9-day annual festival to commence tomorrow

Taking exception to the Cabinet note on Telangana, the Samaikyandhra demonstrators have announced a Tirupati bandh on Friday.

All vehicles will remain off the road in and around Tirupati on Friday. The APSRTC Joint Action Council (JAC) announced the buses would keep off the Tirumala ghat road on Friday. RTC is already running only skeletal fleet to the hill town.

The move comes as a rude shock to the RTC as well as the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) managements, as the annual nine-day Brahmotsavams at the abode of Lord Venkateswara are all set to begin on Saturday.

The stage is set for the conduct of the Brahmotsavams. The TTD – the sole custodians of the hill temple -- has not only magnificently spruced up the temple town for the launch of the grand religious carnival in which people from nook and corner of the country shall participate, but also has left no stone unturned in meeting the requirements of the visiting devout.

The management has dispensed with the advance reservation of cottages and guest houses and devotees visiting the town during the festival period will be provided accommodation on first-come-first-serve basis.

Special queue lines enabling the devotees to offer Harathi during the daily processions have been set-up. Sapthadwaralu have been erected along the mada streets, besides providing colourful floor paintings and motifs to suit the occasion.

The temple administration has maintained a buffer stock of over five lakh laddus. TTD executive officer M.G. Gopalsaid the decision to provide one laddu free of cost to devotees reaching Tirumala on foot, in addition to two more laddus at subsidised price will be implemented from the very first day.