Want to visit abroad but worried about the visa process? The Visa Gods may have a solution. What if someone told you that in India, the Gods grant visas? Sounds insane, right? Wrong. The Chilkur Balaji Temple just outside Hyderabad, claims to have powers over international travel. India has an abundance of temples which makes you go, “What?”. Like the temple of rats in Rajasthan or the temple that offers toy airplanes to the devotees. And then the Chilkur Balaji Temple that grants international visas that I came to know of when I applied for my visa for a trip to Prague.
The officer at the passport office told me about it, and I wasn’t sure if it was true or just belief. What I did know was that I had to check this temple of visas out. So, I booked a Savaari from Bangalore to embark on this journey to the temple that has a hold on bureaucracy. The experience of the temple was completely out of this world. So, I decided that it was unfair to gatekeep such information, and hence, this is your guide to the Visa Temple of India.
A temple that grants visas
The Visa Temple, also known as the Chilkur Temple, is nestled amidst the vibrant city of Hyderabad. This mystical abode is not your average temple, as it holds a special secret to unravel. Legend has it that devotees flock here to seek the blessings of the goddess Visa Balaji, known for her ability to grant visas for travel abroad. I was so amused by this that I just knew I had to see it for myself. This temple is renowned for its unique power to navigate through the tangled web of bureaucracy and make dreams of international travel come true. And what’s more, they don’t accept any monetary donations. With colourful decorations, vibrant rituals, and a buzzing atmosphere, the Visa Temple offers a delightful fusion of spirituality and wanderlust. The Visa Temple is an extraordinary destination that promises an unforgettable experience.
Visa Balaji – The traveller turned Deity
I was very excited to meet the mischievous yet benevolent deity of the Visa Temple, the charismatic Visa Balaji. Especially after hearing all the folktales from Neeraj bhaiya. This whimsical god is no ordinary divine being. He is known for his knack for adventure and wanderlust and is believed to possess the extraordinary ability to facilitate the issuance of visas for eager travellers. With a twinkle in his eye and a mischievous smile, he listens to the heartfelt prayers of devotees who seek his divine intervention in their quest to explore the world.
As the deity of travel aspirations, Visa Balaji is adorned with colourful garlands and adorned with trinkets symbolising passports and airplanes. Pilgrims from far and wide flock to the Chilkur temple to seek his blessings, offering their heartfelt wishes in hopes of acquiring that coveted visa stamp. Whether you’re a globetrotter, a travel enthusiast, or simply curious about this extraordinary deity, the Visa Temple and its enchanting deity will leave you with a sense of wonder and a desire to embark on new adventures.
While we were going to the temple, Neeraj bhaiya started telling the tales of its intriguing history and legends. Nestled amidst the bustling city of Hyderabad, this temple has a fascinating story. Legend has it that long ago, a devout traveller named Raju embarked on a journey to visit his dream destination. Unfortunately, he faced countless obstacles in obtaining a visa. Frustrated, he sought solace in the divine intervention of the gods. Moved by his unwavering faith, the gods transformed Raju into Visa Balaji, the deity of visas and travel. Since then, the Visa Temple has become a haven for wanderlust-filled souls who pray to Visa Balaji for smooth visa approvals and fulfilling adventures.
Another legend whispers that the temple is located on an auspicious spot where the energies of the universe align to grant the heartfelt wishes of travellers. Whether you believe in these mystical tales or simply revel in the temple’s magical aura, the Visa Temple is a testament to the human spirit’s undying desire to explore and the belief that dreams do come true. So, we, like thousands of others, stepped inside to make a wish and let the legends of the Visa Temple transport us to a world where possibilities are endless, and visas are granted with a divine touch.
108 Pradakshinas and no donations
Rangarajan Chilkur is the hereditary priest of the temple, and we were lucky enough to be able to meet him and get his blessings. He completely changed my view on the very philosophical complexities of life. A lesser-known fact about him is that he used to work as an engineer at a very comfortable salary. And he gave all of that up to become a priest. He said it gave his life meaning.
