The trial run of the newly-built golden chariot organised on Monday proved a daunting task for the TTD management.
The trial run began as scheduled in the morning from the TTD’ s SV museum – the place where it was assembled and built. After rolling out for a few yards, the chariot got stuck. It took TTD’s engineering officials four hours to navigate the huge chariot through the narrow exit gate of the museum.
The glee of the temple officials did not last long as the chariot got stuck at yet an another curve before finally reaching the ratha mandapam situated opposite the main temple complex in the evening. The temple officials on a couple of deployed medium cranes to lift the chariot. Thousands of devotees who had assembled to watch the trial run cheered lustily as the chariot entered the mada streets. Chanting Govinda namam, devotees performed ‘harathi’ to the chariot. The golden chariot will be inducted into the service of the presiding deity - Lord Venkateswara -- during the annual Brahmotsavams scheduled to commence from October 5.
A distinctive imprint
Tirupati Staff Reporter adds: The dazzling drapery, which is all set to adorn the ‘Kulasekhara Padi’ (the first threshold in front of the sanctum sanctorum at the Tirumala temple) in a few days, bears the image of the golden chariot for the first time ever.
The curtain has a portrait of Sri Venkateswara in the backdrop of a golden chariot, while Garuda and Anjaneya stand on either side with bowed head and folded hands. The presence of the saint-composer Tallapaka Annamayya standing at the bottom of the chariot singing hymns completes the picture and makes it a pleasure to watch.
Local tailor M. Subramanyam alias Mani designs and stitches three such curtains, personally carries them to Tirumala on foot and presents them at the temple. The curtains are offered four times a year to be adorned at the threshold, ahead of Srivari Brahmotsavam (September/October), Vaikunta Ekadasi (January), Ugadi (March/April) and Anivara Asthanam (June/July).
Selecting the theme for this year’s curtain would not have been a difficult task for Mani, as it concurs with the TTD’s ambitious plan for this year to prepare a golden chariot. Coincidence or otherwise, the curtain was presented to the temple on Monday.