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Old 4th November 2011, 14:23   #1
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Default We - Man, Machine, MHawk & Lord Balaji

We visited Thirupathi recently and following is the travelogue . ( No Photographs , Please excuse )

Travelogue is divided into

  • Bangalore to Thirupathi
  • Thirupathi to Thirumala - Hill Climb – 3500 steps
  • Thirumala to Thirupathi
  • Thirupathi to Bangalore

Bangalore to Thirupathi .

Road from home to Krishnarajapuram was snail pace keeping the traffic . With torrential rains in Bangalore in the afternoon it was a bit difficult to see even the front vehicle and visibility was rather poor . Once we crossed KR Puram the road is a 6 Lane road almost till Mulabagal Then its again a single road from Mulabagal to Thirupathi.

Once we reached Thirupathi ,we booked in Bhima’s and went out for dinner . We had Andhra meals and slept around 10.30am . We got up @ 3 in the morning and set out for Thirumala from our hotel . As we did not had our vehicle or a 3rd person to drive the car , the car was parked in our hotel and we went to Allipiri ( Foot hold of the Thirumala Mountains ) by Auto .


Thirupathi to Thirumala - Hill Climb – 3500 steps


1-2080 Steps
  • Once we reached Allipiri , we started our climb by around 3.45 -4AM .
  • The first set of 2080 steps is a steep climb .
  • This is the tough part of the whole climb. As we are not used to climbing stairs ( We use lifts in Bangalore & not good to our hearts )
  • We had a lot of breaks in between with some cool drinks to take care of us during the journey
  • In the Galigopura section , they issue free tickets to all who climb the complete stretch .
  • This ticket is again rechecked just before reaching the Thirumala Hiills
2080 – 2750 Steps

Once we reached Gali gopura , the hill climb was much easier . Rather being vertical , its more of a horizontal climb


2750 Steps - 2-3 Kms by road
  • This is one of the best parts of the whole hillock . To go to Thirumala we have 2 routes ( One is for Climbing the hill , One is for the return trip . ) Both are separate routes and this is to make sure there are no traffic jams .
  • The climb on the foot from app 2750 steps will lead to the descent route . We have a separate foot path all the way . Some of the parts have a covering on the foot path to avoid rains
  • The Last 500 steps are again steep and one will be completely tired before we enter Thirumala
Enter Thirumala

From the start of Thirumala to the temple , its again a 2-3Km by walk .


Darshan options .
  • Any time darshan – 300Rs - App waiting period 2-3 Hrs
  • Special enterance for people who have climbed the hill - No money to be paid
  • Break Darshan ( If u are a VIP or a letter from a Donner )
  • Seva Darshans
We had option 1 & 2 . As we had climbed the hill and had the tickets , we decided to go for Option2 .

Advantages

No need to pay any money

Dis advantage
  • Highly crowded area
  • People from all walks of life can be seen in this Option 2
  • Some might not be that friendly
  • Slang Language and some indecent behavior was found in the crowd
Darshan of the Lord Balaji
  • For all special darshans, one can walk in between Jaya and Vijaya the two guards of Lord Venkateswara .
  • For normal darshan , Option 1 & 2 , we have to see lord from Jaya , Vijaya onlly
Thirumala to Thirupathi
  • Once the darshan was over , we took a taxi back to Thirupathi ( This was a old Mahindra Jeep )
  • The experience was amazing . I was just trying to understand where Mahindra’s started the design and where they are today .
  • The Jeep had bear minimum features , and it was a experience of its own to sit and enjoy the body role of the vehicle while it was descending on the ghat roads of Thirumala

Last edited by Ranga : 4th November 2011 at 14:25.
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Old 4th November 2011, 15:33   #2
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Default Re: We - Man Machine MHawk & Lord Balaji

Thirupathi to Bangalore .

Now some very interesting things happened while we started back from Thirupathi to Bangalore .

As I was not well versed with Thirupathi roads from Bhima residency to Bangalore , I started using Nuvi with SAT Guide maps . I am using this SAT guide map which has not been updated recently and this was the major stumbling block for my return journey .

The map did not guide us properly and we ventured into unknown roads and that where the problem started

The problem I faced questioned
  • My driving skills
  • Very bad map updates from SAT Guide
  • Did question my vehicle the MHAWK ground clearance
So what was the problem ????


