by Wojciech Fedoruk - 2 years, 4 months ago
Do you know what is the most visited temple in the world? Surprisingly it is not Mekkah, St. Peter’s Basillica in Rome or Basillica of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The number one is Tirumala Venkateswara Temple in Tirupati, in Indian state Andhra Pradesh. The temple is devoted to Venkateswara, the incarnation of Vishnu and is visited by from 30 to 40 million of pilgrims per year. Surprisingly, although being very popular in India, it is rarely visited by foreign tourists. The day I visited the temple I was the only white man among thousands of Indians. The temple is located around 15 kilometers from Tirupati, which can be easily reached by train from Chennai. Although the temple is not one of the most beautiful in India (despite the fact that its central part is made from pure gold) and you have to wait in the queue at least two hours (may be five or seven as well) the visit is very rewarding. Observing so many Indians praying and singing religious songs was an experience I will not forget. Unfortunately, my camera and cell phone were held at the entrance, so there are no photos of the interior of the temple.