We all know that Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanam is the richest and one of the most revered shrines in India. But, there are so many interesting mystical facts out there, like the fact that the idol of Lord Balaji wears real hair. Or, that the sacred objects for worship are not locally sourced. There are so many illuminating and fascinating things about Tirupati that you have to know.
Here we present to you some amazing & mind-boggling facts about Tirupati Temple
1. The idol has real hair and they never get tangled. The story behind those faultless locks goes like this – Lord Balaji, during his regime on earth, lost some of his hair in an unexpected mishap. A Gandharva Princess named Neela Devi quickly took note of this incident, and cut a portion of her glorious mane. She offered her chopped locks humbly to the deity and requested him to plant them on his head. Pleased with her devotion, the god accepted the kind offering and promised that whoever visits his shrine and sacrifices his/her hair at his feet will be blessed. Ever since, it has been a custom among devotees to shave their head off in the temple before or after their desires are fulfilled.
2. The idol of Lord Tirupati Balaji placed may appear to be standing in the centre of the sanctum sanctorum, but technically, it is not so. The idol is actually slightly towards the right-hand corner of the Garba Gudi.
3. The lamp lit before the idol has been alive for more than thousand years and nobody knows when the lamp was lit.
4. All the garlands, flowers, milk, butter, holy leaves, everything which is offered to Balaji, comes from a secret village. The only information the outsiders have, about this village, is that it is located somewhere around 20 kms away and nobody is allowed to enter or visit this village except the residents.
5. Tirupati Balaji holds the record of being the richest as well as the most visited temple of India.
6. It is a scientifically known fact that when raw camphor or green camphor (Pachai Karpooram), a derivative of Cinnamomum camphora tree, is applied on any stone, it leads to cracks and fissures on the object. The idol of Shri Tirupati Balaji, however, is resistant to the volatile chemical reactions of camphor, and bears no marks, even though it remains smeared with the substance most of the time.
7. The idol of the holy deity maintains a temperature of 110 degrees Fahrenheit, even though the surroundings are cool due to the steep location of the temple (3000 feet). Every morning, after the holy bath known as Abhishekham, droplets of sweat appear on the image of Balaji which have to be wiped off with a silken fabric by the priests. On Thursdays, when the priests remove the ornaments of the idol for a holy bath, they come off with a sensation of warmth.
8. When you place your ear on the back of the main idol, you can hear the sound of a roaring ocean.
9. A strong belief in a legend about the actual existence of Swamy is found in the region. Long ago, in 19th century India, the King of the region imposed the death sentence on twelve people for committing a heinous crime. The twelve of them were hung by their necks until death. Post death, the bodies of the deceased criminals were left hanging on the walls of the temple of Balaji. It was at that time the deity himself appeared.
10. The surroundings of this temple appear normal but when you explore it, the place becomes fascinating. Not far, the Garuda Hill in Tirumala is quite interesting to sight. The hill got its name because of the shape of a Garuda (An Eagle). What’s interesting is the fact that Garuda is considered an abode of Lord Venkateshwara.
11. Another similar fact about hills is, one of the hills has a face of Swamy. It appears as if he is sleeping and you can actually see the face.
12. The entrance of the Tirumala hills has a rock formation which appears to be like a serpent hood. The distance of this formation is the same as the height of the main idol.
13.The temple has various stone engravings from different ruling administrations of history. There are about 1180 engravings out of which 139 belong to the ruling period of Kondoi Veedu, 229 belong to King Krishna Deva Rayar, 147 belong to Sadasiva Rayar, 251 belong to Achchuthan Rayar period, 169 belong to Chalukya Kings ruling period and 236 belong to the Chola period.
14. Tirupati Balaji Temple holds a special significance amongst Hindus. According to the religion, Hinduism says that there are a total of 8 Vishnu Swayambhu Kshetras and Tirupati is one of them. Also, this temple is mentioned by the Tamil Azhwar saints to be one amongst 106 Vishnu temples, to be present in the earthly realms.
15. At the main gate of the temple (Mahadwaram) one could find a stick. According to the beliefs, that stick was used by Ananthalwar to beat Swami when they were children. During this, one day swami got hit on his chin which oozed blood. Since then the ritual of applying Chandan on Swami’s chin came into existence.