Last time I went was with my family – grandma, dad, mom, lathakka, kavi and a small small divi :)..
Wasn’t too keen to go there again, but it so turned out that Pallavi had prayed that she will get her husband there and that too to climb the seven hills barefoot and visit the god :(…
I reluctantly had to agree and decided on a Saturday and Sunday with Pallavi’s parents and brothers.
We left on friday night by KSRTC Airavath -11:30 bus and it reached at sharp 4:30. We checked into a hotel in Tirupathi and got ready and headed to Ticket counter to get the tickets. We were able to get the Archanananthara darshanam tickets for next day morning at 4 Am. Booked a Innova and saw few temples around: Kaanipaakam (Lord Ganesha’s temple), Srinivasa mangapuram and Alamelu Mangapuram. Food was okayish in tirupathi. After visiting the temples, we decided to start the climb to the top of Tirumala where the world famous Lord Venkateshwara resides.
So we started around 6PM, so it was chill and we won’t be sweating much. Pallavi’s bro Bharath had climbed previously in 2.5 hours and Pallavi was saying she had climbed it in 3.5 hours. For record, this was bharath’s 6th, Pallavi’s 3rd, Pallavi Mom’s 5th I think :)… I was thinking I could ape their speeds and we should be done in 3 hours time.
The initial climb is difficult with steep steps and the first 1700 steps are continuous. It was a hard task and I was drained out before I could complete that. Took a long break – had juices, hot bajji (they tasted so yummy after the tiring climb), took a long breather and then started.
The climb after that was less tiring in that number of steps were less, but the walking part too was draining out the feet. Luckily there were places to wash our face and legs, the cool water hitting the burning feet was like drinking amrutha … okay bad analogy but that was really refreshing :). There was some deer park in-between where we fed some carrots and food items.
We finally managed to reach the top around 10:15.. 4 hours.. not too bad… We had to hunt for food to eat and place to sleep and finally we thought no point in sleeping and spent an hour chatting and then started getting ready. By 4:30, we were at the entrance of the queue. It took about 1:30 hours to get the 30 seconds darshanam and we came out tiring to find our slippers stolen!.. And the worst part is since it’s a holy hill, people don’t sell slippers. We had to walk barefoot from then on until we came down to Tirupathi and bought some cheap roadside slippers .. something to wear.. we then dozed off after having a quick breakfast. Got up in the afternoon, went to govindaraajpattinam temple and then headed to a sick telugu movie. Supposed to be a comedy but it was just passable. After the movie, we had dinner and headed to KSRTC bus stand and returned by Airavatha,