Faith is a very curious thing and we can't analyse it fully. The story of Chilkur Balaji Temple in Hyderabad is a fusion of faith and power! No one has understood how but it does help people who are in dire need of it.
It is said that the idol of Venkateshwara is a swayambhu (self-manifested). There is also an interesting legend behind the creation of this shrine.
Chilkur Balaji Temple
Legend of Chilkur Balaji Temple
According to the legend, there was a great devotee of Lord Venkateshwara who never missed his yearly trip to Tirupati. One time he missed the pilgrimage due to his ill-health and was upset about not visiting his beloved God. That night Lord Venkateshwara appeared in his dreams to say that 'he is nearby and the devotee doesn't have to go to Tirupati to seek his darshan'.
Next day the devotee goes to the place which he saw in the dream and starts digging a big hole. Suddenly, the blood starts oozing out of an ant hill and the devotee gets scared. Immediately, an unseen voice tells him to fill the anthill with cow's milk. The devotee follows this suggestion and gets an idol of Lord Balaji along with Sreedevi and Bhudevi for his surprise.
Later, this idol of Lord Venkateshwara was installed in a village called Chilkur which is now one of the oldest temples in Hyderabad.
Coconut and Flower Vendors at Temple premises
PC: Manu Manohar
People strongly believe that Chilkur Balaji is another form of Lord Venkateshwara at Tirupathi.
Interesting Facts About Chilkur Balaji Temple
- Chilkur Balaji is famous as Visa Balaji as it is believed that Lord Venkateshwara blesses everyone who are in need of visas.
- Devotees have to follow a ritual if they want their wishes to come true. They have to perform 11 parikramas (circumambulations) around the sanctum while making the wish. Later, they have to perform 108 parikramas once their wish is fulfilled. Hence, most people follow this age-old ritual in Chilkur Temple. This ritual is mandatory for the visa applicants as well.
- It is a hundi-less temple! Yes, you can't do any monetary donations in the temple.
How to Reach Chilkur Balaji Temple
Chilkur is around 33km from Hyderabad and it is easily accessible by road.
By Bus: Take buses from Hyderabad to Mehdipatnam and then have to take other bus from Mehdipatnam to reach Chilkur. Bus No. 288D is the most frequent bus which ply in this route.
The famous Chilkur Balaji Temple is a prominent holy place in Hyderabad. Those who can't go to Tirupati can always come here to get darshan of Lord Venkateshwara. In the recent years, the shrine is more popular as 'Visa Balaji' and many abroad aspirants go there to seek his blessings.