Sri Balaji Temple Trust, Ahmedabad
Sri Balaji Temple, Ahmedabad-A Long Cherished Dream
Sri Balaji Temple!!!.A long cherished dream of Telugu people residing in Ahmedabad came true on 7Th April 2007 under Ahmedabad Andhra Maha Sabha. The land for the temple was acquired in the year 2000 and Bhoomi puja for construction of temple was held by the then chief minister of Gujarat Sri Narendra Modi in 2003.The temple designs were drawn as per Vykhanasa Aagama Sastra with the help of TirumalaTirupatiDevasthanams (TTD) Tirupati. The carving work of stones was carried at Tirupati and dressed stones were transported by road to Ahmedabad. Around 100 shilpi’s had carved the stones for two years period at Tirupati, and around 80 shilipi’s were engaged from Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu to construct such a big monument at Ahmedabad. Architectural sculptures including Gali gopuram at the temple were constructed by reputed contractors who had constructed many temples around the world. Prana Pratista of idols of Lord Sri Balaji, Padmavati, Godadevi, Garuda, Jaya, Vijaya and Dhwaja Stambham was carried out with the chanting of Vedas by learned pundits from Tirupati. The temple was opened for the public after Prana Pratishta on 7th April 2007 and the then Chief Minister of Gujarat Sri Narendra Modi had the first darshan of Lord Venkateswara. The temple complex includes Tall Viswaroopam of Maha Vishnu, Garuda and Hanuma and also Dasavatarams. The temple is always decorated with Muggulu (Rangoli), a Telugu tradition.
All the pujas of this temple are performed, in the similar way of Tirumala by learned poojaris from Veda Patashala of TTD.Around 70,000 devotees visit the temple every month. Balaji Temple trust strives hard to carry out Balaji seva as per agama sastra. Devotees can perform various sevas/offer donations as per their wishes .
The day in temple starts with Suprabhata seva and continues with the various regular sevas as given below to Lord Venkateswara and closes with Ekanta seva.
Abhishekam to Goddess Padmavati (Lakshmi) – Monday morning
Abhishekam to Goddess Goda Devi – Wednesday morning
Asthadala Paadapadmaradhana puja – Wednesday evening.
Nijaroopadarshnam of Lord Venkateswara – Thursday evening.
Abhishekam to Lord Venkateswara – Friday morning.
Kumkumarchana to goddess Lakshmi – Friday evening
Unjala Seva – Saturday Evening
Kalyanotsavam – ThridSunday Morning
SatyanarayanaVratam – First Sunday Morning
The singers from Ahmedabad (students & Music Teachers) render classical songs before the God during Unjala Seva. Along with the regular activities, Thyagaraja Aradhana utsavam and Annamacharya Jayanti are celebrated every year with huge gathering of singers and devotees from various corners of Ahmedabad. Pancharatna keerthanas of Thyagaraja and TTD identified Sapta Sankeerthanas are also rendered in the respective events . Balaji Temple is providing a forum for all singers including Karnatak and Hindustani.
The regular festivals like Vaikunta Ekadasi, Makara Sankranti, Telugu New Year Ugadi, Vinayaka Chavithi, Vijaya Dasami, Deepavali, Karthika Poornima are celebrated regularly with very large public gatherings . On Deepavali day, temple is lightened with 1000 sand diyas and on Kaarthika Poornima day, entire temple complex along with Dasavataras which are at the entrance of the temple, is lightened with 10,116 diyas. During Dasara, all the 10 days, Lord Balaji along with both the goddess are taken out for utsavam. During Navaratri Lakshmi Puja and Saraswati puja are performed.
Apart from the regular festivals, the biggest event celebrated at the temple is Brahmotsavam, which runs for 5days. Vykanasa Aagama Pandits from Tirupati perform this magnificentevent with several yagnas and homams. In this event, large number of devotees participate where Lord is taken out for radhayatra in a chariot. Chakra snanam and Kalyanotsavam during Brahmotsavam . All the five days during Brahmotsavam free lunch and dinner are provided at the canteen to all the devotees . Two other auspicious events apart from Brahmotsavam are Sri Pushpa yagam and Pavitrotsavam. In Sri Pushpa Yagam, the utsavam idols are decorated with various types of flowers brought from various cities of India Pavithrotsavam is a ritual performed to compensate the doshas (mistakes) if any occurred are happened to Lord knowingly or unknowingly during the routine worship of God in the temple.
Daily pujas, like Suprabhatam, Viswarupam, TomalaSeva, Archana, Sahasranama Archana, Ashtadala Padapadmaradhana, Nijapada Darshanam, Abhishekham, Kumkumarchana, Unjala Seva, Vahana Seva are performed. Apart from regular puja’s Satya Narayana katha, Kalyanotsavametc. are performed on specific days at particular timings. Mundan ceremony to offer hair is also done on every Saturday and Sunday.Temple infrastructure also includes a Kalyana Mandapam comprising of two halls, few rooms, kitchen for making Prasadams, is added in the temple complex after two years to give facility to devotees who wish to have overnight stay and also perform functions like marriages etc. in temple complex.
A South Indian restaurant Vakuladevi canteen is arranged in the temple complex for free Anna daanam on every Saturday evening. Every year free breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided to devotees who go by walk to Ambaji temple. Temple priests, Nadaswara team and prasadam cooks are trained in Tirumala traditions as per requirement..
Sri Balaji temple is one of the unique creations of Telugu people in Ahmedabad and Gujarat and has become a symbol of religious, social and cultural identity of Indians. With its devotional and service oriented activities, Sri Balaji Temple, Ahmedabad is identified by Government of Gujarat as one of the places of visit. Many a religious gurus, leaders in various professions visited Sri Balaji temple at Ahmedabad and took the blessings of Lord Balaji. In the words of devotees, “We felt divine vibrations and blessed by Sri Balaji. Our visit to this temple is an inexplicable experience and we spend good amount of time without our knowledge.”
May Lord Venkateswara bless all of us”.