After being shut for all these months, the TTD (Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams) has finally opened their doors for the general public. People are welcome to seek the blessings of God with all safety measures in place. However, it is a well-known fact that due to the excess crowd, it is often difficult to ensure that all the devotees take the darshan. To help the general public, APSRTC has come up with a facility of providing ‘Sheeghra Darshan’ to 1000 devotees every day with an extra fee of 300 rupees. All the details and bus timings have been provided by APSRTC online.
The ‘Sheeghra Darshan’ facility is available two times a day, one at 11 a.m. and one in the evening at 4 p.m. and the transport corporation staff will be present to guide all the devotees. The APSRTC runs 650 buses every day to Tirupati from the neighbouring cities such as Bangalore, Chennai, Pondicherry, Hyderabad and Kancheepuram. It will be a relief to all the people of these cities who wish to visit Tirupati.
The Venkateshwara temple of Tirupati is situated on the top of Tirumala hills and is visited by thousands of Hindu devotees every day. The temple celebrates all the Hindu festivals with fervour and lakhs throng to be a part of the festivities. It is mentioned in the Varaha Purana that during the treta yuga, Lord Ram, along with Sita and Lakshman, had stayed here while returning from Lanka. It is also mentioned in the Purana that lord Kuber had lent a sum of a crore and 11.4 million gold coins to Balaji for his marriage to Padmavathi.
To repay the given loan back to Kuber, devotees flock to the temple and make donations in money or jewellery. The lip-smacking ladoo, which is the prasadam at the temple, is everyone’s favourite, and only the TTD has the rights to make it and sell it. Considering the huge number of people who visit the place and face inconvenience for basic facilities such as accommodation and food upon arrival, the TTD has launched their own website, and devotees can book everything beforehand, thereby making it more accessible for many others.
Apart from booking the bus tickets, it is always good that the devotees also book their accommodations beforehand to have a hassle-free experience later. All the guidelines are provided on the TTD website and TTD online booking. After submitting the endorsement letter, people who wish to have the VIP darshan can book their tickets TTD darshan tickets in advance on the TTD website. With an additional fee of rupees 500, and visitors can collect the VIP darshan ticket at the bank counter situated at the hills.
There are different options for accommodation like guest houses and cottages. There are many guest houses available near the temple, but because of the rush and huge turnout of people, it is always best to book them in advance. There are halls and choultries where people can rest with their families without any additional costs for free accommodation.
Due to the incidents in the past where people have blocked rooms and refused to vacate them, thereby causing trouble to other pilgrims, new rules have been imposed to ensure no trouble. A huge penalty of 200% on the rent is supposed to be paid in case the room isn’t vacated in 24 hours, and a penalty of 400% on the rent is to be paid if the room isn’t vacated in 48 hours.
Due to the COVID-19, rooms aren’t available in Tirupati, but online bookings for rooms in Tirumala are available.
Keeping the pilgrims’ safety as a concern, maximum steps are being taken by the APSRTC to provide a comfortable and hygienic environment. To ensure utmost protection, blankets will not be provided by the RTC, and the temperature of the bus will be maintained between 24 to 25 degrees. Curtains too are removed from all the buses, and the passengers are requested to maintain distance from one another and carry their sanitizers and masks.
For a better experience, devotees that wish to have a good and safe trip to Tirupati can book their tickets online on redBus app or website. Buses from major cities like Bangalore and Chennai are available. Travellers can choose between buses like a super luxury, express or ultra-deluxe. Buses are available between 6:30 a.m. to 11:57 p.m., and one can choose based on their comfort.
redBus ensures that all buses are at the pick points on time and that no passenger faces any discomfort, especially since the pandemic, all the safety measures are in place. One can log on to the website and select their city and the pickup point of their convenience and select the dates that they wish to travel on. All the APSRTC buses have live tracking and other amenities, including rest stops.
This vacation season, one can take a trip to the holy Venkateshwara temple with family and soak in some spirituality while taking a fun yet comfortable road trip with redBus. Explore the beautiful temples and enjoy the breathtaking views of the hills from the bus. Take the blessings of the lord and get in touch with the positive aura of Tirupati.
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Buses are the best modes of transportation to reach Tirupathi. You can simply log on to redBus mobile or app and search for Tirupati buses. APSRTC runs a large number of buses from major cities in southern India to Tirupathi.
As per the new rules, an individual who donates Rs. 10,000 or more to the Tirumala temple gets the VIP darshan. A recommendation for darshan is given after which the individual can pay Rs. 500 and head to darshan the next day.
In Dec 2020, TTD has removed the restriction of visiting for children below 10 years and senior citizens above 65 years of age due to Covid-19. Anybody can visit the temple currently.