TTD to Give an Extra Laddu for Pilgrims Walking up to Tirumala Hill


Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) is planning to give one extra laddu for pilgrims walking up to Tirumala hill (12 KM from Alipiri), instead of driving up. But why?

“This was with a view to encouraging the age-old practice of traditional way of reaching a sacred place, temple sources told PTI here today,” reports DH.

Why do they want to encourage the traditional way of walking up the hill, to reach the Temple? One reason could be excessive vehicle traffic on the roads (in spite of having separate ways for uphill and downhill journeys).

But there could also be another reason. In the olden days, walking up the hill was the only way to visit the Temple. But today, we have trains/buses/cars and all other modern transportation. Also, no one has time or the fitness required to make that (seemingly) arduous but (actually) simple journey.

But isn’t the very point of creating the Temple above a hill, to make people walk up, at least once in a year (say)?

Is not having time, an excuse to ignore our fitness/physical well-being? Aren’t we allowing the conveniences of modernity to spoil us to the core?Were humans created for a sedentary/comfortable lifestyle?

Most of our ailments can be traced to our lifestyle choices (and food, but that’s another topic).

Just look around you and see how fit our grandparents and great-grandparents are/were, even in their old age. I think, one of the reasons for their fitness is, lack of modern conveniences. They didn’t have the motorbikes, cars and flights and that might have been a good thing, after all.

When we ignore all the good/healthy practices that were ingrained in our religion/rituals, we should have had the wisdom to replace it with equivalent modern good practices. Did we do that?

Perhaps, our generation might be happier if the authorities at Tirumala offer e-darshan. Log-in to Internet, view a live streaming and darshan over. Why strain going all the way? Wah, how can things get simpler than that? Hail technology!

Recently I saw an interview of someone on TV and he said that he walks all the way to Tirumala from Chennai. Almost 200 KM. 4 Days of walking. I am glad that at least one person has understood one of the main reasons behind visiting holy places.

All your money and brain (aka. technological innovations) can buy convenience and luxury. But at the cost of your health/well-being.


Destination Infinity

PS: This rant is applicable to ME, foremost.

Photo credit: By Drsreeganesh (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.


  • SG

    God is ok. Venkatachalapathy is fine. But the TTD administration and others associated with Tirumalai are biggest BS. Biggest Bast**rds.

    • Rajesh K

      There are problems with almost every organized human activity that involves more than one person. TTD is such a huge trust and there are bound to be issues, just like the Government or a private company.

      This post is not about the problems in TTD. It is about the problems with ourselves and our comfort-longing nature.

      Destination Infinity

  • Anu

    With the advent of modern transport, it just gets easier to reach God. There’s a temple called Sholingar outside Chennai. Even today to reach the top of the mount, one has to take steps. There’s no other options. The thing is, if we have comfort and luxurious options, people will opt for them. I haven’t personally climbed up Tirumala, partly for the reason I travel through that 1 day tour organised by Railways. and i had to get back to station before 5.30 or so to catch the train back.

    • Rajesh K

      Pilgrimages are not only about reaching God or praying/thanking. There are certain rituals ingrained in them that aids good health. If we are going to discard them (by building roads, in this case), we should have come up with an alternate mechanism for inducing physical strain.

      I am not saying that we should stick to old rituals, but we should have the foresight to replace them with something modern (how about an 8k marathon?). When we replace everything with comfortable/luxurious stuff, our body doesn’t get exercise and we may become obese. Don’t you think it’s bad?

      Destination Infinity

  • kirtivasan

    Hills are high. Say digital 1. Ground is low. Say digital 0. This fact of 1 and 0 is itself enough to explain most of the phenomenon of the world. At least enough for IT technologists. Hats off to brahmin community for building temple on hilltops !!
    Brain is for protection of body and making it work efficiently. It is not for getting luxuries.
    Extra laddoo is a good incentive for walking. Because the laddoo is so good.

    • Rajesh K

      Interesting analogy, that. I am not against luxuries, but if they prevent proper exercise to body and make us lazy/obese, then it is time we rethink.

      Destination Infinity

  • Shilpa Garg

    While I am all for health and healthy habits and walking is the bestest habit… but given the times we live in… less time, used to comforts and luxuries and sedentary life style, an extra laddu would be motivating enough??

    • Rajesh K

      They have successfully created a brand out of the Tirupati Laddu. And everyone is given very limited quantity. So, this incentive might work a little…

      Destination Infinity

  • Rachna Chhabria

    Yes Rajesh, we are all getting super lazy. If we have to stand in a line outside a temple, we tend to get impatient and start fidgeting. I know people who visit temples on non-darshan days (like any day other than Tuesday for Lord Ganesha or Saturday for Lord Hanuman ) so as to avoid the crowds.

    • Rajesh K

      One thing that amazes me is, we discard the old systems but don’t pick up equivalent new systems like exercising, marathons, etc. People will pay for their laziness.

      Destination Infinity

  • Avada Kedavra

    Yeah like many people said, time is a constraint. In this busy life, we dont have time to walk for 4 days. And since we are used to comfort life and hardly walk everyday, we cannot do it all of a sudden. But yeah there are people who do it I think. I can’t imagine myself doing that 🙂