Are you planning a trip to Tirupati to visit the shrine of Lord Balaji? A trip to offer prayers at the famed Lord Balaji temple in Tirumala can be a most fulfilling experience for enthusiastic pilgrims and their families. There are many local temples around Tirupati that you can visit while you are there. However, for many first-timers, it can also be a very nerve-wracking experience if you are not aware of some of the Do’s and Don’ts. To make this a memorable visit while at Tirumala, it helps to be well aware of what to expect and prepare accordingly.
For first-timers and for those who are keen to know, here are some essential dos and donts to keep in mind during your visit to the temple of Lord Balaji:
1. While you are at Tirumala, it is said that you should first pay your respects to your ‘Ishta Devata’ or your ‘Kula Daivam before offering prayers to Lord Venkateshwara. Then you can head to the Pushkarini and worship Lord Varaha Swami at a temple that is dedicated to his worship before you go to worship Lord Venkateshwara.
2. Do not wear flowers in Tirumala, all flowers are meant to be offered to Lord Balaji only.
3. Do not carry gold, jewelry or any cash with you.
4. No one like to be stuck in long queues that last for two to three hours at times. However, when you are at Tirumala, all pilgrims are expected to respect the sanctity of the place. Do not cause inconvenience for other pilgrims by trying to race ahead of others or zig-zag your way through it.
5. Do not use non-degradable plastics in or around the temple premises.
6. Smoking, alcohol and non-vegetarian food are not allowed in or around the temple premises.
7. Do not buy ‘prasadam’ from street vendors.
8. Any form of gambling is to be strictly avoided.
9. Political meetings, campaigns, speech or dharnas are not permissible in the temple premises.
10. Deposit any offerings you want to make in the Hundi only.
11. Do your bit to keep the temple premises clean. Do not throw waste around.
12. Respect the temple’s customs and the faith of the pilgrims.
13. Most pilgrims observe silence while they are waiting for their turn in the queue.
14. Slaughter, killing or maiming of any animal or bird for any reason is strictly prohibited.
15. Beggary is not allowed in the temple premises and pilgrims are not to encourage the same.
16. Avoid approaching touts for darshan, prasad or accommodation. Follow the guidelines of the temple and uphold the sanctity of the rules.
17. Footwear is not allowed in the four mada streets.
18. Avoid loitering or sleeping around the temple premises.
19. No weapons are allowed inside the temple.
20. Make sure your back does not face the deity when you are seated or when standing.