I and my wife were at Tirumala, the hill top abode of Lord Sri Venkateshwaraswamy on 9th May, our Wedding Anniversary day. We performed “Sahasra Deepalankarana Seva” in the evening and had a satisfactory Darshan of Sri Venkateshwaraswamy by being in the queue for just 55 minutes!
The next day; on 10th May, we came down from Tirumala Hills to Tirupati and visited the Temple of Sri Kapileshwara Swamy at Kapila Theertham, the recently constructed Sri Krishna Temple of ISKCON, Sri Govindaraja Swamy Temple, Sri Padmavathi Ammavari Temple at Alamelu Mangapuram and finally we reached Sri Kalahasti Temple by 2:00 PM, to perform “Rahu Ketu Kaala Sarpa Dosha Nivarana Puja” and have Darshan of Sri Kalahastheeswara, that is Lord Shiva. The Temple town of Kalahasti is about 40 Kms. from Tirupati.
“Rahu Ketu Kaala Sarpa Dosha Nivarana Puja” is recommended to all those having a snake like formation of planetary positions that is malefic placement of Rahu and Ketu planets in their horoscope charts. The person having Kaala Sarpa Dosha is said to have a difficult life. He may have problems in all fronts like marriage, money, profession, career, health and so on. It is believed that this Dosha is controllable and curable by offering prayers to Rahu and Ketu. This can be performed at few Temples in every city but performing it at Kalahasti is considered very auspicious and beneficial. Rahu Ketu Puja is conducted at Kalahasti throughout the day but performing it during Rahukalam makes it all the more significant and very beneficial. We do not have Kaala Sarpa Dosha in our horoscopes, but we were asked to perform it at Kalahasti for overall benefit to us and our family. On Tuesdays Rahu Kalam is from 3:00 to 4:30 P.M, so we performed it from 3:00 to 3:30 P.M.
On payment of Rs. 1000/- the Temple gave us all the items required for the Puja, that is two silver snake shaped strips representing Rahu and Ketu, two pieces of cloth of red and black color, horse gram (ulavalu), black gram (minumulu), three coconuts, flowers, betel leaves, areca nuts, vermillion and turmeric powder, a blouse piece and Anga vastram. We reached and sat at the Puja site by 2:20 P.M. We were then directed to arrange Rahu Ketu over the colored clothes and grains given by Temple and similarly the betel leaves and to break the coconuts. The Puja started soon after Rahukalam commenced at 3:00 P.M. and lasted for half an hour. Rahu and Ketu were worshipped by first mentioning the names of the family members, Gothram, Nakshatram and Rasi and then by offering flowers, vermillion and turmeric as slokas were being recited by the Brahmin and sometimes repeated by us. At the end of the Puja we were asked to pick up the silver images of Rahu and Ketu and carry them to the Temple of Sri Kalahastheeswara, have Darshan of Lord Shiva and then to drop the silver images of Rahu and Ketu in the main Hundi of the Temple, after rotating the images thrice over our heads. We then had Darshan of Sri Gnana Prasoonambika (Parvati Devi) in an adjacent Temple.