About Chilkur Balaji Temple
Chilkur Balaji Temple, popularly known as “Visa Balaji Temple”, is an ancient Hindu temple of Lord Balaji on the banks of Osman Sagar in Hyderabad. It is one of the oldest temples in Hyderabad built during the time of Madanna and Akkanna, the uncles of Bhakta Ramadas.
This temple has no hundi and neither accepts any money from devotees. VAK Books also known as the Voice of Temples with religious news is available here.
From the style, structure and appearance, it can be inferred that the temple was built half a millennium ago. Set in sylvan surroundings, Chilkur Balaji Temple attracts millions of pilgrims every year and is an ideal place for sequestered retreat and meditation. It enjoyed in the past, great days of pomp and glory.
According to tradition, a devotee who used to visit Tirupati every year could not do so on one occasion owing to serious ill health. Lord Venkateshwara appeared in his dream and said, “I am right here in the nearby forest. You don’t have to worry.” The devotee at once moved to the place indicated by the Lord in the dream and saw a molehill there, which he dug up. Accidentally, the axe struck Lord Balaji’s idol (covered by the molehill) below the chin and on the chest.
Surprisingly blood started flowing profusely from the “wounds”, flooding the ground and turning it scarlet. The devotee could not believe his eyes. He could not believe his ears when he heard a voice from the air saying, “Flood the molehill with cow’s milk.” When the devotee did so, a Swayambhu idol of Lord Balaji accompanied by Sridevi and Bhoodevi (a rare combination) was found, and this idol was installed with the due rites and a temple built for it.
Sri Balaji Venkateshwara, the Pratyaksha Daiva in Kaliyuga, is thus available at Chilkur to shower blessings on His devotees who for any reason are unable to go to Tirupati. Many devout worshippers flock to the temple to receive the blessings of the Lord and his consorts throughout the year, particularly during Poolangi, Annakota, and Brahmothsavams.
With the earnest desire to revive the former glory and importance of the temple, the idol of Ammavaru was installed in 1963, the year after the Sino-Indian War. After the unilateral withdrawal of Chinese troops, Ammavaru was given the name of Rajya Lakshmi, signifying this welcome event. The unique feature of this idol is that lotus flowers are held in three hands and the fourth hand is in a position towards the lotus feet which signifies the doctrine of Saranagathi.
The temple has been visited by great Acharyas from time to time. A visit to the temple is a must for the Jeer of Sri Ahobila Mutt every time he visits the twin cities, and in the temple is installed the idol of the first Jeer. The Tilakayaths of Sri Vallabhacharya Sampradaya have been regularly visiting the shrine. Jagadguru Sri Sankaracharya of Sringeri Mutt and his disciple graced the efforts of the trustees in improving the temple.
During a visit the devotee goes through the usual rituals of prayer, including 11 circumambulations of the inner shrine, and makes a vow. Once the wish is fulfilled devotees then walk 108 times around the sanctum sanctorum. The majority of wishes by devotees are visa related, thus Chilkur Balaji is also referred to as ‘Visa’ Balaji.
The 11 circumambulations represent the secret of creation — 11 means “1 soul and 1 body” — uniting both with devotion and full determination to fulfill wish, dedicate on the lord; there is no second, everything is god. In the 108 circumambulations, 1 represents the Existence, Almighty, God (Paramathma, Balaji in the minds of the devotee), 0 represents Creation (Illusionary World, Jagath) and 8 represents the time Human Body takes to come to this universe-8 months (Jivatma).
How to Reach
By Air: Hyderabad Airport is the nearest airport and is located at about 20 km away Chilkur.
By Train: Himayat Nagar Railway Station Junction is the nearest from Chilkur.
By Road: Various buses, taxies and cabs are available from parts of Hyderabad to Chilkur