A friend’s mom is visiting Bangalore and she asked me to share my trip details for a seamless travel. planning. Posting it here, in case it helps you plan yours better.
Tirupati Balaji trip
Started from Bangalore at 6am on Sunday, 8th May.
Back in Bangalore the next day — Monday 6am.
Total trip duration: 24 hours
Bus tickets booked on http://www.apsrtconline.in/oprs-web/
Special darshan ticket worth Rs 300 per person booked on https://www.ttdsevaonline.com/
6:05am — Indiranagar Isolation Hospital bus stop
1:30pm — Tirumala Hills (30 minutes delay due to bus puncture)
2pm — Shopping for appropriate dress + printouts + Locker + free haircut — clean shaved my head + getting ready
5pm — Entered the queue for special darshan
8pm — Exit post darshan
9:30pm — Bus to Tirupati (24 kms downhill distance covered in 60 minutes)
11:10pm — Boarded from Tirupati 6am — Back in Bangalore
Points to remember:
1. Bus journey should normally take 7 hours, a personal vehicle can cover this 267 kms journey in 5.5 hours
2. Dress code — Dhoti for guys and Saree/ Salwar suit for females. Strictly followed. I spent time & money on buying a dress to adhere to this. Later bought a dhoti & wrapped it as a dupatta since I did not have a real dupatta in that dress!
3. Print out of your special darshan ticket is mandatory. Helpdesk can assist you with a free print out. But prefer to carry one yourself. The barcode on this is scanned for entry as well as laddoo distribution.
4. If you want extra laddoos, add them to your ticket while booking online. This way you’ll get all your laddoos at the same counter. Carry a bag to collect laddoos, else you’ll have to go to a separate counter to buy a bag worth Rs 2.
5. Make use of the free locker facility available in PAC 2. I left my backpack, mobile and footwear here to keep everything in one place. You’ll have access to bathrooms & toilets on the same floor if you want to freshen up.
6. Keep time in hand when you book your darshan ticket. I had a 2pm ticket, but reached Tirumala only at 1:30. Since I wasn’t sure about how strict they would be, I bought an additional ticket for 5pm and then entered the queue around 4:30pm. On being asked if they’d have allowed me late entry on a 2pm ticket, they were affirmative. Still, it is advisable to keep at least 2–3 hours gap from your expected time of arrival to darshan time.
7. One of my life goals was to get my head clean shaved once. No better place to do it than Tirupati Balaji! They do it for free! Keep time for standing in the queue though. Both female and male barbers are available in the huge halls that welcome you after you receive your token and blade. They also apply some cooling agents on your head since your head becomes extremely sensitive after the protective layer of hair is gone. This will be a cakewalk, so don’t worry!
8. Total trip cost me less than Rs 2,000 as a solo traveller. You can budget yours basis your preferences.
Have a wonderful trip!
Venkata Ramana Govinda!