We have planned a trip to Tirupati before one year itself. But could go only in this August.The trip became an unusual one, coz we walked up the heights of 4000 steps. It was a dream come true. We actually did have a feeling that we could not climb as it is a very strainful and back-breaking deed. But we did it. Ranjith did a lot of research about the roads, the way and about the hotels. He googled till early morning. I woke up in the morning and thought that, wouldn’t be going as he slept only in the early morning ,so he wouldn’t be able to drive for 6 hours. But somehow I had a gut feeling tht we would make it. He woke up at 12 and had his brunch and started to continue the ‘research'. This time I really became furious and we even had a slight fight, as always . :)
Hmm..Anyhow we set off at 2.30 and reached there by 9.00pm.The drive was quite fine coz of his research.We went directly to the hotel , a budget one as we had pre-booked it, and slept since we were tired. It was a rainy season and the time of Ganesha Chaturthi.We chose that particular day in the hope that there wouldn’t be much crowd.In the morning also we were like, would walk up next time and this time go for seegra darsan.But once we set off from hotel the decision had been changed. We decided to take the chance and climb the hill.In fact it was Ranjith who gave me the confidence, as always.we caught an auto to the place where the holy steps starts.
We got down from the auto at Alipiri gate and the auto driver showed where the entry point was, to start climbing the hill. We went there and didn't see too many people and were like, okay, it was not going to be too crowdy.And then deicded to climb and we started off. The initial few meters didn't have steps, it was walking underneath the road, and as we saw the steps, mmm... lot of steps.We were kind of excited. Wow..lets do this. Started walking or rather climbing the steps. Initial 100 steps were okay, but as time went on, probably like 45 mins or an hour into the climb, we could not do it any more. We were tired and every drop of fluid was being sucked out of our body.
Lucky for us, we had 3 big bottles of water which was in ranjith's back pack and a packet of glucose. So then we started having water mixed with glucose, which was kind of helpful. Initialy we stopped for every 20 ,25 steps and had water, but by the time we reached 1000 steps , we stopped for every 5,6 steps and had water.And every single step was becoming agonizing, painful but then the fact was, there were so many people with us, old, young, kids and people who couldn’t walk properly; every one was doing the same.
Everyone mouthed only one name, govinda, govinda...
Women were smearing the steps with turmeric. Why are we doing all these? Yes..To see god.The strong belief in god was pushing everyone hard. It was. mmm....Kept climbing, kept climbing.I guesss after 2000 step we reached at Gali gopuram, wherein we would get the coupon for free darshan reserved for the pedestrians, and a place where we can take rest. We got these coupon, and again kind of back to square one, walking again and again.
Few hundred steps, lot of water. There were series of small temples, statues, and a huge lord Anjaneya statue in between. We went and took darshan and blessing frm lord Anjaneya. And we started off again. Some of the walk was through the foot path of the road, and the final stretch, it was like shocking for us, these were probably of a 60 degree angle, and there were lot of steps. That was a huge climb. Very tiresome. But some force was there which pushed us to a place where there were no steps. And before we realize we were actually in thirumala, where lord balaji is. It was stressful yet worth.
After reaching thirumala also we had to walk around to identify where the entry point was. There were enquiry points to help us, if we hav any questions. We asked them and left the foot wears and hiking bag in the respective counters, and got into the special queue for the pedestrians. In between we got the laddoo coupons for rs 20. Probably after 20, 30 minutes we got the darshan. It was a worthy darshan, after lot of stressful events. It was a very beautiful and different experience, truly!!!!