Tirupati Temple, where Lord Venkateswara is worshipped, is situated at the Tirumala hills in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. Lord Venkateswara, also known as Lord Balaji popularly, is the temple deity, and is believed to be the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The temple is one of the eight places where Lord Vishnu is believed to have manifested on his own.
Recently, the temple authorities, Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanam Trust, announced that the temple will remain closed for six days. It is for the first time that this is being done in view of the upcoming Maha Samprokshanam ritual, which is performed every twelve years.
Tirupati Balaji Temple is reportedly the most visited pilgrimage site in the world. Every year the number of devotees visiting this place amounts to around 35 million people. It implies that the number of devotees per day is around 50,000 to 1,00,000. Not just this, it is also the richest temple in the world, seeing the huge donations it receives. This is not all, there are many such mind-boggling facts about this temple. Read on.
1. By bringing an ear close to the back of the idol of Lord Balaji, one can hear the voice of roaring waters. The back of the idol always remains moist. A waterfall near the temple is considered a probable reason for this. But no one knows the actual reason.
2. According to the sources, there is a secret village which supplies all fresh puja items such as flowers, ghee, bilwa leaves, banana leaves, butter, etc. The village remains unvisited other than by the villagers.
3. Located one kilometre north of the temple, the Tirumala hills naturally resemble the face of Lord Balaji. No lesser than a surprise, this hill is estimated to be eight metres in width and three metres in height.
4. The statue of Lord Balaji appears to be kept exactly in the centre of the sanctum to a devotee standing inside, but the truth is that the statue is placed in the right corner of the garbhagriha of the temple. This can be realised only while looking at it from outside.
5. As per the story of Lord Balaji, he was hit by a stick by Ananthalwar when Venkateswara Swami was a child. This stick remains preserved until today, and is kept on the right-hand side of the temple entrance.
6. Pachai Karpooram, a green-coloured camphor, has the power to crack any stone, but it fails to crack the stone idol of Balaji; nobody knows what the reason is.
7. The idol of Lord Balaji has a temperature of 110 degrees Fahrenheit despite the temple being located at a height of 3000 feet. The idol is often reported to show droplets of water which are believed to be the sweat of Lord Venkateswara.
8. When because of a mistake committed by a Gandharva princess, Balaji lost his hair, the princess sacrificed her own hair to repent for that. Upon which Lord Balaji declared that any devotee who would sacrifice hair in this temple would be ultimately donated to her.
9. It is believed that Lord Balaji has natural hair. This hair is beautiful and untangled all the time.
10. There are lamps which were lit long back - no one knows when - and are never let to be put off, but no one knows when they were first lit.