The term utsavam means “festival” or “joyous occasion” in Telugu. The most special utsavam in Tirupati is the Brahmotsavam! According to the legend (Varaha Puranam), the Creator, Sri Brahma Himself in honor of Lord Venkateshwara, first celebrated this utsavam and so it came to be known as Brahmotsavam! It is celebrated every year on Sharada Navaratri (September-October). Tirupati has its highest number of visitors during this special occasion. Sri Venkateshwara Jayanti occurs on the 9th day of this Festival.
Some of the other main utsavams that are celebrated in Tirupati are, Vasantotsavam (Spring Festival; March/April), Teppotsavam (Boat Festival; July/August), Pavitrotsavam (Kartikam, November/December) etc. In those years with Adhika Masam, (Adhika Aswayujam), Brahmotsavam is celebrated twice! Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanam makes elaborate arrangements during this time to cater to the pilgrims.
Kalyanam” means Wedding in Sanskrit. Performing or watching a divine wedding is considered to be very auspicious by the Hindus. It is believed to cleanse the family of all sins. This can be performed only by wedded couples accompanied by their family not exceeding 5 at an admittance fee of Rs.2500/-. It starts around 10AM3.30PM before it over after which all the participating families have a free view of the deity. Each of the couple are gifted with silk upper clothes and about 20 pounds of “Prasadams” OR a meal that is cooked only inside the temple’s boundaries and worshipped for consecration before the Lord earlier.
For those that not present during the biggest event of the year, the Brahmotsavams, a mini version is celebrated every day at Rs.500 per 5 persons starting at about 1 PM. The devotees performing this have a choice of selecting which particular vehicle they want to see their God on, such as the Lion, the Elephant, The Eagle or Others. However, the Float festival that is celebrated during the Brahmotsavams is not included in this ceremony. It has to be started at about 1:30PM in the afternoon.
Those who wish to see Lord Venkateswara and HIS Consorts in all their regalia, on a tastefully decorated float amidst the waves of the sacred temple tank, the Pushkarini, this Utsavam will be performed at Rs.750 per a family of 6 persons. The same can be substituted for the Swing Worship Or Unjal Seva also that has the Lord, HIS two consorts seated on swings and gently swaying to the accompaniment of Vedic hymns, music and lighting which exhibits their various moods likened to the cradling of The Lord by HIS Matrons when HE was a baby.
Vasanthotsavam is the festival of colors. This is of 3 day duration starting in Mid-April or 1st fortnight of May. The Lord and HIS consorts “play” and the devotees also spray colors on them. It costs Rs.3000 per a family of 10 persons, per day. On the scheduled day, the function starts at 2 PM in the afternoon.