Many people asked me why I fought with Balaji … well, he didn’t intervene with Appa’s passing away and I was angry. But over the past few years I again felt like meeting him. We kept trying to book for a darshan after the pandemic was gone, but it never worked out.
The first time we seriously tried was in Oct 2021, just after Krishnan’s Shastiabdapoorthi. Again the rains played spoilsport and we couldn’t visit. Then last year, I thought we can donate to the Srivani Trust and force Balaji’s hand. I should have known better :):). Sarvam Vishnumayam Jagat ! He rules the universe and is the primordial force. I can’t force his hand :).
Some of my friends said, he won’t let me meet him ever again … well, how can that be ? I am alive today because his ardent devotee, my Periyamma ensured that I was born and my mother came back from the door of death by praying to Him. For Padmasini Periyamma, Tirupati Balaji was like a family member, who got ordered around to do things that she wanted. So I was sure, he will let me meet him as well despite all my angry outbursts.
On Jan 2nd, as we were leaving from Hotel Hills in Hosur towards Coorg, I realised that the diamond in my finger ring was missing. It was very disturbing initially but as with all these incidents, my natural reaction kicked in which was to say “something better is in store”. We reached Virajpet and just decided to take some rest as the drive from Coimbatore to Hosur was long and tiring.
The next morning I felt the strong urge to check the Tirupati Devasthanam website and the darshan ticket window was OPEN. While Krishnan and I were ready to leave that very minute and go to Tirupati, we settled for Jan 9th. Except for letting my friend Sri, who happens to be Balaji’s special coordinator, know that we finally managed to book the darshan ticket, we told no one. Not even my closest friend Sirisha. I wanted to make sure that we met Balaji and only then inform everyone.
We left from Bangalore on the 9th at 6.54 am. Managed to get out of the Bangalore city limits before the traffic hit.
We refuelled at a Company Owned outlet in Kolar.
After the fuel stop in Kolar, we stopped just before this place called Mulbagal at a small eatery that said “Mulbagal Dosa” for breakfast around 9.20 am. It was an all women team and the Mulbagal dosa was delicious. The speciality of this dosa is, it’s folded like a sandwich or pita pocket with a spicy chutney inside.
Anyone travelling by road from Bangalore to Tirupati, we would highly recommend this eatery and the Mulbagal Dosa.
After having our breakfast, we quickly got back on the road as we had to reach Tirupati before 12 noon. Our darshan window was between 12 noon to 7 pm. We had already informed the guest house where we were staying for the night to organise a taxi for us to go up to Tirumala.
The roads are fantastic between Bangalore and Tirupati. See the pictures below –
We reached the TrueLife homestay, Padmavathi Puram before 12 noon. Quickly took bath, changed and got ready to meet Balaji after 15 years…. As soon as we got near the Alipiri checkpost, our driver Vamsi said the crowds were quite less and that we should be able to get the darshan quickly. On the way up, we first got to see the rock cut face of Balaji. Find it in the pic below –
We got off near the Supadam entrance. We were told by some of the vendors there that no special entry was available. Refusing to believe them, we walked further along and finally reached the special supadam entry gate. After checking our darshan ticket, we got into the temple queue complex right at the No.1 block.
The pilgrims rushing to get Balaji’s darshan hasn’t reduced much, but we were lucky that it was a little less when we got in. As soon as we entered HIS abode, Balaji asked someone to switch off the lights so we could see him shimmering in all HIS glory… Thank You 🙏🏿. Luckily no one pushed us too much and we were able to see HIM for a few seconds more. As we exited HIS presence, we got the opportunity to go through the Vaikunta Dwaram that is kept open during the Margazhi month.
The darshan was completed within an hour but we took longer to get the laddus :).
Finally on our way back I called Siru and she said they were just coming up for Balaji’s darshan. We decided to meet the next day. The feeling of meeting Balaji after 15 long years is something that I cannot describe …. and don’t wish to.
Am also not writing the sthala puranam … the entire universe is HIS.
As they chant on Tirumala – Yedu Gundala Vada Venkataramana Govinda Govinda 🙏🏿. The only fervent request to HIM is – Please allow us to have your darshan frequently.