Tips for the Tirumala-Tirupati Trip
Take a water bottle and some snacks if you are OK, to the waiting halls before the Darshan of the Lord. But TTD does provide, water, milk, and some prasadams absolutely free. But then its a real melee out there.
Be vigilant at the main entrance to the Main temple; many a times, the authorities may free up the Qs for a direct access to the Bangaru Vakili, It would facilitate a quicker access. But maintain the Q at all times specially with the old and family around.
If you have a baby aged less than 5 years or so, then the parents and the baby can have Darshan in a completely separate Q near Vaikuntam Q complex. Do ask for it.
If you have a senior citizen, they have a separate Q near the main entrance and also they can be fetched and dropped to your guest house absolutely free of cost, by the battery operated carts.
Hundi: the Only place where in people throng and vie with each other to offer whatever they have committed for themselves to Lord:-) Its an interesting phenomenon.
After Hundi contributions, spot the Vimana Venkateswara within the precincts of the temple after taking Teertham and Chattagopuram . Take rest for a while if you can.
If you wish to be in the thick of the events then visit this place right in the midst of the Brahmostavams: with sufficient planning well in advance.
If you want to have a leisurely Darshan( relatively) then months of August-September( rainy season) Or in the first or second weeks of December is the best option soon after the Karthika Masam rituals.
If you want to have an equalizing humble experience with the common person alike then do visit the lunch facility at Padmavathi temple, in the same Q. Food is prepared and provided in clean, hygienic environment. Its delicious as well. But the surroundings would provide that salutary effect on you.
During the Darshan time, if you can manage to be on the sidelines and gradually move towards the Lord then you would have more seconds to experience that ethereal spiritual bliss that envelops everyone in the midst of such a chaotic environment.
If you have the time then you can visit the Sahasra Deepalankara Seva that is normally performed out in the open at around 5pm.
Make sure that you dont forget about the offerings that wanted to donate at the Hundi; and make sure that you are done with your part of the job; for you would not get a chance to do so, once you forget this in the milee and come out fo the temple complex. Then its a really complex affair.
If you have vowed for a Tonsure, then go ahead and do it at KalyanaKatta or at the Rambagicha guest house leisurely on the day of your arrival at Tirumala, then freshen up and go ahead for Darshan.
If you have checked out of the hotel and want to free yourself from the baggage, then deposit the stuff at Cloak Rooms at Bus stand.
irupati, being one of the most famous pilgrim towns, has its list of restaurants often varying, in quality and prices, across the spectrum for different target audience. What I have found interesting and delicious fares is from the following restaurants:
Hotel Mayura: by far the best one in the town for its authentic andhra vegetarian delicacies and also multi cuisine( North Indian as well) at its restaurant. Hotel Mayura is situated on the main thoroughfare right opposite main entrance of APSRTC bus stand. Biggest strength of this restaurant is its ability to consistently regale the discerning consumer for its mouth watering delicacies and fresh food. Well its definitely a pricey proposition as well. It costs Rs.150 plus taxes for the Veg South Indian Thali. Almost all the other dishes are priced at about Rs.65 per plate for the typical south Indian snacks: like Idlis etc., Its morning breakfast at 7am in its serene environment with classical hymns in the background is a real treat in itself. They do sell distinctly andhra pickles and powders for a price.
Hotel Minerva Grand: is the newest entrant in the hospitality scene in Tirupati; with its legendary credentials of Himayatnagar branch for its sheer atypical andhra food. Yes its giving tough competition to the current best. But there is much more that this restaurant that is situated on the ground floor has to undertake to be on the top of the list of the consumer. But its definitely a better bet for the fresh, tasty veg andhra food. Its situated right next to Reliance Retail Mart, just around the bus stand; but its a good walk from the bus stand. It takes about Rs.20 to hire an auto from the bus stand.
Hotel Bhimas: the original maestro of the game in the food business in Tirupati even prior to Hotel Mayura. But then this does continue to provide its stiff competition to the newer and upcoming joints with its inimitable andhra food. Best bet is plate chapatis or the Veg Thali at its joint, near the Railway Station. Hotel Bhimas is available on multiple locations. But the better of them is at the Railway station. Near to the Govindarajaswamy temple. They do sell their Pickles and Powders for a price.
Hotel Annapurna: Its a simple humble yet understated joint enroute to the Railway station. You would find it on your left if you were to proceed from Bus stand. Food is simple but delicious and filling. Its very cost effective as well. Its in a different league of its own in the moderately priced category.
Hotel Lakshminarayana: if you are craving for the tinge of taste from Tamilnadu and yet boast of the delicacies of the Andhra, then this humble joint right opposite APSRTC bus stand, is the place to go. But then its truly a functional, spartan environment. You got to savor the food and get going.
Other joints: specially at the railway station are meant for the different consumers say Marathi, Rajasthani and Gujarathi bhojanalayas. Havent tried. But must be a big hit given the teeming crowds and yet in tolerable clean environment.
Vysya Guest House/ Choultry on the Kapiltheertham Road: just excellent cost effective. But then its meant to be for the Vysyas only.they do seek out your Gotra and other familial passwords; then issue a token for free. You better be there by noon for good tasty wholesome lunch or for the dinner( only snacks).
Vengamamba Annadana Hall by TTD: the best destination to have your lunch or dinner soon after the Darshan at the temple. Its simple, hygienic, tasty and well prepared food.
Hotel Mayura or Woodlands: its available somewhere near the different guest houses.
Karnataka Bhavan Restaurant: by far the best one from all the pRajeev_Vermactives, taste, freshness, cost effectiveness. But you got to walk up quite a bit from the main temple along the alleys while discovering the various hitherto undiscovered abodes of Priests etc., and then land at this joint. I like the food over here.
India Coffee House: for its best coffee on the Hills and ofcourse the traditional dosa
Well there are many a new age joints such as Idli factory are popping up from visit to visit: must be equally good; but havent had the chance to try them out.