Any geographical bifurcation brings in its wake gains and losses. If people of Telangana inherited well- developed capital like Hyderabad, those from Andhra Pradesh feel blessed for possessing famous Tirumala hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara.
Touted to be the second richest pilgrim centre in the world after Vatican in terms of revenue, the temple receives scores of pilgrims in all seasons and apparently people of Andhra Pradesh are happy that it remains with them.
“We are glad that Tirumala temple is with us after bifurcation. This is not to say that the pilgrim rush from Telangana region may deplete in any way but that unique sense of belonging is thankfully left undisturbed,” says Chadalavada Sudha, former member of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) Board.
The TTD is an independent trust which oversees operations and finances with the help of its nearly 16,000 employees of the Tirumala shrine, 12 major and many other smaller temples under its control. “This is one temple where the Venkateswara Swamy blesses everyone regardless of one’s caste, creed or region,” she adds. “The world famous Tirumala temple is a prized possession of Andhra Pradesh. Pilgrim amenities can be further improved but without disturbing the sanctity of the holy shrine. Anything done here is directly related to the religious sentiments of people,” says Kagita Venkata Rao, former Chairman of the TTD.