I wanted to climb up-hill by foot to Tirumala from Tirupathi.
Most of the package tours operating to Tirupathi from Bangalore (including ITDC) have nice packages but do not accommodate the climbing time.
If anyone has climbed to Tirumala by foot can you please give me some advise on how to go about it? For e.g.: Best way to reach Tirupathi from Bangalore. From where to get the darshan token. Coming back etc.
Also is it possible to get the darshan token from Bangalore? If yes, where can I get it?
Reserved my darshan time from Chowdaiah Memorial hall near Shankey Tank. The counter at Chowdaiah Memorial Hall is open from 10 AM to 1 PM and then from 2 PM to 4 PM. I was surprised to see a long queue and it took 45 minutes for me to reach the counter. Also everyone wanting a darshan needs to be finger printed and photographed in person.
I have booked Archanananthara Darshanam (AAD) darshan that happens at 5:30 AM on all days except Friday and costs 200 Rs.
My darshan is on 29th Oct (Sat) so, I am planning to book KSRTC bus on 28th Oct (Fri) that starts at 9 AM from Bangalore and reaches Tirupathy at around 2-3 PM. Then start climbing at around 4-5 PM to reach the top by 9 PM. Sleep in a mutt and report at 5 AM for the darshan. For coming back to Bangalore I can get a KSRTC bus only at 12:30 PM that will get me to Bangalore by 6 PM on 29th Saturday. (KSRTC booking opens 10 days in advance from the date of travel so I am yet to book these tickets)
Unfortunately the train timings are not suitable. Most trains to Tirupathy start from Bangalore at night and the only morning train starts from Yeshwantpur at 7:45 AM. Also there are no morning trains from Tirupathy to Bangalore.
I am back from my Tirupathi trip and it went very well. I would like to thank everyone who responded to this post as I learnt little bit from each of the posts.
Though the distance between Tirupathi is 250 KMS, which should be covered in 5 hours, it takes 6 hours as it takes the bus more than an hour to get out of Bangalore. Road is also pretty good ... once you get out of Bangalore city limits.
I reached Tirupathi at around 5 PM and took an auto to Alliperi which cost me around 25 Rs. Started climbing at 5:30 PM and reached the top at 8:15 PM.
Tips for climbing:
- First one hour is pretty steep. It helps if one climbs very slowly - 1 step per second. If one climbs slowly then one does not need to take frequent rest and that helps. After the first hour things are pretty easy, more or less of a walk. (Till the last 500 odd steep steps.)
- If you are going to climb during dark then it is better to carry a torch. Though the passage has lights, there was a problem with lights while I was climbing and it was pitch dark. I had to manage with the light of my phone's LCD screen.
- People say one has to climb without shoes on ... but that is something that is difficult for me. So I climbed with my shoes on ... I saw some people with shoes on and some people without shoes ... So I guess it is a personal choice.
Stayed there for night in a mutt and got ready for my 5 AM darshan. One needs to enter from Vaikunth Complex 1 for Archanananthara Darshanam (AAD) darshan. Queue does not materialize till one enters the temple. And as the darshan is before 6 AM one is allowed to go till the innermost Sanctum Santorum. I entered Vaikunth Complex 1 at 4:45 AM and was out by 5:15 AM!