A shrine that underplayed for years...
There are several temples in India. Of all they say, Tirupati and Puri jagannath temple are the oldest. I read it in one of the articles that these two temples were mentioned in Rig veda. It is believed and said that Rig Veda being the oldest vedas of all was written by Lord Shiva himself. That too in Satyuga. Before the manusastra appeared. For the modern days almanac calculation the rig veda was composed 4 million years ago. We are now in Kali yug and we are just in the pinnacle tip of the iceberg of a mighty and nasty Kaliyug.
However, that story is for a different discussion. This article is about showcasing the glory of the most (at least as far as I know) unsung temple of India. What if I tell you, thousands of people visit a temple every day and perform rituals and don't contribute a single rupee for the development of the temple or to those purohits?
Yes, This article is about one of the most powerful and at the same time underplayed temples of India called Chilkur Balaji Temple. The temple is situated at Himayat Nagar, an outer locality of Hyderabad. 1 hour drive from the city.
The most astonishing part of the temple is its unembellished look. Unlike many temples in southern India, Chilkur Balaji temple doesn't have multiple prakars for various gods. The predominance is given only to the ultimatum Shri Balaji.
Implausibly one can find hundreds of devotees on a Monday morning. No special pooja is done to the god, no individual devotee's archana is encouraged to the deity, no prasads, no prasad stalls, no hundi and there is no option to pay subscription for the development of the temple.
Then what do those devotees do during the visit. It is believed that when you come to the temple for the first time, you should revolve around the deity for 11 times and put across your wish to the almighty. Once the wish comes through you should come back to the temple and do the same for 108 times. Believe me every time i go the most number of people (more than 90%) would be performing the thanks giving ritual only.
People would, certainly, go tired so there are ice cold water bottles available inside for sale. The most admirable and a cherished activity during the visit is the ceaseless live commentary given by the temple's priest Mr. C.S.Rangarajan over the mike (you an google about him).He stands outside the Garbha Graha and narrate very good stories and slokas which would keep the devotees up all the time. He would share a lot of sweet reminisces in between and get the smile of every bhakt's face. he would chant the Ram-Krishna&Govinda namas constantly and would ask the devotees, taking rounds, to repeat. Though most of it will be in Telugu this would make the people to get going. Priest Rangarajan is known for witty quips which would gratify the whole atmosphere.
Me, being the regular visitor of the shrine, personally enjoyed being there. I was awestruck by the simplicity of the holy place and wondered why aren't they doing any publicity pursuits. I've also understood, they being quite happy with the current set up and having a handful of devotees coming day in and day out, they are not in the prerequisite to perform a lime-lite activity.
If you are looking out for a very powerful god who would listen and help for the betterment in health, job or abroad opportunities then you shouldn't be missing out Shri Chilkur Balaji in your life time. Namo Narayana!!