Feb 042013
 

A visit to the Visa God of Chilkur Balaji Temple Hyderabad

Quick question: God made man or Man made God?  Well if you do not know the answer you need to visit the Visa God of Chilkur Balaji Temple in Chilkur Village on the outskirts of Hyderabad. You see the ancient gods in all the hunter gatherer, and later agrarian societies were responsible for some act of nature, like in India we have Indra for rains, agni for fire, similarly in pre-Christian mythology of Europe you have Bubona for cattle, Nympha for watering the crops etc. Or the gods and goddesses are based on celestial bodies like Sun (Indian, Egyptian  and almost all Aztec and Inca cultures) Jupiter in Indian and Greek and so on.

Visa God Chilkur Balaji Temple Hyderabad

The Beautiful colors of  Gopuram of Chilkur Balaji Temple Hyderabad

As man evolved the gods also evolved and we made gods specialize as per needs of modern man, thus we have Visa God in Chilkur Balaji Temple.  The temple is actually one of the oldest in Telangana and dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara a form of Vishnu from the holy Trinity of Hindu Gods. The legend has is that one of the devotees who used to visit the lord every year in Tirupati could  not go one year due to ill-health and was feeling miserable. The lord could not see his misery and in true devotee orientated fashion appeared in his dream and said “I am right here in the jungle nearby. You don’t have to worry.” The devotee at once moved to the place indicated by the Lord in the dream and saw a mole- hill there, which he dug up. Accidentally, the axe struck Lord Balaji’s idol covered by the mole-hill below the chin and on the chest, and surprisingly blood started flowing profusely from the “wounds”, flooding the ground and turning it scarlet. The devotee could not believe his eyes when he saw this. Suddenly he could not believe his ears also when he heard a voice from the air which said,”Flood the mole-hill with cow’s milk. “When the devotee did so, a Swayambhu ( appeared on its own) idol of Lord Balaji accompanied by Sridevi and Bhoodevi(a rare combination) was found, and this idol was installed with the due rites and this temple built for it.When the lord was assigned the responsibility to bless the devotees with US Visa is not clear, but we found a lot of young techies in the temple offering prayers in hope of getting their H1  or B1 Visa stamped. Though I have been to US many times I still offered my prayers and requested for more visits to US as I need to write more blog posts about US also. :)

The temple is actually very simple and dwarfed by the garage built for the chariot of the lord used for processions during festivals. When we visited the main gopuram has received fresh paint and was shining in bright sunlight. The chamber of chariot or parking lot has been adapted by some pigeons and they were enjoying the winter sun. Those who come to pray can take a small printed paper available with the caretakers of the temple, it has numbers from 1-108 and helps you in remembering the number of circumambulation of the temple. It is believed if you complete the same with full devotion you will get the US Visa.  The main idol is covered in  flowers completely so pay good attention otherwise you will miss the same in the hustle bustle of pilgrims around you.

picture of Chilkur Balaji Temple

The Chariot Chamber of Chilkur Balaji Temple

There is also a small Shiva shrine in the temple and you can visit the same also. Photography in the temple is not allowed so all the pictures that you see are of surroundings or from outside. While I was sitting in the temple veranda, I saw this lady coming and looking around before opening a chamber, I was wondering what secrets could be in the chamber, only to find hundreds of broken coconuts in the room. She did something in the room and again locked the room and ensured that the lock is secure before moving away.

unlocking the secret room of temple

What treasure lies behind the doors?

Coconut breaking area of Chilkur Balaji Temple

The coconut breaking and storage room

I requested this old lady to pose for pictures, to the amusement of her son and daughter in law who had her faced covered as a lot of women from rural India do when in public places. There is a small bazaar kind of market around the temple, and though the usual trinkets and toys etc are available, I actually bought some fresh fruits from this lady who was selling them. Most of them collected same day in the morning and you will not find them in supermarkets normally. She was selling guavas, Amla (Phyllanthus emblica Or Indian gooseberry), mulberry, star fruit or carambola (Averrhoa carambola) and huge Grapefruits and a few whose name I cannot recollect, but you can see them in picture, please help me and you can write the name in comments section.

Grapefruit, Indian gooseberry, guava, amla, carambola fruits

Local Fruits on Sale

Not too many people know that Pundit Ravi Shankar, the famous Sitar maestro got married here in Chilkur Balaji temple with Sukanya (mother of Anushka Shankar).

devotees doing parikrama at  Chilkur Balaji Temple

US Embassy is not the only place you apply for US Visa

How to reach Chilkur Balaji Temple: You will need to take exit 18 on the Nehru ORR, and head towards Vikarabad, you will cross the Mrigavani National Park and then there will be a major fork in the road, left goes to Vikarabad  Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple and right goes to Chilkur Balaji Temple. From here the road is not very wide and potholed at places so drive safely. Bus No.288D leaves every 15 minutes from Hyderabad. It takes about half an hour to reach by Car from the city  The temple is open all 7 days from dawn to late in the evening and gets very crowded during weekends and Hindu festivals like Sankranti, etc. The temple also publishes a multilingual ( Telgu, Hindi, English) magazine called VAK, that you can purchase for INR 5, to read about events and ceremonies in temple.

 an old women pilgrim in red clothes  at Chilkur Balaji Temple

A Devotee of the Lord Chilkur Balaji

There is a complete chaos for parking near the Chilkur Balaji temple, but one guy agreed to take us right next to temple if we buy flowers and coconuts from him (INR 60, if  you bargain you get it for 20, I later learned on return ), we agreed for the same, and parked close to the temple (INR 10).  There is no ticket for the temple and there is a locker room where you can keep your camera and cell phone etc. Be careful around the temple as there are a lot of beggars and some of them were very aggressive.


Irrespective of the fact you need Visa or nor, the Chilkur Balaji temple is a nice break from the city and you will enjoy the leisurely drive to the temple and the casual atmosphere around the temple. The satisfaction you will get on praying with hundreds around you is the added bonus.

Ice cream pushcart in the bazaar

Colors of India around the Chilkur Balaji Temple

pigeons living in the temple walls

Pigeons Living in the Chariot Chamber

the slip to keep record of parikramas around Chilkur Balaji temple

To Count Parikramas

The courtyard of Chilkur Balaji Temple

The Golden Flag-post of the Chilkur Balaji Temple

Useful info about Chilkur Balaji Temple:

  • Open on all seven days
  • Chilkur Balaji Temple timings are from around 6 am in morning to 8 pm in evening depending on season and crowd of devotees
  • There is no ticket and all are welcome
  • You are not allowed to carry cellphones, bags etc. in temple, so you need to deposit the same in the locker room

 

Other Posts about Temples in India

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  14 Responses to “Visa God of Chilkur Balaji Temple Hyderabad”

Comments (14)
  1. very nice work and beautiful pictures… Chilkur balaji temple is one of my favorite places around hyderabad, ….

  2. thanks for informative sharing

  3. That is news to me. Very interesting!!

    I hope your granted more visas to the US. And I wish this deity will soon take up visa applications to other countries too. That way I get to read about all of them here on Desitraveler. :)

    Gotta share this one!

  4. Some really nice portraits there!! Great job!!

  5. Great pictures and super blog! Thanks for sharing :)

  6. I think I have been to this temple long back. But it was just a visit. I now understand so many new things that I have not even heard of. Very informative.

    Thank you

  7. Haha now the powers of our Hindu gods have become truly complete.

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