Chilkur Balaji Temple
|This article may need to be rewritten entirely to comply with Wikipedia's quality standards. (September 2010)|
|Chilkoor Balaji Temple|
|Proper name:||Chilkur Balaji Temple|
|Location:||Chilkur Village, Gandipet, Hyderabad|
|Architecture and culture|
|Primary deity:||Lord Venkateswara|
Chilkur Balaji Temple (Telugu: చిలుకూరు బాలాజీ దేవాలయము) popularly known as Visa Balaji Temple or Visa God is an ancient Hindu temple of Lord Balaji on the banks of Osman Sagar Lake near Hyderabad, India. It is 17 km from Mehedipatnam. It is one of the oldest temples in Hyderabad built during the time of Madanna and Akkanna, the uncles of Bhakta Ramadas.
The shrine is instrumental for the temple's popularity as Visa God.
This temple fought and won the right to stay out of government control. The only other such temple is "Ramanuj Kot", a temple in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.
History and legend
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.
The temple is one of the oldest in Hyderabad, having been built during the time of Akkanna and Madanna, the uncles of Bhakta Ramdas. 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 jungle nearby. 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 Human Body need to come to this universe 8 months (Jivatma).
The Chanting of following names of Lord Vishnu, immensely helps us in overcoming the obstacles in our daily life.
- "Om Vashatkaaraaya Namaha" : For Success in Business.
- "Om Aksharaaya Namaha" : For Success in Studies.
- "Om Bhuthabhavanaya Namaha" : For Good Health.
- "Om Paramaathmane Namaha" : For Self Confidence.
Every devotee has to keep eyes open while doing darshan of God idol in the temple.
God is everything; God does not want anything from devotees; God expects Devotion, Determination and Dedication from devotees. This temple has chance to surrender the above aspects with God.
Location and transportation
The temple is located on the banks of Osmansagar Lake with serene environs with lush green trees and small rocks in a village called as Chilkur.The Balaji Temple is located at Chilkur in the Hyderabad district. It is 17 km away from Mehedipatnam. Approximately 75,000 to 1,00,000 devotees visit in a week. Generally temple gets heavy rush on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Bus service is available to Chilkur Balaji Temple from Mehdipatnam, Hyderabad with APSRTC (Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation) bus bearing service number 288D every 15 minutes, with 40-minute drive through Langer House, Artillery Centre, Maisamma Temple, Police Academy. A few other services are available from APSRTC Bus Service. Double lane highway from Mehdipatnam. This temple is now easily accessable to all parts of the city due to the Outer Ring Road which connects almost all the entry and exit points of Hyderabad. The exit ramp to be taken on the ORR (Outer Ring Road) is named as APPA (Andhra Pradesh Police Academy). 
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (September 2010)|
Chilukuru Kshetra Charitra is a historical and research book on this most powerful Chilkur Balaji Temple written by noted journalist and Nandi Award winner Bulemoni Venkateshwarlu in 2005. The Nextstep Publications & Entertainments released this book. It is the most popular book on Chilkur Temple's history.
- TNN Mar 17, 2008, 01.10am IST (2008-03-17). "Chilkur temple weaves dress code". The Times of India. Retrieved 2012-10-31.
- "Andhra Pradesh / Hyderabad News : Autonomy granted to Chilkur Balaji temple". The Hindu. 2008-03-04. Retrieved 2012-10-31.
- History of Temple
- Visa Temple, The Times of India, by Vamsee Juluri, March 30, 2006]
- TNN Jul 24, 2008, 02.19am IST (2008-07-24). "Hyderabad's waning 'green' glory - Times Of India". Economictimes.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 2012-10-31.