The issuance of Rs. 300 and Rs. 50 special entry tickets for darshan at the Venkateswara temple here will be dispensed with on Vaikunta Ekadasi (January 5) and the following day (Dwadasi). Briefing the media, the Tirumala-based Joint Executive Officer K.S. Srinivasa Raju said on Saturday that the TTD had taken this decision in the larger interest of pilgrims, whose influx would be very heavy on both days.

In another pilgrim-friendly move, the TTD has made available 25,000 darshan tickets under its online booking system for the two days. The cost of each ticket is Rs.100. Devotees can avail themselves of these tickets in advance from December 24 at the ‘e' darshan ticket counters at all TTD information centres and kalyana mandapams in Andhra Pradesh, apart from the centres in Chennai, New Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Coimbatore and Bangalore. However, it is mandatory for the devotees opting for this facility to reach Tirumala on foot. The TTD is also making available Rs. 300 special entry tickets at Tirupati and other centres but in a limited number — 5,000 a day. All VIPs will have worship only under the ‘Laghu' darshan system on both festive days as well as the New Year Day. Under the system, the VIPs can have darshan of the presiding deity from half-way inside the sanctum sanctorum. Common pilgrims will be allowed for darshan from 4 a.m. all the three days.

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