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Old 21st November 2009, 19:48   #1
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Default Tirupathi & Tirumala 2 days trip

As a customary in our family, every year we visit Tirumala / Tirupathi and have darshan/ blessings of Lord Balaji. Most of the times our travel to tirupathi (down hill) & tirumala (uphill) would be either by bus or car.
This time we decided to climb tirumala hills by Foot steps.
My Team: 4 Adults & 2 Kids
My Car: Hyundai-I20
No. of Drivers: 1 (myself / lone)
We planned to visit tirumala on Saturday 14th & 15th Nov 09 and booked the darshan tickets on 10th Oct09.

Procedure to Book darshan tickets:
Issued by TTD booking office @ Vyallikaval, Bangalore near Chowdaiah memorial hall & Sankey Tank.
Tickets can be booked 90days in advance.
Timings: 10Am to 1pm & 2 to 4-00pm & on weekends upto 6-00pm.
Each person intending to have darshan should compulsorily give biometric finger print & will be photographed. Children below 12yrs not necessary.
Presently only Rs.50/- darshan tickets are available and Rs.200/- AAD (archana anantara darshanam) tickets has been cancelled.
Instead Rs.300/- Seeghra darshanam tickets are issued in Tirumala itself and there is no advance booking facility for this ticket.
Anyone can buy the tickets for Seeghra darshanam @ Vaikuntam Q complex-I and directly join in the specified queue. It takes about 1.5 to 2.5 Hrs for the darshan.
Travel:
We travelled to tirupathi on 13 Nov in my I20 with maximum load ( 4adults, 2kids & lots of luggage). I took the regular B'lore - Kolar - Mulabagal- chittor -tirupathi route.
We left B'lore @ 3-45pm & almost took 3hrs to travel 115 Kms from Blore to mulabagal, because of B'lore city traffic / Metro works & 6 laning works from KR puram to mulabagal.
Road Diversions enroute to Mulabagal.
From Mulabagal to Tirupathi (135kms), the road conditions are favourable.
Driving @ speed of 150+ kmph

From Mulabagal to Tirupathi (135kms), the road conditions are favourable & reached Tirupathi @9-25pm.
I felt driving on the strecth from KRpuram to Mulabagal is very tedious,
since lot of road diversions & badly laid speed breakers just before the diversions.
Alternate routes:
Bangalore - Krishnagiri - Kuppam - Palamner - Chitoor - Tirupati
Bangalore- Malur - Kolar - Mulabagal - Chitoor - Tirupati
By taking the 1st alternate route u can avoid all the diversion hassels and as the route from B'lore - Krishnagiri is Smooth & silk.
Most importantly if you are lone driver like me don't get tired & exhausted during driving. since you have to reserve ur energy to climb the hill footsteps to Tirumala.
My experience says take 1st alternate route.
We reached Tirupathi @9-25pm and stayed in the Sri Vari Sannidhi guest house which we had booked earlier. The guest house is about 1.5Kms from Allipiri gate.
Sri Vari Sannidhi guest house
The guest house is neat & well maintained and has a temple & green in the midlle open area. I could also park my car in the big parking lot.
We all had a decent dinner in the guest house served free of cost and the Double room costs only RS.320/- (non AC).
Since we wanted to climb the steps in the early morning @ 6-00am, slept early in the night & woke up @ 5am in the next morning.
The expreinces of Hill climbing & others in the next post.
Attached Thumbnails
Tirupathi & Tirumala 2 days trip-diversions.jpg  

Tirupathi & Tirumala 2 days trip-150.jpg  

Tirupathi & Tirumala 2 days trip-guest-house.jpg  


Last edited by bblost : 21st November 2009 at 20:09. Reason: font tags removed.
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Old 21st November 2009, 21:45   #2
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Dear Sree, Very nice start. Eagerly waiting for the remaining part. I too am planning for a visit in December. How is the weather now in Tirupathi?
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Old 22nd November 2009, 08:10   #3
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Good one. Btw, I heard that if you climb the hill by foot, youare given a Dharsan ticket for quicker dharsan. Is it? Seems they also give you coupons for free stay. Yes you can get this on top too. But the first preference is given to devottess by foot.

Please let us know, if this is right..
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Old 22nd November 2009, 08:41   #4
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Hey sree,

Keep posting.Let me know how to book at this guest house please.

Also my advise would be not to speed at 150+ with or without the family. Better to avoid high speeds. Enjoy your driving.
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Old 22nd November 2009, 09:13   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjothi View Post
Good one. Btw, I heard that if you climb the hill by foot, youare given a Dharsan ticket for quicker dharsan. Is it? Seems they also give you coupons for free stay. Yes you can get this on top too. But the first preference is given to devottess by foot.

