Ever wondered how the renowned Balaji Temple runs? With about more than 50,000 to 70,000 pilgrims each day, and about 1,00,000 pilgrims on special occasions, how does the Balaji Temple in Tirumala still remain as one of the bustling divinity destination? As an answer to these questions, Nat Geo came up with a documentary Inside Tirupati Tirumala which explores how the TTD became a pre-eminent pilgrimage site.
Built over 1,700 years ago, the sanctum sanctorum has been preserved in its original form over the centuries, upholding the legend that its presiding deity, an incarnation of Vishnu, will live there unperturbed through the duration of the Kali Yug.
This 45-minute documentary captures the unrelenting joy of the devotees who make great efforts to get a glimpse of the deity with the running of the shrine being its main focus. Though the number of pilgrims visiting the temple has soared in the recent years, the structure of the temple is still intact despite the fact that there is only one entry and exit point to the Garbha Griha which is the place where the deity resides. The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) has streamlined every aspect about the process starting from registering devotees, directing them to the sanctum sanctorum and offering them the famed prasadam and free meals.
Disregarding the well-paved road that leads from the town to the shrine, most devotees make the tough nine-kilometre climb, often on their knees, to seek the Lord’s blessings. The documentary has covered all the aspects about the Balaji Temple including the renowned prasadam which is regarded as one of the best in the country. They have shown the entire process of making the prasadam and how they go through quality checks ensuring that it stays for about 7-8 days. They also focussed about the security aspects of the temple and how the priests there take rigorous training to attain that position.
This documentary, directed by New Delhi- based award-winning documentary film maker Rajendra Srivathsa Kondapalli.