Many might have observerd that now in Thirupathi , the TTD is laying Cement roads . This is to make sure that the roads does not get spoiled due to lot of tourist visiting both Thirupathi ( city) and Thirumala ( Hill )
The first culprit was the SAT guide maps . I have been using this for last 1 year and my wife has hated this to the core .
The NUVI is not to be blamed . I bought it in US and it worked flaw lessly in US with Garmin maps. The culprit is the SAT guide map ( I strongly recommend any of the PND users not to use SAT Guide maps ) .
This map took us to a couple of roads away from the Padmavathi temple in Thirupathi .This particular road was being upgraded to a Cement road .The way it was done was that the cement road was laid for half of the stretch , the other half of the road did not have Cement

This was actually a 0.75 – 1 feet concrete on the normal road . The major problem was that this was not laid end to end of the road . It was just enough for one vehicle to pass with some place for a two wheeler to pass on the other side .

When I went through half of the stretch , I found the concrete was laid only for the half of the road and the rest half was plane road . The difference sitting from my vehicle was to much and I thought I will scratch the underbelly of the MHawk .

This was a decision which I will regret for the entire trip . ( Actually the MHawk had enough clearance and I did not judge )
So having felt that ground clearance was not enough , I started reversing the car.

While reversing the car, I could not get the entire back part of the road clearly on my mirror and this is where I made my second mistake . While reversing my backside left tyre came out of the concrete road , and within seconds , my front left tyre also met the same fate .

Now I had my Scorpio with 2 Wheels out of the concrete road and the whole vehicle was now inclined to the left . Any acceleration efforts , the wheel spin started and the car got stuck in the concrete on the back side wheel side .

Now I was completely stuck and my vehicle could not move .as I was not able to make proper contact on the road

Sudden panic , Called Mahindra Online Help

The way my MHawk was sitting on the road , I thought we might need some kind of crane or some external help to pull the vehicle . With 2000Kgs + at stake , not much options was left .
So I called Mahindra Online help , explained to them what had happened and informed them that I needed assistance . They checked the place where I was for them to assign help . I did pass the best inputs based on Sat guide map location.

They said they will call me back in 10-15 mts and assign the near by Mahindra vendors to assist us

What were our options ?
  • Remove all 4 Wheels . Lift the car through any crane and place it on the road
  • Lift the car as is and place it on the road
  • We tried lifting the car on the left side using the jack , but had little place to actually use it in the right condition
So who saved us from the above ordeal ? - Lord Balaji - Lord Balaji’s Humble Followers

Many people who were using this road tried to assist us . A Auto driver came to our assistance to see if we can do anything . We could not move the vehicle a a inch from the road Then came a group of people who looked to be on some special trip for Thirupathi. They all were wearing Yellow color dress ( Something very similar to Shabari Malai trip people who wear black ) They all were speaking in Tamil , and later I found out later that they were truck drivers .

When they saw my scorpio , they said we can have the scorpio back on road.I asked them how .
One of them came forward and explained that this was a normal phenomenon of tyre getting stuck in mud and they lift trucks ( Means a group of people lifting it )

I could not believe what I just heard from them . But one of them came and explained how we can remove our car from the existing mess They said they will form 2 groups. Group 1 will lift the car from the front end , where as the group 2 will lift the car on the back end ( near the tyres ) Once this is done , they will signal me to start the car and slowly drive it back to the road .

I thought for a while , and said lets do it . So the whole team of people who came were divided into 2 groups 8-10 in the front, app same number of people would lift on the back end of the car .

First they lifted the front portion of the Scorpio and asked if I could steer my car I said yes . All the while I started my car , the second group lifted the back portion . Imagine my front wheel left side tyre and the back wheel left typre was now in mid air . I slowly started my Scorpio and tried to pull the car on the right side, My front wheel touched the concrete road , ( Now team 1 left my car ) and asked me to slowly accelerate

Now the second team was still holding the back portion of the Scorpio on the Tyre end and signaled me to move further .

Vollla , my scorpio was back on the road .

1.What a relief ????
2. Can’t explain . Did a silent prayer to lord Balaji
3. And pulled my vehicle , crossed the concrete road and parked my vehicle .


