All You Should Know: Tirumala Vaikunta (Mukkoti) Ekadashi
Vaikunta (Mukkoti) Ekadashi Date 2018: December 29, 2018, Friday
What is Vaikunta (Mukkoti) Ekadashi?
Vaikuntha Ekadashi is Hindu festival which is known as Shukla paksha Ekadashi that occurs during the Dhanu month in the Hindu calendar (in late December – January).
According to Hindu Mythology and Vaishnavism, we believe that ‘Vaikuntha Dwaram’ or ‘the gate to Lord’s Inner Sanctum’ is opened on this day. Vishnu opened the gate of Vaikuntham for two demons in spite of their being against him. They also asked for the boon that whoever listens to their story and sees the image of Vishnu coming out of the door, called Vaikunth Dwar, will reach Vaikunth as well. Temples all over India make a door kind of structure on this day for devotees to walk through.
According to the Vishnu Purana, fasting on Vaikuntha Ekadashi is equivalent to fasting on the remaining 23 Ekadashis of the year. When observed, it bestows liberation from the cycle of birth and death. In the Mahabarata, Bhagavad Gita the conversation between Krishna and Arjuna at the beginning of Kurukshetra War is said to have occurred on this day.
Fasting on Ekadashi
Vaikuntha Ekadashi fasting is an important aspect of those associated with it. People fast the whole day and keep vigil. Special prayers are offered to Vishnu and devotees engage in Japa (chanting of Vishnu’s name) and Dhyana (Meditation). On ‘Dashami’, the previous day of the observance, devotees who take up Vaikuntha Ekadashi fasting are to take only lunch. On Ekadashi, the next day, they have to maintain a complete fast and engage in prayers and meditation of Vishnu. They are strictly prohibited from taking rice. That night, people keep vigil the whole night and visit the temple of Vishnu, mostly in the wee hours of the morning.
On this day, the Vaikuntha Dwaram or the Vaikuntha Vaasal, ‘The Gates of Vaikundam’ are believed to be kept open. The area encircling the sanctum is referred to Vaikuntha Vaasal and devotees throng to gain entry into the temple, to seek Vishnu.
Vaikunta (Mukkoti) Ekadashi in Tirumala
Tirumala Venkateswara Temple also has a similar concept. Tirumala has a special entrance called Vaikuntha Dwaram that encircles the sanctum sanctorum. The dwaram (passage) is opened only on Vaikuntha Ekadashi and it is believed that any person who passes through this `Vaikuntha Dwaram’ on this particular day attains salvation. The temple witnesses heavy inflow of pilgrims and dignitaries for Vaikuntha Ekadashi.
How to Reach Tirumala on Vaikunta Ekadashi?
Tirumala witness heavy flow of crowd on this day. Its highly suggested reach Tirumala before day itself. You can reach tirumala by three modes. Special buses has been arranged especially for this day.
- Bus from Tirupati Bus stand to Tirumala
- Walk from Alipiri (Tirupati) to Tirumala
- Walk from Srivari Mettu to Tirumala
Please be noted Buses on this day will be full with crowd as the day is followed by New Year as well.
What to bring to Tirumala?
1. Blankets( Nights are very chilled in TTD Garden)
2. Necessary Medicines.
Darshan on Vaikunta Ekadashi in Tirumala
Dec 29: 05.30 AM – 08.00 AM – VIP Darshan
08.00 AM – For Two Days – Sarva Darshan
All the Seva tickets on this day is cancelled. No Online Bookings are permitted on this day. Privileged darshan formats are stopped during this period. With the auspicious Vaikuntha Ekadasi, Dwadasi and the New Year’s Day coming in a row, the TTD has resolved to suspend all ‘arjitha sevas’ being performed inside the hill temple of Lord Venkateswara for five days from December 28. It has also suspended all kinds of privileged darshan formats like those extended to senior and special citizens, parents with infants and the ‘divya darshan’ tokens issued to those reaching the town on foot during the five-day period.
Since it is a Friday, the sarva darshan will be delayed by four hours due to Abhisheka Seva. The ‘break darshan’ will be from 5:30 am to 8 am, which will follow by sarva darshan. The VIP darshan will commence at 5.30 a.m. while the common pilgrims will be allowed for darshan at 8 a.m. Only those who fall under the protocol category will be entertained and tickets will be allocated to them not exceeding six depending upon their stature. After the VIP slot, the general darshan lines will be operated uninterruptedly for two days with brief intervals for carrying out the mandatory temple rituals.
When all the compartments are full, special queues will be allowed at Alwar Tank, Narayanagiri Gardens, VQC 2, Karnataka Chowltries 2, Medaramitta, near North Mada Street and up to Ring Road near Bata Gangammagudi.
Accomodation in Tirumala on Vaikunta Ekadashi:
Online accommodation booking is full for this day. No donor quota accomodation will be provided. If you plan to find an accommodation after you reach Tirumala, it will be impossible. If you could reach Tirumala, before day, you might find some accommodation in CRO office or else no special arrangements has been made for pilgrims in terms of accommodation. Only places you will be having for rest is TTD Gardens and using Public Toilets. Please dont believe in middle men on this regard.
Do’s and Dont’s:
- If you prefer to take children along with you, please do be prepared for heavy crowd, which is not suggestible.
- Waiting in the Q-Complexes might even go up to 20-30 hours for darshan be prepared with medicines and required things.
- Don’t get in to traps of middle men for darshan and accomodation
- Dont panic due to long waiting hours during darshan and proceed patiently.
- If you think to rest TTD parks please take a note of Blankets and required medicines
- Cold winds in Tirumala in Winter is too high. Please be prepared for that.