Tirupati Balaji temple is one of the most popular and revered pilgrimage sites in India. Millions of devotees from across the world come to visit the temple and seek blessings from Lord Venkateswara. Apart from regular rituals and sevas, the temple is also known for its unique festivals and celebrations that are deeply rooted in tradition and culture. In this blog, we will explore the various festivals celebrated at Tirupati Balaji temple and their cultural significance.
Brahmotsavam is the most important festival celebrated at Tirupati Balaji temple. It is a nine-day long festival that is celebrated in the month of September or October. The festival starts with the hoisting of a flag on a tall pole called “Dhwaja Stambham”. The festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion by the devotees.
During the Brahmotsavam festival, the temple premises are decorated with flowers, lights, and colourful rangolis. The festival is marked by a procession of Lord Venkateswara on different vahanas (vehicles), such as Hamsa Vahana, Simha Vahana, and Garuda Vahana. The procession is accompanied by chanting of vedic hymns and bhajans. The festival culminates with the lowering of the flag, marking the end of the festival.
Vaikunta Ekadasi is another important festival celebrated at Tirupati Balaji temple. It falls in the month of December or January. It is believed that on this day, the gates of Vaikunta (the abode of Lord Vishnu) are opened for devotees.
On this day, the temple is decorated with flowers and lights, and the devotees offer special prayers to Lord Venkateswara. The highlight of the festival is the opening of the “Vaikunta Dwaram” (the gate to Vaikunta) in the temple. Devotees believe that passing through this gate will grant them entry into Vaikunta.
Rathasapthami is a festival celebrated in the month of February. It marks the seventh day of the waxing phase of the moon (Saptami) and is dedicated to the Sun God. On this day, the Sun God is believed to change his course from southeast to northeast, thus marking the onset of spring.
The festival is celebrated by taking out a procession of Lord Venkateswara on a chariot, pulled by devotees. The chariot is decorated with flowers and lights, and the devotees sing bhajans and hymns in praise of the Sun God. The festival is also believed to bring good health and prosperity to the devotees.
Ugadi is the Telugu New Year and is celebrated in the month of March or April. The festival marks the beginning of a new year and is celebrated with great fervour and enthusiasm.
On this day, the temple is decorated with mango leaves and the priests perform a special puja to Lord Venkateswara. The highlight of the festival is the “Panchanga Sravanam” (reading of the almanac) where the priest predicts the future events of the year based on astrology.
Janmashtami is a festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna. It falls in the month of August or September. The festival is celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm at Tirupati Balaji temple.
On this day, the temple is decorated with flowers and lights, and the priests perform a special puja to Lord Venkateswara and Lord Krishna. The highlight of the festival is the “Dahi Handi” ceremony, where a pot of curd is hung at a height, and young men form a human pyramid to break it. The ceremony symbolizes Lord Krishna’s mischievous nature and his love for curd.
Navaratri is a nine-day long festival that is celebrated in the month of October. The festival celebrates the victory of good over evil and the divine feminine energy.
During Navaratri, the temple is decorated with flowers and lights, and the priests perform a special puja to Goddess Durga. The highlight of the festival is the “Kolu” (display of dolls) where devotees set up elaborate displays of dolls depicting mythological stories.
The festivals celebrated at Tirupati Balaji temple not only have religious significance but also reflect the rich cultural heritage of India. They are an integral part of the temple’s tradition and are celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm by the devotees.
Apart from their cultural significance, these festivals also have an economic impact on the region. Millions of devotees visit the temple during these festivals, which generates employment opportunities and boosts the local economy.