By the time I could come back and thank the people who did this yeomen service , they were all gone …
I ran and tried to meet the person who actually helped me . I tried to thank him . His reply was very simple in Tamil “ Lord Balaji was Kaduval – means god “ I said u are my god today for having saved me .I had no words to thank them . They were all in a hurry and they were gone in 60 seconds . I came near my car and found my wife looking at the whole adventure which had happened in a span of 20 mts .Much to our relief , I just sat back in my Scorpio and could not move for a minute . By that time the Mahindra online help teams started contacting me . I explained to them how i sorted my problem out and thanked them for contacting us .

Last edited by Ranga : 4th November 2011 at 15:38.
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Old 4th November 2011, 16:09   #3
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Default Re: We - Man Machine MHawk & Lord Balaji

I never knew that a group of people could lift up the vehicle in mid air while you accelerate. What a scary adventure that must have been. Additionally when you are accelerating, there might be danger of running on one of the persons who lifted the scorpio.

And i cannot believe what I read. That these group of people lift the truck too. I have travelled quite a bit on highways but I have never seen this happen.

Did they recently start giving free darshan tickets to people who climb up the hill?. Next time if you are planning to go up on foot try to do the Chandragiri side climb. It takes about 45 minutes to go up and the steps are very steep. But make sure only group of guys do this as there are hardly any people who climb this.

How was the rush at the temple overall? It has been almost 4 years since I last visited that place and I thought for myself that unless the crowd reduces, I am not going into that temple again. A group of guys can easily manage, but if there are any ladies, then it becomes very scary with all the pushing.

Last edited by himavanth_m : 4th November 2011 at 16:11.
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Old 4th November 2011, 18:16   #4
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Default Re: We - Man Machine MHawk & Lord Balaji

@Ranga
That was a wonderful experience with your Scorpio .
Good to know that they are issuing free tickets for the people who are trekking the Thirumala hills.
How long did it take for the darshan in the normal Que that you went.
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Old 4th November 2011, 21:36   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by himavanth_m
I never knew that a group of people could lift up the vehicle in mid air while you accelerate. What a scary adventure that must have been. Additionally when you are accelerating, there might be danger of running on one of the persons who lifted the scorpio.

And i cannot believe what I read. That these group of people lift the truck too. I have travelled quite a bit on highways but I have never seen this happen.

Did they recently start giving free darshan tickets to people who climb up the hill?. Next time if you are planning to go up on foot try to do the Chandragiri side climb. It takes about 45 minutes to go up and the steps are very steep. But make sure only group of guys do this as there are hardly any people who climb this.

How was the rush at the temple overall? It has been almost 4 years since I last visited that place and I thought for myself that unless the crowd reduces, I am not going into that temple again. A group of guys can easily manage, but if there are any ladies, then it becomes very scary with all the pushing.
Well when this incident happened , and when I shared this with my friends , they did not believe it . Believe me I was so tensed that for some time I went blank when this happened . Did not take a single photograph when this happened. This incident disturbed so much that I could not drive . Later me and my wife went to Kanipakam temple of Ganesha , spent some time in the temple and then headed back to Bangalore
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Old 4th November 2011, 21:38   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gajadonga
@Ranga
That was a wonderful experience with your Scorpio .
Good to know that they are issuing free tickets for the people who are trekking the Thirumala hills.
How long did it take for the darshan in the normal Que that you went.
We took 3 hrs in the q for this Darshan
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Old 5th November 2011, 14:51   #7
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Default Re: We - Man, Machine, MHawk & Lord Balaji

Lifting the vehicle on one side/the stuck side while the vehicle slowly moves is a common way of getting out when a vehicle is stuck. But it needs most precious resource on earth - men with good hearts.

Good that you have a pleasant encounter with good men in spite of having gone through a nervous experience for a few minutes.
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Old 5th November 2011, 15:27   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simplyself View Post
Lifting the vehicle on one side/the stuck side while the vehicle slowly moves is a common way of getting out when a vehicle is stuck. But it needs most precious resource on earth - men with good hearts.

Good that you have a pleasant encounter with good men in spite of having gone through a nervous experience for a few minutes.

Yes I was in safe hands ( Frankly speaking the kind of help they did for us is beyond expectations )

I could not even thank them properly after this incident .
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Old 5th November 2011, 15:37   #9
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Default Re: We - Man, Machine, MHawk & Lord Balaji

I had been to Tirumala in the third week of October. Started unexpectedly, with just four hours of notice. Did overnight journey and had been at Tirumala by 7.30 am. Head tonsure took a lot of time.Just as we approached the entrance of the queue, we were stopped by a man who offered, for a fee of Rs.100/-, to get the tonsure done without having to wait in the queue. We rejected the offer and stood in the queue for over one and a half hour.

