Lord Venkateswara Temple of Tirumala, which is situated in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, India, is an ancient temple of Lord Venkateshwara, which is believed to have been existed just after the start of this Kaliyuga. Many ancient kings and queens were repaired and renovated this wonderful temple, and also donated lot of lands in order to increase the size of this temple. Great Saints like Sri Vyasaraja and Guru Raghavendra have visited this holy temple, and rendered divine service to their beloved deity.
Sri Vyasaraja stayed for a few years in Tirumala Temple, and also served as a chief priest during his period. It is also mentioned that by considering Tirumala to be a holy hill, Sri Vyasaraja used to climb the holy hill on his knee.Before a century ago, when there was no proper road facilities from Tirupati to Tirumala, most of the people would travel from Tirupati to Tirumala only by the way of walk. Throughout their journey, their lips would recite the name “GOVINDA”, “GOVINDA”, even without leaving a gap.
From the temple records, it was known that an ancient Pallava queen Samavai has donated lot of ornaments and lands and Sri Krishnadevaraya, the famous Vijayanagar Emperor had willfully donated lot of valuables to Tirumala Temple, and also used to visit the Magnificent Temple frequently along with his queens.
At present, the Tirumala Temple is being run under the proper administration of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam Department, which is popularly called as TTD, and TTD is operating various schemes for the benefit of the public like Annadana Scheme, Gosamrakshana Scheme and Arokyavaraprasadhini Scheme etc. The TTD Temple kitchen is being functioning in a nice manner, with the supervision of higher officials of TTD. It is also believed, that the foster mother of Sri Venkateshwara, Maa Vakula Devi, still now efficiently supervises the food preparation at the Tirumala Kitchen in an invisible form, and also smells the food, before it goes to the plates of the devotees.
Whenever we visit Tirumala Tirupati for getting the Darshan of Lord Balaji, we could hear one fine word from the mouth of the few temple staffs, and the word is ‘Jarugandi’, which means move fast and go ahead! They would frequently use this word, in a high pitch sound, in order to control the huge crowd present in the TirumalaTirupati Temple.
Even after waiting for several hours in the temple premises, the devotees would never get tired, but would patiently wait with a cheerful face, in order to have a glimpse of their beloved Lord Balaji. Irrespective of the Jarugandi sound, and a heavy push by the temple staffs, after reaching the main shrine, still some of the devotees would wait for few more seconds to view the marvellous appearance of Lord Venkateshwara. We can find the discussions between the devotees, “Even after waiting for a few hours in the queue, yet, I am able to witness the deity of Lord Venkateswara only for a few seconds time, due to the Jarugandi sound and the staffs urgent pull”. Before forty years ago, there won’t be huge crowd in the Tirumala Temple, even during festival times.
Devotees can watch the divine vision of the deity even for a few minutes time, and the chief priest would also allow them to do so, and there won’t be much Jarugandi sound from the side of the temple staffs, and they also would allow us to watch the deity for few more additional minutes with a pleasing smile on their face.
But nowadays, due to the huge crowd present in the Tirumala Temple, some devotees are of the opinion, that the temple staffs are moving with the devotees in a harsh manner, and apart from raising the Jarugandi sound, sometimes they are also pressing hardly the shoulders of the devotees, in order to make them to move faster. But the devotees must understand that the temple staffs are not willfully doing like that, and they are only doing the duty assigned to them, and also to give a golden chance to all of the devotees present in the holy Tirumala Temple, to get the darshan of Lord Venkateswara, whenever their turn comes.
My father, Sri T.S.Ramasubban was a staunch devotee of Sri Venkateswara, and due to that, I have visited the holy Tirumala for several times during my young age, along with my mother and sister.
We can get pleasant experience by visiting the Holy Tirumala, since, Tirumala is considered to be the “BOOLOKA VAIKUNTA”, Vaikunta in the earth.
“OM NAMO VENKATESAYA NAMAHA”