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Old 31st March 2021, 14:24   #1
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Default A blissful visit to Sapthagiri (AP) in a Maruti Swift

Hi and welcome to my first ever travelogue,

Please excuse me for any mistakes in the travelogue and feel free to point it out if I need to improve.

It had been 6 years since we last visited Tirupati, and after I bought my Swift I did not get any chance to drive to Tirupati which was one of my dream. 2020 was a hard year for us, locked in our homes, and adjusting to the new work from home(WFH) culture was fun in the beginning, but it became hard after few months. I still wanted to drive to Tirupati, I wanted to take my "Drogon" as I call him lovingly (My Maruti Suzuki Swift 2018) to "Sapthagiri"(Seven Hills) also I learned that my better half hadn't been to Tirupati her entire life and I also wished to take my Mom and Dad(this being his second time to Tirupati). So, everything combined I booked the tickets for darshan for 27th March 2021. Had Drogon filled up with fuel and checked his tire pressure. Gave him a good wash and bid him a good night as we both had a long journey to complete for the next 2 days. Here's a picture of him:

A blissful visit to Sapthagiri (AP) in a Maruti Swift-1563.jpeg

Our darshan timings was at 6:00 PM IST, the trip summary is as follows:

Day 1:
Saturday - 27th-Mar-2021 :- start at 5:30 AM on Saturday -> visit Kurudumale Ganesha Temple -> visit Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple -> Reach Tirumala -> Stay at Tirumala
Start Time - 6:30 AM
Reached Tirumala at - 2:30 PM
Kilometers travelled - 320 Kms
Time taken - 8 Hours

Day 2:
Sunday - 28th-Mar-2021 :- Start as early as possible -> visit Govinda Raja Swamy Temple -> visit Sri Padmavathi Temple -> Bangalore
Start Time - 7:30 AM
Reached Home at - 5:00 PM
Kilometers travelled - 278 Kms
Time taken - 10 Hours

Day 1:
Though we thought of starting early by waking up at 4:15, we could only wake up at 4:45 and get ready in hurry. We set of at 6:30 AM (One hour late than the scheduled time) I missed to click a picture of Drogon at the starting point as I was tensed. Took the Indira Nagar - KR Puram route, by the time we reached KR Puram there was already traffic piling up, took a slight left turn and thought of continuing but got stuck behind few KSRTC busses at the starting of the flyover (The traffic was due to these KSRTC busses) I still wonder why those busses were parked at the beginning of a flyover which was affecting the traffic and the traffic police was nowhere to be found! a huge truck which was behind me started honking, had to pull left entirely and go under the flyover take a U-turn go back towards ITI and take another U-turn and keep right to stay on the KR Puram flyover. Lost another
20-30 minutes going back and forth the same road.

After this the roads became wider and quickly I was doing 100s. Somewhere near Narsapura:

A blissful visit to Sapthagiri (AP) in a Maruti Swift-img_1605.jpg

The road till Kurudumale Ganesha Temple was uneventful, took a left turn from the NH 75 to Srinivasapura - Mulbagal Road and quickly reached Kurudumale Temple. I've always loved this temple as it is one of the oldest temple and the idol of Ganesha simply makes you stare at it in awe. I feel that there is some charm in the idol here. By the time we entered the temple there was abhishekam going on which was a treat to my eyes. I absolutely loved it! we spent some time watching the abhishekam but did not wait for the abhishekam to end and quickly offered our prayers to the lord and came out.

A blissful visit to Sapthagiri (AP) in a Maruti Swift-img_1612.jpg

My favourite Ganesha:
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We started to Kanipakam Vinayaka temple but, we had to have our breakfast first, by this time I had overlooked all the good restaurants thinking that there were ample choices but could not find any restuarants for a long time.
Tried to stop near a small eatery on the roadside which looked clean but Dad dismissed eating in such places as Corona cases are increasing steadily again. For some time we had to eat some slices of sweet bread that my father had brought the day before, just to have something to eat while travelling. Luckily found Hotel Varsha on the right side of the NH 75 quickly did a U-Turn(again) and went in to have our breakfast.

The taste was OKish did not mind to take a picture of the hotel, had Masala Dosa and Tea. Wifey asked me to get her lays for reasons unknown she still loves to eat lays and chips which I consider eating very occasionally.

Me while driving:
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After this it was time to visit Kanipakam Ganesha Temple and again we missed the underpass due to the road works that was going on in NH 40 had to again take a U-Turn after about 2-3 Kms and go back to Chittoor-Aragonda-Patoor Road. Reached Kanipakam and parked Drogon the time was around 11:45. The temple was filled with devotees. Took tickets for "Athi Sheeghra Darshan" but, had to wait for 45 mins - 1 hr. For reasons unknown there were people who wanted to directly enter into the main temple and the security people there were fine allowing them without any hesitation.

