Andhra Pradesh

Tirumala temple registers unprecedented pilgrim turnout

Darshan lines spill out of the Vaikuntam queue complexes in Tirumala on Saturday

Darshan lines spill out of the Vaikuntam queue complexes in Tirumala on Saturday | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The temple of Lord Venkateswara here on Saturday witnessed heavy pilgrim crowds.

Both the Vaikuntam queue complexes were full to their capacity, and the darshan lines spilled over onto the road up to a couple of kilometers.

All the arrangements made by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) were thrown out of gear following the surge of devotees.

Gruelling wait

While the pilgrims who had reserved their darshan slots in advance were subjected to a gruelling wait, it took a staggering 12 to 14 hours for those arriving without any kind of darshan slots.

The TTD personnel had a tough time in ensuring an uninterrupted supply of free food packets, drinking water, and milk to the infants, while the security personnel, along with the local police, laboured to regulate the darshan lines.

The town has been witnessing higher pilgrim footfalls ever since relaxation of the COVID-19 norms by both the Central and State governments.

Sensing the impending pilgrim turnout, TTD Executive Officer A.V. Dharma Reddy had convinced the board of trustees to dispense with the system of ‘VIP break darshan’ during the weekends and also temporarily discontinue a couple of ‘arjitha sevas’ till the end of summer in order to allocate more darshan hours for the common pilgrims.

“Despite the huge turnout, the TTD is determined to extend a hassle-free darshan to the devout.”A.V. Dharma ReddyExecutive Officer

The situation was no different at the various cottage and guest house allotment counters as the pilgrims were forced to wait for long hours to securing accommodation.

Predicting that the situation will continue to be so till June, or probably mid-July, Mr. Reddy attributed the unabated influx of pilgrims to the closure of educational institutions for summer vacation and unrestricted entry to the devotees. Earlier, only those with darshan tokens were allowed to reach Tirumala.

The TTD, he said, was determined to extend a hassle-free darshan to the devout thronging the town in huge numbers.


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Printable version | Jun 18, 2022 1:25:37 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/andhra-pradesh-tirumala-temple-registers-unprecedented-pilgrim-turnout/article65442870.ece