Please let us know, if this is right..
I had recently climbed barefoot. Yes, you get a ticket for darshan at the GhaliGopara.
Which will take you to the 13/14/15 waiting cells directly, depending on the rush. In some cases you could have the darshan in an hour ( i was lucky once !) and in some cases it could take 5-6 hours +.
The steps are sacred and lot of devotees pray at each step, so its beyond me how some people have the heart to clim bwith foot wear. There is a notice from TTD, asking devotees to try and avoid foot wear on steps.

Also, carry bottles of water (2 per head, mixed with glucon D), the shops en-route make a killing, selling them !
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Old 22nd November 2009, 10:34   #6
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This is in contiuation of my previous post.
After having short sleep woke up @ 5-00AM & got freshened by 6am and left the guest house. We parked our car in the guest house open car parking area, since i thought this would be the safest place. I din't find any other secured vehicle parking facilities for hill climbers near Allipiri gate.We caught autos & reached allipiri gate along with our luggages for next 2 days.

A liitle bit of description about different paths:
There are 2familiar paths to climb Tirumala hills. The 1st one is most common known as Allipiri path, which originates from Allipiri gate. It is the same gate through which public vehicles & TTD buses pass through after security checks. The 2nd path is the chandragiri path used by local traders & regular trekkers.This path even though short in distance is not prefereed due to security reasons and rough,steep terrains.
we were advised & then decided to take the 1st ( Allipiri) path.

It was a surprise to see a big rush @ the entrance of the steps @ early morning, since most of them would prefer to start of fresh & early in the day.
TTD provides free transportation of luggages (from bottom to the top hill) of the hill climbers by foot steps & they donot accept unlocked Luggages.
The luggages with foot wear were scanned & neatly numbered & a counterfoil was issued. They asked us to collect the luggages at the top hill after producing the counterfoil.We decided to climb the hill without footwear & is an optional. Electronic gadets are allowed while climbing steps.
We were free of baggages, carried only drinking water bottles, Glucose powder, dates & choclates and ready for the trek.At the glimpse of the steps, my wife & Sister-inlaw were little worried and later they were encouraged by other members of the team. At 40years old & eldest among ur team, it was a fitness test for me.
I stage of Hill climbing:
The first stage consits of climbing 2500odd steps upto Galigopuram which is most difficult .
we offered a small pooja @1st step which has lord padukas (Foot) impressions in it and then started the trek. Intially everyone moved at good pace and after 500 steps the results of urban life style started showing. Some were sweating & taking deep breath & few enthuasts were moving @ fast pace. After taking frequent rests we reached Galigopuram and it took us 1Hr 45Mins to climb the 1st stage.
At the Galigopuram meaing Air/wind Tower lot of cool breeze was blowing and it took away all our tiredness & made us refreshed.Surprisingly the same breeze was not there while climbing the steps.
Recently TTD authority provides certain facilities like free darshanam, tonsuring, lockers & accomodation to hill climbers by foot.
To avail all these facilities, each indivuial has to collect common sudarshana free ticket by giving Biometric finger impression & photo.
This ticket is issued only at Galigopuram and further @ 4/4 KM stone it has to be rubber sealed by security person for the confirmation that the indivuial has climbed the hill by foot. Lots of sign boards are displayed explaining these issues.
II stage of Hill climbing:
After collecting the tickets & taking brief rest (total15Mins) we continued the trek. At Galigopuram there were many food stalls serving Hot idlis, dosas, Mirchi bhajjis & many beverages. we saw many people having there breakfast here and it was tempting. We decided to trek on empty stomach.
The 2nd stage is a plain walk on slopy & flat terrain with few steps, from Galigopuram to Moukala mantapam. On the way we found Deer park, 30feet high Hanuman statue and beautiful natural greenery of Tirumala hills. This strecth passed of easliy without any strain and were busy taking snaps & chatting and was like in an excursion. we saw people feeding deers with carrots & other vegetables. Also saw a broken Tempo traveller being towed away TTD's emergency repair vehicle and an ambulance was ready in case of any emergency. The facilties provided to Hill climbers ( both vehicular & foot) by TTD are really appreciable.
III stage of Hill climbing:
This stage is from Moukala mantapam to Top of the hill, meaning of moukala mantapam is kneecap mantapam. This strecth has about 700 steps and they are quiet steep. Some said climbing these steps are difficult & painful to knees & thighs, but we found it was as normal as the 1st one.
we were surprised to see an old lady & a young guy climbing these steps on their knees. we also many people smearing turmeric paste & sindhur to every step they climbed and they were doing this act quiet fast. Few were lighting camphors on each step. It is supposed to be an act of self sacrifice in thanks or in anticipation of wishes fulfilled. U have to be quiet energetic & fit to do these acts.
At last we reached the last step of the trek and saw people lighting camphors on the last step.
Finally the climbing of the hills by foot was sucessfully over without any problems, pain & strain. It took about 3Hrs40mins ( incldg ticket collection, photography, hanuman staute, deer park & nature veiws) to complete the trek.
Further we collected our baggages from PAC II counter and proceded to our Guest house which was booked earlier.
Details of Darshanam and Up & down hill driving in the next post.
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Old 22nd November 2009, 10:37   #7
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Yeah man! Waiting for the next part. Seems like you have excellent knowledge about different routes to that destination. Do post some pics of the climbing as well if it is allowed to take pictures there
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Old 22nd November 2009, 12:45   #8
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dear Samish, Weather was cool & raining at the time of our visit. Please enquire at the time of our journey. In December mostly it will be pleasent.

