Andhra Pradesh

For a change, the Lord’s curtains reach Tirumala by road!

Tailor Mani carrying the sacred curtains on his head before boarding the car, at Alipiri on Monday.

Tailor Mani carrying the sacred curtains on his head before boarding the car, at Alipiri on Monday.   | Photo Credit: K.V. POORNACHANDRA KUMAR

With lockdown in force, authorities permit tailor Mani to ferry them by car

For a change, the sacred curtains meant for the Lord Venkateswara temple, which is carried every year on the head with great devotion on the trekking route to Tirumala, has been taken by a four-wheeler.

Mani alias M. Subramanyam, a local tailor, presents three sets of the drapery to adorn the ‘Kulasekhara Padi’, ‘Ramulavari Meda’ and ‘Bangaru Vakili’ thresholds in front of the sanctum sanctorum every year.

The curtains are changed after ‘Koil Alwar Tirumanjanam’ (total cleansing of the sanctum sanctorum) performed four times a year ahead of Ugadi, Anivara Asthanam, Deepavali and Vaikuntha Ekadasi, all occurring in a gap of around three months.

It has been the practice for the tailor for over a decade to personally stitch the curtains, carry them by foot to Tirumala and offer the same to the temple authorities a day before the ‘Koil Alwar Tirumanjanam’.

Unique theme

Every year, he chooses a unique theme to be depicted on the main curtain. This year, the curtain bears an image of Goddess Mahalakshmi, seated atop a ‘Poornakumbham’, which again is placed on a lotus, with a ‘Chakra’ and ‘Sankhu’ drawn on either side.

After the COVID-19 scare forced the TTD to close down the Tirumala temple for the devotees, the extended lockdown that followed ‘Janata Curfew’ also drastically reduced human movement.

In the likelihood of the wild animals straying onto the deserted trekking route, the TTD officials were hesitant to grant permission to Mr. Mani to carry the curtains on foot.

As even the two ghat roads are closed down for common people, and only those vehicles on official duty are allowed to ply, the security officials finally decided to accord him special permission to take the curtains by road.

Mr. Mani came all the way up to the Alipiri by foot, paid obeisance to the imposing Tirumala hills, and boarded the car to Tirumala with the holy curtains.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 1:51:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/for-a-change-the-lords-curtains-reach-tirumala-by-road/article31146202.ece

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