the ceremony on a golden plate. You can witness the Abhishekam every morning from 4.30 am to 5.30 am and soak in the opulence of this revered temple in South India.
Tirumala Tirupati Brahmotsavam dates 2018 have been released by TTD trust. Devotees can do TTD Online darshan booking in advance to avoid last-minute hassles. As the town gets crowded during the festival, so it is advised to book your Tirupati Darshan package at least 3 months before visiting the town. While there make sure to check out the various Tirupati tourist places as well.