Saturday, January 11, 2014
Trip to Chilkur Balaji Temple : Hyderabad
This temple was used to be a very small temple in a village called Chilkur, some 25 kilometers from Hyderabad, with very few visitors and that too local only and from nearby villages. It is only in last 10-15 years that fate of this temple is changed and it becomes one of the most popular and crowded temples of Andhra Pradesh.
It is also known as Visa temple. It is believed to be the only temple of India which is known to help the devotees to get their VISAs to travel abroad with specialization in US VISAs obtaining which is really a very big challenge these days due to the new stringent rules.
I am planning to visit this place from a long time not with the intention of getting VISA but out of inquisitiveness. And on 1 fine Sunday, my plan materialized. We started from our home at 5:30 am in the morning. We started early because I was very well aware that this temple attracts huge number of crowd especially on weekends. We reached temple at 6:30 am and there was decent crowd in the temple, however no queue. After a Darshan, we take 11 rounds of Parikrama (circumambulation) around main temple. It is believed that once your wish is fulfilled, then you have to come back and do 108 rounds of Parikrama. Since it is quite difficult to remember, numeric card is given free with numbers from 1 to 108 written on it so that once you complete 1 round, you mark it on paper.
There is an amazing story behind why this temple became as the VISA temple of India. It is believed that few people reiterated their tale of getting Visa after visiting this temple to the priests of the temple. And these tales passed like conflagration with word of mouth and rest is the history, as we all know it.
This is a temple of youngsters. I have heard this sentence from many people and read it at many places but was not sure what it is implying unless I visited the temple. There is 1 commentary going on in the temple by the priest with really high voice on loudspeakers instead of Bhajan/spiritual songs and he is talking about the attachment of our youth with Facebook and other social media site. I was kind of shocked and at the same time, the cognizant of the priests about Social media were also appreciable. It is when I realized why this place is called as the temple of youngsters.
Also, it is continuously announced by the priests that please keep your eyes open during the Darshan as God wants to see the sincerity in your eyes.
One of the good things about this temple is that they do not have any Hundi for donation; however they have mentioned different bank accounts on the walls of the temple and thus, if you want to contribute, you can directly transfer the amount in bank account and thereby ensuring that your money is going straight to the hands of Temple management committee.
After completing the Darshan, we had a breakfast just outside the temple. This place reminds me of Shakumbara Devi near my hometown Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh, where we used to go frequently with my family members.
We have completed everything by 7:30 am and decided to go back. Early morning ride on Activa and that too in villages of Andhra Pradesh away from the traffic of Hyderabad was quite a break.
I would recommend this place to everyone especially if you are looking for a small picnic with your family for half day. I will also suggest to go as early as possible in the morning to beat the crowd and also to enjoy the ride more.
On our route back to Hyderabad, we passed through Mrugvani National park. As we have lot of time at our disposal and we have already completed everything before the time as we planned so we thought of visiting this place. But then came to know that this place will open at 9am. So, we waited. There was nobody except 2 of us and 1 security guard.
Please let me know if you have any questions/doubts regarding planning your trip to this place.
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