CHILKUR BALAJI TEMPLE
Chilkur has a historic temple dedicated to Sri Balaji Venkateshwara, located 25 kilometres from Hyderabad on the banks of Osman Sagar, off the Vikarabad road. The temple's style, structure, and look indicate that it was constructed half a millennium ago. The temple, set in a peaceful setting, attracts hundreds of pilgrims each year and is a perfect spot for seclusion and meditation. It had magnificent days of pomp and splendour in the past.
According to legend, if a devotee prays to the Lord with a pure heart, the Lord will grant your wish of obtaining a USA visa. The belief arose from the experiences of certain students who had their visas repeatedly denied. They prayed to Lord Venkateshwara as a result of this. Their Visa application was also approved.
Every year, between 75,000 and 1,00,000 devotees flock to Chilkur Balaji Temple. The Chilkur temple is unique in that it has remained outside of official jurisdiction. The temple does not accept devotees' donations in any way. The temple was visited by Sri Ahobila Mutt, Tilakayaths of Shri Vallabhacharya Sampradaya, Jagadguru Sri Sankaracharya of Sringeri Mutt, and others.
The temple was built during the reign of Bhakta Ramdas' uncles Akkanna and Madanna and is one of Telengana's oldest.
Sri Balaji Venkateshwara, the Kaliyuga Pratyaksha Daiva, is thus present at Chikur to bless His devotees who are unable to go to Tirupati for whatever cause. Many dedicated worshippers visit the temple throughout the year to obtain the Lord's and consorts' blessings, especially during the Poolangi, Annakota, and Brahmothsavam festivals.
Ammavaru's idol was erected in 1963, a year after the Chinese invasion, with a strong intention to rebuild the temple's former splendour and importance. When the aggression was unilaterally vacated, Ammavaru was given the name Rajya Lakshmi, representing this joyous outcome. The idol's distinguishing feature is that it has three hands holding lotus flowers, with the fourth hand pointing towards the lotus feet, symbolizing Saranagathi ideology.
Famous Acharyas have paid visits to the temple on occasion. When the Jeer of Sri Ahobila Mutt visits the twin towns, he must pay a visit to the temple that houses the idol of the first Jeer. The Sri Vallabhacharya Sampradaya's Tilakayaths have been visiting the shrine regularly. The trustees' efforts to improve the temple were praised by Sringeri Mutt's Jagadguru Sri Sankaracharya and his student.
History of Chilkur Balaji Temple
Once upon a time, a devotee travelled to Tirupati on an annual trip to see Lord Venkateswara. He was disappointed because he could not visit for a year due to his age and health. He took the matter very seriously, and he couldn't eat well since he was thinking of Lord. Then, one night, Lord appeared in his dream and spoke to him. Don't worry; I'm in the woods near the fields. The devotee then dashed there, where he discovered a molehill. He dug the hill, and an ax suddenly struck between the idols, causing blood to flow from the molehill. The devotee was stunned when he heard a voice from the air pouring cow's milk on a molehill. Devotee acted following what he had heard.
Then Lord Balaji's self-manifested idol and his consorts emerged. Rajya Lakshmi Devi's idol was placed in 1963. The Goddess holds three lotuses in each of her three hands, while the fourth hand exhibits lotus feet to pray, signifying that one should not leave God's feet, a concept known as spirituality toward God. Many Gurus from the Sri Ahobila Mutt and the Sri Sringeri Mutt often visit this temple.
Temple of Sundareswara Swamy and the Boon Tree
Shiva idol was discovered with Lord Venkateswara's idol. Shiva temple can be seen on Lord Balaji's left side. Sundareswara Swamy, which is self-manifested, is near an Ashwattha or Peepal tree. Once upon a time, a sage performed penance for Lord Shiva under this tree. He was saved from the minute he was born. Since then, this tree has gained a reputation as a boon-giving tree. Near this tree is a Hanuman idol.
Brahmotsavam at Chilkur Balaji temple in Hyderabad:
During a visit, the devotee performs the traditional prayer procedures, including 11 circumambulations of the interior shrine and the taking of a vow. Devotees walk 108 times around the Sanctum Sanctorum whenever their wish is granted. Because the bulk of devotees' wishes is for visas, Chilkur Balaji is also known as 'Visa' Balaji. The 11 circumambulations reveal the secret of creation 11 indicates "one soul and one body," merging both dedication and entire commitment to fulfil wishes, dedicating them to the Lord; there is no second; everything is God.
In the 108 circumambulations, 1 signifies Existence, Almighty, God (in the devotee's mind, Paramatma, Balaji), 0 represents Creation (Illusionary World, Jagath), and 8 indicates the time it takes for the human body to arrive at this universe (eight months or Jivatma).
This temple does not have a hundi and does not collect donations. Here you can find religious news from VAK Books, commonly known as the Voice of Temples. This is one of India's unique temples, with no green channel or special treatment for VIPs.
The Jalaram Temple in Virpur (Rajkot), Gujarat, is the only other such temple. This temple campaigned for and won the right to be self-contained by the government. "Ramanuj Kot," in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, is the only other temple of its type.