Pune is vibrant and visitors have much to do in the city. After an interesting day in the historical Aga Khan palace, I had few other visits in my schedule. As I have not been able to visit temples for quite some time because of hectic work days, I thought it is time to visit and obtain some positive energy. Sri Ahobila Mutt’s Sri Balaji temple in Pune is very popular so I made my way to the temple in the morning. The temple is located about 3.5km from Hotel Ashirwad. As I arrived at the temple, I could see a large number of devotees within. The temple atmosphere surely cures all your tensions. I had the similar experience too.
It is one of the oldest temples in Asia and has a history dating back to 600 years. There are about seven Balaji temples located in various parts of the city. I was fortunate to visit one of the most popular one. All the daily pujas and other activities were all done in typical South Indian style and as other Balaji temples in the country. Most of the major festivals in the temple were celebrated in January. Adhyayanotsavam, Sri Andal Neeratta utsavam, Avatara Utsavam are some of the celebrations in the temple for which a huge number of devotees gather to obtain blessings.
It was a perfect time that I arrived for morning aarti. The temple is open to the visitors everyday from 7am to 12 noon and in the evenings as well. Lovely devotional songs were playing outside the temple and as I entered, the pandit was busy chanting the mantras while performing the puja. All devotees mostly women, casting their eyes on the idol stood in prayers with their hands put together in worship. I joined them too. I wished to do this every day but time hardly permits. It is indeed a wonderful way to start a day. The temple is beautifully decorated and I took a walk around the temple. I stopped by the pundit who was distributing ‘prasad’. I had some holy water, few petals of flowers and saccharin. I continued with my onward journey to explore the cultural hub, Pune.