The rush was not much but it took us over 4 hours to get darshan of the Lord by Rs.300.00 queue. This is the longest time I had spent in a queue at Tirumala.

Even the people who serve prasadam ( not the famed laddu ) after the completion of darshan asked me some money in an indirect way as I requested them some more. As I went back to them for some more and requested their "help", they would say it is not "help" but some other thing. I asked them what it is if not "help". They were indicating that I pay them some money without directly asking for it. I stayed adamant ; they finally gave in and "helped" me with some more.

Last edited by simplyself : 5th November 2011 at 15:44.
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Old 5th November 2011, 17:30   #10
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Default Re: We - Man, Machine, MHawk & Lord Balaji

Lord Balaji does really help his devotees, we too had a misadventure of sorts when our A Star skidded uncontrollably due to inclement weather on to the left. Luckily it did not follow the pattern of demo for ABS and skid to the right, maybe we would have met with a major accident. The car was cleaned to the core in the pouring rain. Maybe Lord Balaji wanted our car to be bought to his premises spik and span. Good luck to Mr Ranga
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Old 5th November 2011, 19:54   #11
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Default Re: We - Man, Machine, MHawk & Lord Balaji

Hi ranga, I have to go to tirupathi for a friend's wedding. A day prior to the wedding I would like to walk up the hills to tirumala. I was wondering how to leave my car back in tirupathi and walk up. My primary concern was the vehicle's safety. I was wondering what to do and voila! I find your thread!

Can you tell me more about bhima's and their prices? Is the car park inside their compound?
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Old 6th November 2011, 05:29   #12
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Default Re: We - Man, Machine, MHawk & Lord Balaji

All is well that ends well. I have seen many times folks lifting the car, sometimes only a portion (like front or rear) or the whole car to get it out of the mess. Lifting trucks is something unheard of.

Last month we also went to Tirupati and i don't think you need any maps for getting into and getting out of tirupati. You have to follow old indian trick of Stopping and Asking if in confusion
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Old 8th November 2011, 09:12   #13
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Originally Posted by tud
Hi ranga, I have to go to tirupathi for a friend's wedding. A day prior to the wedding I would like to walk up the hills to tirumala. I was wondering how to leave my car back in tirupathi and walk up. My primary concern was the vehicle's safety. I was wondering what to do and voila! I find your thread!

Can you tell me more about bhima's and their prices? Is the car park inside their compound?
Yes car is parked inside the compound . This is the best place to stay if u plan visit to thirumala
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Old 29th December 2011, 17:57   #14
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Now i understood your experiance....allmost the same.One with muscle power and another with Horse power...done the trick for both of us during our tense time with our Scorpio.All well that ends well
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranga View Post
Thirupathi to Bangalore .

Now some very interesting things happened while we started back from Thirupathi to Bangalore .

As I was not well versed with Thirupathi roads from Bhima residency to Bangalore , I started using Nuvi with SAT Guide maps . I am using this SAT guide map which has not been updated recently and this was the major stumbling block for my return journey .

The map did not guide us properly and we ventured into unknown roads and that where the problem started

The problem I faced questioned
  • My driving skills
  • Very bad map updates from SAT Guide
  • Did question my vehicle the MHAWK ground clearance
So what was the problem ????


Many might have observerd that now in Thirupathi , the TTD is laying Cement roads . This is to make sure that the roads does not get spoiled due to lot of tourist visiting both Thirupathi ( city) and Thirumala ( Hill )
The first culprit was the SAT guide maps . I have been using this for last 1 year and my wife has hated this to the core .
The NUVI is not to be blamed . I bought it in US and it worked flaw lessly in US with Garmin maps. The culprit is the SAT guide map ( I strongly recommend any of the PND users not to use SAT Guide maps ) .
This map took us to a couple of roads away from the Padmavathi temple in Thirupathi .This particular road was being upgraded to a Cement road .The way it was done was that the cement road was laid for half of the stretch , the other half of the road did not have Cement

This was actually a 0.75 – 1 feet concrete on the normal road . The major problem was that this was not laid end to end of the road . It was just enough for one vehicle to pass with some place for a two wheeler to pass on the other side .

