Why do Devotees Offer Their Hair at Tirupati

Tirupati is a very famous religious place for the devotees of Lord Vishnu, where the popular shrine is located. The temple in Tirupati where Vishnu is Lord Venkateswara, is known as Tirumala Venkateswara Temple. Devotees believe, Tirupati means the spouse of Lakshmi Devi. The temple is situated at Venkatadri, one hill among the six others in Tirupati. Vishnu is also known as Balaji, Srinivasa and Govinda.

It has been estimated that the number of worshippers coming to Tirupati is around 1 lakh daily and the number increases to 5 lakhs if there is a festival, like the Brahmotsavam. This adds up to a total of 3 to 4 Crore of devotees in a year. Worshippers of Vishnu believe that the shrine is one among the 108 sacred places in India.

Stories Related to the Temple.

According to the beliefs of Hindus, when Lord Kubera married Padmavati, he donated money to the shrine. Lord Vishnu’s debt is paid back by his devotees by depositing money in the Hundi at the Tirupati shrine.


The temple and Tirupati prospered at the time of Vijayanagara emperors. It’s a popular belief that they gave gold and diamonds to the sacred temple. It was at the time of Krishnadevaraya that the temple shrine was coated with gold. Some years after, Raghoji Bhonsle started the administrative committee to manage the shrine.

Famous Hills.

You can see seven holy hills, called as Saptagiri (Saptarishi), in Tirupati. Saptagirinivasa is another name of Vishnu, got from the names of seven hills.

The 7 holy hills are supposed to be home to many gods. The names of these hills are Neeladri – Neela Devi’s abode, Garudadri – hill of Garuda (vehicle of Vishnu), Narayanadri – the hill of Vishnu, Vrushabadri – the abode of Nandi, the vehicle of Shiva, Anjanadri – abode of Hanuman and Venkatadri – abode of Venkateswara.

The Reason behind Cutting Hair at Tirupati.

According to the legend, Vishnu lost a small part of hair when a shepherd hit him. Observing this Neela Devi cut her hair and implanted it on Lord’s head. Lord Vishnu gave his word to devi Neela that his followers will offer their hair to her in response to her good act. The ritual of head tonsuring started from then and even today devotees from all over the world come there and cut their hair. Popular belief is that Neela Devi accepts the hair offered by Venkateswara devotees.


As Tirupati has many Vaishnavaites, all special days of Vishnu are being celebrated there. Vaikunta Ekadasi, Janmashtami and Rama Navami are celebrated with grandeur by the people. Vasantholsavam, the festival of spring and Rathasapthami are also celebrated with great joy. It is in Rathasapthami that Lord Vishnu’s idol is taken by people in procession.

To read about Hindu pilgrimages like Tirupati and find out more about religious Hindu scriptures such as Bhagvad Gita, visit Prabhubhakti.