|HOW TO REACH
The 2m high standing idol of Venkateswara or the Lord of the Seven Hills, on a lotus flanked by his consorts Bhudevi and Sridevi, is believed to grant any wish made in front of it. The most striking feature of the awe-inspiring black idol is its fabulous diamond crown, which is said to be the most precious single ornament in the world. The richest temple in India, it is a master piece of South Indian Dravidian Architecture.
The Sanctorum 'Ananda Nilayam' has a glittering gold covered 'Vimana' and gold covered gates guard the sanctum sanctorum. The rulers of all the great dynasties of the southern peninsula have been ardent devotees and paid homage to Lord Sri Venkateswara in this ancient shrine.
The approach to the temple is through mango groves and sandal wood forest and devotees chanting 'Govinda' or 'Om Namo Venkatesaya' reach the top where the temple is situated. The daily program starts with 'Suprabhatam' (awakening the Lord) at three in the morning and end with the 'Ekanta Seva' (putting the Lord to sleep) at one in the night. Daily, Weekly and Periodical sevas and utsavams are performed to the Lord. Pilgrims can choose from the list and pay to get the 'Sevas' or 'Utsavams' done on their name. Anointing the idol with camphor, saffron and musk and the offering of their hair by pilgrims are important customs performed. A bath in the 'Swami Pushkarini' tank, adjacent to the temple is believed to cleanse devotees of their sins. A consecrated sweet is distributed as 'prasadam' to about 50,000 pilgrims on festival days. The pilgrims visit and pay homage to Adivaraha idol in the Sri Varaha Swami Temple, situated on the banks of the tank before visiting Sri Venkateswara Temple.
The devotees stand in line for hours together to obtain a glimpse of the presiding deity for a few fleeting seconds. Different darshans are arranged for the convenience of the pilgrims, the 'Sarvadarshan' -'darshan for all', free of cost, timings differ on different week days, Special darshan (paid darshan), 'Sudarshanam' -free or paid darshan's using a token system minimizing the waiting time) and special darshan for the physically disabled and the aged.
Brahmotsavam, the most important of the various festivals of the temple, is conducted usually in Bhadrapada i.e., in September for about 9 days. On account of Adika Masam, which comes in every third year, the Brahmotsavam celebrated then is especially grand and held under the name 'Navarathri Brahmotsavam'. The 'Garudotsavam' and the temple car festival 'Rathotsavam' is particularly popular. These Brahmotsavams attract thousands of pilgrims from various parts of the country.