dear mjothi, darshan details are answered by vdiatech & is true. TTD provides only free transportation of luggages, lockers @ top hill, woolen blankets/bed spreads and dormitory hall to take rest & freshen up, on deposit of certain money. As far as my knowledge they donot provide any paid/unpaid indivuial accomodation to hill climbers.

dear nandans, I agree with u & only on a favourable strecth which has long sight distance & free from human & cattle traffic, I drive @ high speeds. rarely u find them here in India!

Iam posting few photos clicked while climbing hills:
Attached Thumbnails
Tirupathi & Tirumala 2 days trip-allipiri-gate.jpg  

Tirupathi & Tirumala 2 days trip-strt-pooja.jpg  

Tirupathi & Tirumala 2 days trip-my-team.jpg  

Tirupathi & Tirumala 2 days trip-steps-enthst-clmb.jpg  

Tirupathi & Tirumala 2 days trip-luggage.jpg  

Tirupathi & Tirumala 2 days trip-lggage-clmb.jpg  

Tirupathi & Tirumala 2 days trip-tkt.jpg  

Tirupathi & Tirumala 2 days trip-mirchi.jpg  

Tirupathi & Tirumala 2 days trip-dosa.jpg  

Tirupathi & Tirumala 2 days trip-school-kids.jpg  

Tirupathi & Tirumala 2 days trip-bhel.jpg  

Tirupathi & Tirumala 2 days trip-deer.jpg  

Tirupathi & Tirumala 2 days trip-carrot.jpg  

Tirupathi & Tirumala 2 days trip-samba.jpg  

Tirupathi & Tirumala 2 days trip-tow.jpg  

Tirupathi & Tirumala 2 days trip-walk-r5oad.jpg  

Tirupathi & Tirumala 2 days trip-moukala-entrnce.jpg  

Tirupathi & Tirumala 2 days trip-lady-steps.jpg  

Tirupathi & Tirumala 2 days trip-thk-forest-clds.jpg  

Tirupathi & Tirumala 2 days trip-last-step-thnks.jpg  

Tirupathi & Tirumala 2 days trip-3500.jpg  

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Old 22nd November 2009, 22:23   #9
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dear Nandans,
Sorry! the guest house accomodation is only for Arya vysya community. In case u need, i will provide it later.
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Old 23rd November 2009, 11:16   #10
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Nice travelogue Sree. Good pics. Your pics alarming me that I am due for this Year Tirumala trip.
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Old 23rd November 2009, 11:29   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sree70 View Post
dear Nandans,
Sorry! the guest house accomodation is only for Arya vysya community. In case u need, i will provide it later.
They do allot the guest house to others provided rooms are available. I have stayed there twice. room rent was Rs 410/- for others. Earlier their hotel was very good. of late the quality levels are going down.
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Old 23rd November 2009, 11:46   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vdiatech View Post
I had recently climbed barefoot. Yes, you get a ticket for darshan at the GhaliGopara.
Which will take you to the 13/14/15 waiting cells directly, depending on the rush. In some cases you could have the darshan in an hour ( i was lucky once !) and in some cases it could take 5-6 hours +.
The steps are sacred and lot of devotees pray at each step, so its beyond me how some people have the heart to clim bwith foot wear. There is a notice from TTD, asking devotees to try and avoid foot wear on steps.

Also, carry bottles of water (2 per head, mixed with glucon D), the shops en-route make a killing, selling them !
Thanks for the info sir.

@Sree, good thread. Will certainly have to do it by foot. I keep planing for one, but never materializes. Hope it happens in 2010
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Old 23rd November 2009, 13:40   #13
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Wow, good information Sree and superb pics.

Me and my wife are planning this trip and may go next month.
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Old 23rd November 2009, 14:29   #14
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Wow! Nice snaps.

I have done the climb thrice myself, and its a refreshing feeling. Also all the three cases I had taken the KSRTC Volvo.

It always worked like:

Start at 11PM, reach early morning (3AM), climb up in 6 hours, finish darshan by noon, come down by bus, have lunch and you are in time a Volvo back to be at Bangalore by 8PM !
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Old 23rd November 2009, 14:44   #15
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Hi @sree70,
This is very good information you are providing on taking trekking route to Tirumala.

I happened to be on Tirupati-Tirumala on the same date - 15th Nov - except that I chose to use my car to climb up-hill.

That was my first trip to Tirupati and was wonderful experience. Unfortunately my camera was not with me at that time - and hence no photos :(
The experience has made me to look forward for further visits to the temple.
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