A very interesting fact about the Visa temple is that there are no Hundis or donation boxes in the temple. The temple runs an institute for educating children. And they encourage everyone to donate stationery for the school and education of the children rather than making monetary contributions. Another very interesting way to contribute to the temple is by performing the Seva or the service. This is way of helping the temple staff take care of the devotees. The feeling of being able to instantly see the result of your contributions is blissful and satisfying. I understood why so many people like to just come here and spend time even if they haven’t applied for a visa.
As we entered the temple, we were so confused to see so many people walking around the temple with pens and paper in their hands. Then we were told that the people with the pen and paper were devotees who had wished for a visa and fulfilled their wish. They were performing the pradakshinas. The numbers looked impressive.
The priest told us that while making a wish, we must do 11 pradakshinas, which takes around 40 minutes. And if the wish is fulfilled, we must return to pay our thanks to Visa Balaji. But this time, we would have to finish 108 rounds of the temple, which takes about 3 hours. You can perform the pradakshinas throughout the day.
The Visa Temple, also known as Chilkur Balaji Temple holds special significance for devotees seeking blessings for visa approvals and international travel. It gained popularity for its reputation as a “Visa God” temple, where devotees offer prayers to Lord Venkateswara (Balaji) to fulfill their aspirations of obtaining visas. However, the temple welcomes all visitors, regardless of their visa-related intentions. With its serene ambiance and historical significance, the Chilkur Balaji Temple continues to be a place of faith, hope, and spiritual solace for devotees from various walks of life. Read this article to learn about more things to do when you visit the Visa Temple.
|Timings||5:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Open on all days|
|Morning Darshan timings||6:00 AM to 1:00 PM|
|Evening Darshan timings||4:00 PM to 6:00 PM|
|Location||Chilkur Balaji Temple Rd, Chilkur Village, Hyderabad, Telangana 500075|
|Dress code for men||Munds, bare chests, allowed covering chest with a cloth|
|Dress code for women||Sari or long skirt with a blouse|
How to reach the temple that takes you everywhere
If you travel by air, you must arrive at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad. Upon arrival, proceed to the airport’s exit and look for taxi counters or ride-hailing services or save all the hassle by pre-booking a Savaari and meet your driver waiting for you at the exit. The Chilkur Balaji temple is approximately 30 Kilometers from the airport.
Hyderabad has a well-connected road network. If you are within the city, you can take Outer Ring Road (ORR) or National Highway 765, which leads to Chilkur village, where the temple is located. Once you reach Chilkur village, you can easily spot the Visa Temple, as it is a popular religious destination. Booking a Savaari allows you to relax and unwind to music while the driver navigates the route.
The nearest railway station to the Visa Temple is the Hyderabad Deccan Railway Station (also known as Nampally Station).After arriving at Hyderabad Deccan Railway Station, exit the station and look for an auto-rickshaw or save all the hassle by pre-booking a cab. The driver will take the most suitable route to reach the temple, which is approximately 25 kilometres away from the railway station.
To believe or not to believe?
Well, the questions about God, religion and life have been at the centre of the unknown to human beings forever. And maybe one of the major reasons for that is the inability to ever have one clear, sure-shot, answer. Did I get my visa in time? Yes. Can say for sure it was because of the Visa temple? Probably not. Should you visit the Visa temple when you apply for a visa? For sure. In fact, one must visit this temple even if they have not applied for a visa at all. Whether you are a believer like millions of others who have been granted their visas or a skeptic who likes to question the truth, the sheer amount of hard work and good deeds that prevail in the temple premises is more than enough to bless anyone with satisfaction.
Last Updated on May 23, 2023 by Aarushi Arora
A quick summary
Chilkur Balaji- The temple that grants Visa
What if someone told you that in India, the Gods grant visas? The Chilkur Balaji Temple, Hyderabad, has powers over international travel.
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