I had been procrastinating the trip to Tirupati for a year and a half inventing fake reasons for not going there. It’s a religious trip that my parents had been planning for so long, and this time none of my excuses were accepted, and I had to give in.
I like going to different places and experience the culture and climate but dislike the travelling part of the trip because long journeys on buses and trains are very taxing. I wish apparition and floo powder networks were true. Besides, I have developed some views on religion in recent days that don’t go with conservative views, and so I have a hesitation to go on a religious trip. But I convinced myself that it was a fun trip to hills in a different state where people speak a different language. I still believe in the higher energy and pray and feel better after doing it. Be it a placebo, but it’s good. Regardless of my views on religions, I like visiting temples for their architectural value, marvel at works of the skilled artists that lived some 1000 years ago.
And so we set off for a week long trip, a religious one for my parents and an adventure one for me. We covered 527 kilometres by bus and train, and the heat made my eyes sweat, but it rained then and there and calmed me down. We reached Tirupati and visited the temples in and around. I enjoyed speaking to the waiters, vendors, because of the language gap it was fun. Somehow I managed to get the orders and numbers correct using signs, and our languages have some common terms too.
Everything was normal until the day before the visit to the main temple on the hills. I started freaking out thinking of the bus ride up the hill and hairpin bends. I had climbed (by bus) many rough hills when I was little, but this 970-metre elevation gave me shivers. I made a weak attempt to cancel the trip uphill but failed.
While climbing I didn’t dare to look down the valley, but at one point I realised there is nothing to lose and what’s supposed to happen would happen, and it would be a total waste not to enjoy the moment. Even if I happen to tumble down, the last thing I see should be something beautiful and not the fear. As we moved up further, the temperature started to decrease, thanks to the thin atmosphere. We reached the hill top, and it was breezy and chill along with the sun, and there were flowers and butterflies every where. That was heavenly.
I was engrossed in this so much that I almost forgot the important and the hardest part that is yet to come. It was the darshan part. We stood in a queue that was 1000 people long and after four long hours of moving, talking to the fellow devotees, looking at the children playing, chanting Govinda Govinda, singing devotional songs we got to look at the deity. To be honest, I enjoyed the queue except for a headache and the tiredness that I got standing in it.
The trip was a success, but I should have started to enjoy it a bit earlier. We reached home, and I was exhausted, and my eye lids were shutting down like that of the Tom’s from one of the tom and jerry episodes. That night’s sleep was excellent, refreshing and peaceful. Yes, we have to earn our sleep too.
P.S. It’s a post about how I felt during the trip. It will take many posts if I have to write a tour guide, about the place, temple, history, biodiversity, etc.