Tired from the overnight train journey from Kannur to Tirupati via Chennai, it came as a huge relief when we finally cooled our heels and unpacked our luggage in the room of ISKCON Temple, Tirupati.
Entrance to ISKCON Temple in Tirupati
What added to our joy were the sights and the ambiance of the location that we were greeted to: Spacious complex alive and buzzing with the continuous chitter chatter of the devotees, vibrant with a constant hum of Hare Rama Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare and a kaleidoscope of bhaktas mingling all around: this was my second visit to the place and it was a delight to find everything just like I might have visited it only yesterday!
Top view and Architecture of the temple
Spread in a sprawling complex, the temple is huge in size, ornate, magnificently carved and attracts a large number of devotees and pilgrims from far and wide. Within the complex is the ISKCON guest house which is clean and well looked after with spacious and comfortable rooms.
ISKCON Guest house room
View from the room
One of the salient features about this guest house which also distinguishes it from the many other ISKCON temples that I have been fortunate to visit so far is that it comes with a "special entry way" to the main temple. One can cross over from the guest house building directly into the temple through a small bridge on the first floor connecting the two, thus saving a lot of efforts as well as time.
Special entry bridge: Connecting the guest house directly to the temple room
It is something that I have come to call the VIP entry over my stays there. It is something that I have appreciated right from the day I have known of it. Such proximity to the temple hall ensures soul soothing chants of the bhaktas at a close distance with the subtle vibrations of arti and prayers reaching you inside your guest room even at those times when you might be unable to reach them.
A glimpse of the temple deities from a distance
Besides the guest house, the temple complex houses a Gaushala (cow-shed) responsible for nurturing and looking after a large number of cows and oxens, animals that were very dear to Lord Krishna.
ISKCON gaushala (cowshed)
A little away from the gaushala is an enclosure with a multitude of Tulsi pots called 'Tulsivanam' and the prasadam (food) hall serving divine food to the devotees.
The forest of Tulsi plants
Sri Sri Radha Govinda Mandir
Hare Krishna Land, Hare Krishna Road
Vinayaka Nagar, Tirupati - 517507
Contact Numbers: 0877-2230114, 2230009, 2231760
Guest House Booking E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Other Hotels in Tirupati:
For every traveler on the move, Tirupati offers a range of hotels that you can choose from depending on your budget and expenses. Search the internet to get the contact numbers (most of them even have their own websites) of these hotels.
It’s highly advisable to book your place of stay beforehand to avoid any inconveniences on reaching there. One of the most preferred place of stay is the TTD guest houses which are not only run by the Tirupati temple trust but also available over a wide range of prices which can easily be pre-booked online (here -> http://www.ttdsevaonline.com) or offline as well.