Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tirumala Trekking on Vaikunta Ekdashi

Tirumala Trek

By instinct we decided to trek up the Tirumala hill from Alipiri on the 28th instant, which was Vaikunta Ekadasi. We prepared mentally and physically at 40 + we knew we will be pushing our system to the limits. The total distance to the sanctum sanitarium is around 9.5 Kms. We have had earlier attempted to climb 2000 steps in Melkalu tirupati which was exhausting. But now the bar was raised to 5400 steps in all.We started our trekk at 6.30 am loaded with Tropicana 100 % apple juice, banana and two litre bisleri with some salt and Halls. We boarded the bus to the starting point which is Alipiri, where the trekk to tirumala begins.

The initial climb of 2640 steps was quite steep and we managed to ascend with frequent breaks of every 100 steps initially and later 50 steps. It took us nearly an hour and half to reach the 2 km check point. Many devotees undertook the climb with various rituals, such as applying kum kum, turmeric and some were even lighting camphor on the steps as they were climbing. Obviously they must have taken a oath of sorts to get some wish fulfilled in the bargain. A silent prayer was uttered by some devotees, and some were chanting Govinda, Govida........all the way invoking the blessings of the Lord of Seven hills.Enroute one can find washrooms and drinking water, and for those who would like to undertake the trek to tirumala in the night, it is well lit with street lights all the way to the peak. On special occasions we find devotees distributing various eatables such as tamarind rice, sweet pongal, fruit salad, water, butter milk, kheer etc. So the entire trek would seem like a grand picnic.

At midpoint one has to undergo tagging inorder to have a dharshan at the temple vide VQC queue, which takes a maximum of 2 hours. This is faster than paid dharshan. We just got ourselves enrolled and proceeded on winding through the hillocks. The greenary and the scenary is quite pleasing to the eyelids. After 3 kms one enters into the roadway which leads down, in case one decides to abort the walk, one can take a bus back to Alipiri and board the bus uphill from Alipiri. We were surprised to find an ambulance stop enroute for helping patients in case of emergency.It was a pleasant surprise, to find a deer sanctuary almost at 6th km uphill. We spent time taking picture and video by feeding the deer. There is a view point too of the valley and a huge banian tree enroute. One can come across a huge Hanuman statue and a temple wherein the piligrims can take a break.From here on the trek becomes much more easier on the knee and one is confident to cover the balance distance with ease. We reached the top and heaved a sense of relief. Our dress was drenched with sweat, but surprisingly we did not feel the tiredness at all. Maybe it was due to the blessing of the Lord Balaji.

We quickly went to Kotiteerta and had a refreshing bath. Here one is not allowed to use soap and surprisingly the water is crystal clear and well protected in terms of barrier. The water is well clorinated and purified by constant circulation.Overall the trekk to tirumala is a different experience, and don t undertake the short cut method of descending on the steps instead of climbing. Descent can be more painful and strenous on the knees and calf muscle, which i had undertaken almost two decades ago and regretted for a week trying to re-coup. All the best for those who would venture to trekk upto to the abode of Lord Balaji. I hope you will enjoy the journey through my video.


Sridharan said...

Fantastic.. I have trekked Tirumala about 40year back. Should try now. Useful post.!

Deguide said...

Yes Sridharan, even i tried to trekk in the reverse in 1985, but it was a disaster, returning is more painful. Joints and thigh was aching for a week, the concrete steps are very hard on the legs. Lolz

Team G Square said...

Wow , nice . Should some time try this out .


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