I always wanted to go to Tirupati Balaji and now, I was finally there. This spiritual town of Andhra Pradesh is known for the ancient temple of Tirupati Balaji as pilgrims from around India throng for Darshana at the temple. After getting my temple entry ticket, it was a four-hour fight to get into the temple sanctum to see the actual idol encased in gold. I jostled in long queues. The place was full of children with shaved heads. Even some women had shaved their heads. However, the real fight started as we started getting closer and closer to the idol. Bit by bit, the line would move in struts and stops. Everyone would chant “Govinda Govinda” and then move forward. I too got a bit involved and remembered the songs from the film Sarkar 2, Govinda Govinda. I am sure it was inspired by the pilgrims of Tirupati Balaji. Yes, inch by inch, I moved closer to the temple compound. The temple has a bomb glittering with gold. The inner walls of the temple are also plated with gold. The walls of the temple are lit up with red, green, blue and orange lights giving it a psychedelic effect. I reached the idol finally and could hardly finish my prayers before I was pushed to the side by a lady. You only get 10 seconds to see the idol and ask for your wish to be fulfilled. Luckily, I got all my wishes through in time. The rest of the hour was spent meandering around the compound seeing the artis being performed. But how could I leave without eating the LADDO, the Prasad of Tirupati? I walked into the window of the many counters and asked for the Prasad. To my dismay, my ticket did not have a prasad coupon and so, I was asked to pay for the LADDO.
I had no money and so, I begged for the sweet to be given for free. Finally, after some argument with the lady who managed the counter, I was given half a laddo to taste. I finally gobbled it up and marched out of the temple compound to the waiting taxi. Tirupati Balaji is on top at a certain height and it takes one hour by car to get there. The security around the area is good and the temple complex is huge. The energies around the temple are indeed positive, but in no comparison are the vibrations as vibrant as they were in Kailash Mansarovar. Nonetheless, it was a spiritual treat and the laddos really made my day. Man, do I feel blessed!