When I went through half of the stretch , I found the concrete was laid only for the half of the road and the rest half was plane road . The difference sitting from my vehicle was to much and I thought I will scratch the underbelly of the MHawk .

This was a decision which I will regret for the entire trip . ( Actually the MHawk had enough clearance and I did not judge )
So having felt that ground clearance was not enough , I started reversing the car.

While reversing the car, I could not get the entire back part of the road clearly on my mirror and this is where I made my second mistake . While reversing my backside left tyre came out of the concrete road , and within seconds , my front left tyre also met the same fate .

Now I had my Scorpio with 2 Wheels out of the concrete road and the whole vehicle was now inclined to the left . Any acceleration efforts , the wheel spin started and the car got stuck in the concrete on the back side wheel side .

Now I was completely stuck and my vehicle could not move .as I was not able to make proper contact on the road

Sudden panic , Called Mahindra Online Help

The way my MHawk was sitting on the road , I thought we might need some kind of crane or some external help to pull the vehicle . With 2000Kgs + at stake , not much options was left .
So I called Mahindra Online help , explained to them what had happened and informed them that I needed assistance . They checked the place where I was for them to assign help . I did pass the best inputs based on Sat guide map location.

They said they will call me back in 10-15 mts and assign the near by Mahindra vendors to assist us

What were our options ?
  • Remove all 4 Wheels . Lift the car through any crane and place it on the road
  • Lift the car as is and place it on the road
  • We tried lifting the car on the left side using the jack , but had little place to actually use it in the right condition
So who saved us from the above ordeal ? - Lord Balaji - Lord Balaji’s Humble Followers

Many people who were using this road tried to assist us . A Auto driver came to our assistance to see if we can do anything . We could not move the vehicle a a inch from the road Then came a group of people who looked to be on some special trip for Thirupathi. They all were wearing Yellow color dress ( Something very similar to Shabari Malai trip people who wear black ) They all were speaking in Tamil , and later I found out later that they were truck drivers .

When they saw my scorpio , they said we can have the scorpio back on road.I asked them how .
One of them came forward and explained that this was a normal phenomenon of tyre getting stuck in mud and they lift trucks ( Means a group of people lifting it )

I could not believe what I just heard from them . But one of them came and explained how we can remove our car from the existing mess They said they will form 2 groups. Group 1 will lift the car from the front end , where as the group 2 will lift the car on the back end ( near the tyres ) Once this is done , they will signal me to start the car and slowly drive it back to the road .

I thought for a while , and said lets do it . So the whole team of people who came were divided into 2 groups 8-10 in the front, app same number of people would lift on the back end of the car .

First they lifted the front portion of the Scorpio and asked if I could steer my car I said yes . All the while I started my car , the second group lifted the back portion . Imagine my front wheel left side tyre and the back wheel left typre was now in mid air . I slowly started my Scorpio and tried to pull the car on the right side, My front wheel touched the concrete road , ( Now team 1 left my car ) and asked me to slowly accelerate

Now the second team was still holding the back portion of the Scorpio on the Tyre end and signaled me to move further .

Vollla , my scorpio was back on the road .

1.What a relief ????
2. Can’t explain . Did a silent prayer to lord Balaji
3. And pulled my vehicle , crossed the concrete road and parked my vehicle .


By the time I could come back and thank the people who did this yeomen service , they were all gone …
I ran and tried to meet the person who actually helped me . I tried to thank him . His reply was very simple in Tamil “ Lord Balaji was Kaduval – means god “ I said u are my god today for having saved me .I had no words to thank them . They were all in a hurry and they were gone in 60 seconds . I came near my car and found my wife looking at the whole adventure which had happened in a span of 20 mts .Much to our relief , I just sat back in my Scorpio and could not move for a minute . By that time the Mahindra online help teams started contacting me . I explained to them how i sorted my problem out and thanked them for contacting us .
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Old 18th January 2012, 00:54   #15
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Default Re: We - Man, Machine, MHawk & Lord Balaji

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranga View Post
Yes car is parked inside the compound . This is the best place to stay if u plan visit to thirumala

Ranga, can you please clarify as to which compound you are referring to here? I am planning on a similar trip and would want to leave the car at the base.
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