Somehow finished the Darshan and started to Tirumala. By the time we got back to the main road it was 12:50 PM and we were literally feeling the heat now. The route from Kanipakam to Tirupati was good stopped near the underpass which we had missed the first time and had coconut water to beat the heat and continued our journey.

When we reached Tirupati it was almost 1:30 PM, Mom was asking to take a break and have our lunch but thought to have it at Tirumala itself and continued towards Tirumala Hills main gate.

At the Tirumala Ghat main gate:
A blissful visit to Sapthagiri (AP) in a Maruti Swift-img_1617.jpg

Queue for checking:
A blissful visit to Sapthagiri (AP) in a Maruti Swift-img_1619.jpg

After the initial check ups at the main gate, entered the Ghat section and I could literally feel Drogon enjoying the twists and turns. We reached Tirumala at around 2:30 PM, but due to some confusions in booking and finding out the location of our hotel and settling in, it took another 45 mins. By the time we were all freshened up and ready to have some food it was 3:20 PM Dad was already in a bad mood as the lunch was late(I should have listened to my Mom!)

We got back to the hotel and started getting ready to darshan, started to the temple at 5:30 PM, took the jeep taxi - 20 Rs per person. He left us at the entry gate and we went for the darshan. As phones were not allowed at this point we did not take any photos and I thought to just enjoy the atmosphere of the temple and live in the moment. I feel all the temples should incorporate this rule as people can concentrate more on the peaceful environment of the temple rather that taking selfies and photos of everything they look at.

I was explaining everything I knew and how my previous visits were to my wife as she was visiting the temple for the first time. I personally felt that Tirumala is not complete without its crowd at frequent chants of "Govinda Goovinda" in its darshan Queue. We were also blessed to witness a uthsavam of Lord Venkateshwara. The Queue was relatively less we quickly reached the main entrance, by the time we reached the golden door(Bangaaru Vakili) I started to feel like I have been waiting for a very long time to see Lord Venkateshwara I felt happiness and content, I felt being awaken from a dream of worldly things felt that in some time I will see my Best Friend, Guru, Parent and God and suddenly I felt my eyes filling up with tears and happiness in my heart.

Had a wonderful darshan of Lord Venkateshwara and came out of the main temple after offering our prayers sat there in the main sanctum. All of us were very happy and filled with joy. Quickly went to get the famous laddoo prasadam, while coming back we were again blessed to witness Thepposthsavam(floating festival done in kalyani next to the temple). After all this I started feeling real tiredness and quickly wanted to gulp down as much water or Maaza(I'm a big fan of Maaza..haha). As plastic was banned in Tirumala
I could not find any Maaza so settled for water. As we had our lunch very late we just had few slices of bread and fruits that Dad had brought in Tirupati and ended the day. Really, Dads are our real saviours!!

Day 2:
After a good night's sleep we finally got ready and were packed to get down the Tirumala hills and visit Govinda Raja Swamy Temple and Meenakshi Temple in Mangapura. Had a wonderful time driving down the old Tirumala Ghat road, Drogon was as gracious as ever in the curves and the hairpin bends. While I was enjoying driving down the hills my parents and wife were enjoing the scenic views.

Reached Govinda Raja Swamy Temple after searching a lot for car parking area after asking the locals I came to know that there was a free parking area right next to the temple. Parked Drogon and went for darshan had a great time as I had not visited this temple at all, offered our prayers and came out to have some breakfast. After having some yummy rava dosa and puri we started of to Meenakshi Temple in Managapura.

The parking was a problem in Mangapura and the temple Queue was huge, decided to skip it and started of to Bangalore. Stopped somewhere in Tirupati Road to have some coconut water and quench our thirst. Continued the journey after this till we stopped at Krishna Grand on NH 75 to have lunch, the ambience is good, food is tasty, but they take lot of time serving.

Driving back Home:
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After having veg biryani and gadbad, we started back to Bangalore. By the time we reached Home it was 5:00 PM.

We had a great time altogether . The trip brought back so many memories and happiness to me and my family Dad was happy that I took him to Tirupati after decades. Also, the trip made me create memory with my wife as it was her very first time visiting Tirupati.
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Old 8th April 2021, 11:48   #2
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Default Re: A blissful visit to Sapthagiri (AP) in a Maruti Swift

Great job on your first Travelogue. Neatly written. Thank you for sharing your experience with all of us here! Looking forward to more
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Old 12th April 2021, 08:57   #3
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Default Re: A blissful visit to Sapthagiri (AP) in a Maruti Swift

Quote:
Originally Posted by thiagar View Post
Great job on your first Travelogue. Neatly written. Thank you for sharing your experience with all of us here! Looking forward to more
Thank You! I will post more travelogue experiences and also thinking to include more photos in the upcoming travelogues.
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