People turnout in huge numbers to witness ‘Mohini avatharam’ and Garuda Seva
Bringing in a kind of luminosity to the lacklustre nine-day annual Brahmotsavams of Lord Venkateswara the hill town on Wednesday felt the impact of unprecedented pilgrim crowd.
The TTD administration which was worried a lot following the poor turnout in the pilgrim crowd during the past four days breathed a sigh of relief on Wednesday when the town started experiencing heavy influx in the pilgrim crowd for the auspicious Garuda Seva.
On Tuesday night itself the footpath leading to the hill temple experienced a slight surge in the number of trekking pilgrims. The number which started swelling with the break of dawn reached its zenith by Wednesday evening. The Alipiri junction milled with pilgrim activities all through the day. Tens of thousands of devotees particularly from the neighbouring Tamilnadu preferred reaching the hill town by foot.
The situation was no different on the Srivari mettu footpath from the side of the Chandragiri town which also pulsated with pilgrim activity. Devotees particularly coming from Bangalore chose the route to reach the place.
According to official sources over 60,000 pilgrims are believed to have reached the sacred town by foot making use of both the walk ways.
Meanwhile, the temple town sprang to life with the magnificent procession of ‘Mohini avatharam’ in the morning. The deity dressed in the costumes of Queen Mohini holding a silver pot of nectar in one hand and a golden parrot on the other mounted atop the exquisitely decorated ivory palanquin was a cynosure to the eyes of thousands of devotees who witnessed the divine procession.
Fearing non-availability of space to witness Garuda seva scheduled in the night, thousands of devotees squatted on the steps of the open top galleries encircling the mada streets braving the hot Sun. The TTD ‘nitya annadanam’ officials had a tough time supplying free food packets, buttermilk and water sachets to the congregated devotees. By evening all the four mada streets through which the procession was to pass-by was packed and the spacious open site available in front of the main temple complex was also full to its brim.
For the first time during the festival period the police personnel who have arrived in thousands for the bandobust duty experienced a demanding time. Security personnel who manned all the four main entry and exit points of the mada streets slogged for several hours regulating the movement of the pilgrims.
With their seemingly being no let-up in the swarming crowd the temple officials sounded optimistic that the crowd would increase further . On the other hand the TTD administration advanced the procession of the Garuda Seva by an hour.