Located about 30 kilometres away from Hyderabad, the famous Chilkur Balaji Temple is located in the small picturesque village of Chilkur and is a favourite pilgrim spot. The temple is situated on the banks of the Osman Sagar Lake, near the Vikarabad Road. The presiding deity at the Chilkur Balaji temple is Lord Balaji Venkateswara, along with Sridevi and Bhoodevi accompanying him. The temple houses the Visa Balaji or the Visa God, otherwise famous as a shining ray of hope and faith for US-Visa aspirants. It is believed that a visit to the temple, can grant the aspirants, a US Visa. The belief finds its roots in an incident when a few students who had their Visa applications rejected, came and prayed here only to have their applications accepted. The steps to pray for a visa here include a usual prayer and three rounds of pradakshina around the temple, followed by 108 rounds after getting the Visa.
It is one of the oldest temples of Hyderabad and is considered to be built during the time of Madanna and Akkanna, the uncles of Bhakta Ramdas. According to various beliefs and ancient tales, the Chilkur Balaji temple was constructed by a devotee who used to visit Tirupati every year. However, on one occasion he could not do so, owing to serious illness. Moved by his faith, Lord Venkateswara appeared in his dream and instructed him to find his idol, along with the idols of Sridevi and Bhoodevi and construct this magnificent temple.
The devotee was moved by such happenings and saw a mole-hill at the place indicated by Lord. Thus, he started digging at that point until his axe struck Lord Balaji's idol. Suddenly, blood started to flow from the wounds, turning the ground scarlet. The devotee then heard a mystical voice instructing him to flood the area with milk. This further resulted in the idols of Lord Balaji, accompanied by Sridevi and Bhoodevi to emerge from the ground. These idols were then installed in the temple. Since then, Sri Balaji Venkateswara is available at Chilkur to shower his blessings on all the devotees who are unable to visit Tirupati due to any reason. The temple is set in sylvan surroundings and attracts thousands of pilgrims from all across the globe.
During a visit to the Chilkur Balaji Temple, devotees go through the usual rituals of prayer. Except for the 11 circumambulations of the inner shrine; this is further followed by making a vow. When and if this vow is fulfilled, the devotee has to walk 108 times around the sanctum sanctorum. These 108 walks denote the gratitude and faith of the devotees, while the 11 circumambulations around the inner shrine denote the secret of creation.
11 means "1 soul and 1 body", and 108 means "1 represents the existence of Almighty, 0 represents creation and 8 represent the time taken by the human body to come into the universe". The majority of devotees come here for visa related issues, thus justifying the alternate name as Visa Balaji temple.
According to various surveys, Chilkur Balaji Temple witnesses a footfall of about 1 lakh devotees every week. Although the flow of devotees is excellent and consistent throughout the year, the temple experiences an increase in the number of devotees visiting its premises on events like Anakota, Brahmotsavams and Poolangi. The temple has also been visited by various famous personalities like Jeer of Sri Ahobila Mutt, Tilakayaths of Shri Vallabhacharya Sampradaya, Jagadguru Sri Sankaracharya of Sringeri Mutt and many other eminent religious and spiritual leaders.
The darshan timings at Chilkur Balaji Temple is from 5:00 AM till 8:00 PM. The temple is open throughout the week.
The period from March to June is scorching with temperature going beyond 40 degrees Celsius followed by rains till October that are although highly irregular but add humidity and dampness to the weather. It is best to visit Andhra between October and December as the weather is the most amicable during this period.
When visiting Chilkur Balaji, try avoiding a weekend as weekends are particularly crowded with devotees coming in considerable numbers to perform pradakshinas, and there is mostly a long queue.
Hyderabad Airport is the nearest airport and is located at about 20 km away Chilkur. Various buses, taxies and cabs are available from parts of Hyderabad to Chilkur as well. Himayat Nagar Railway Station Junction is the nearest from Chilkur. The station is connected to some regions within the states.
TSRTC runs buses from the major cities connecting Mehdipatnam, which is the closest bus stand. The bus service is frequent, with a bus coming in every 15 minutes. There are connecting buses from here to Chilkur on the route number 288D. On Sundays, TSRTC also operates a package tour to the Chilkur Balaji Temple.
From the main town of Hyderabad, Chilkur is 42 km away, and it takes nearly an hour and a half to reach the temple. Chilkur is 83 km away from Bangalore and can be reached by taking the Bangalore-Hyderabad highway.
1. There are shops in front of the temple selling coconuts, flowers and other such offerings, inside the temple, however, no offerings are accepted.
2.When visiting the premises for thanking the almighty by doing the 108 pradakshinas, take regular breaks and do not come empty stomach.
3. If you want to contribute to the maintenance of the temple, you can deposit the desired amount in their bank account.
4. You can also read religious stories and various other books here at just INR 5.
5. There are no special privileges provided to the VIPs and neither does the temple have a donation box to accept donations from the devotees. The temple works on the simple belief that all are equal in the eyes of the God.
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