Andhra Pradesh

No bells ringing at ‘divine’ wedding destination

Priests at a function hall in Tirupati before the lockdown was clamped.

Priests at a function hall in Tirupati before the lockdown was clamped.  

March-April season goes for a toss in Tirupati

The temple of Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala is a popular wedding destination, with thousands of families from across the country and abroad heading to the temple city every year to get their children married.

March and April which witnesses over 5,000 weddings in Tirupati, wore a deserted look due to the lockdown this time. The hill town of Tirumala, Tirupati city downhill and nearby Tiruchanur collectively have 250 kalyana mandapams and convention halls. The city is home to 140 wedding planners and event managers, who execute the weddings with elan.

Similarly, convention halls, floral decors, caterers/banquet managers, illuminators, traditional instrumentalists, orchestra troupes and priests form the spokes in the wedding industry’s multilateral wheel. Every sector has now been affected due to the lockdown. “Anything between ₹5 lakh and ₹1 crore is spent on conducting a wedding, depending on the scale of operations, grandeur and spending capacity of the host,” said C.B.V. Saikumar Reddy of Blue Petal Events.

While many families decided to conduct the weddings at home in a simple affair, those planning for a lavish wedding decided to postpone the event till the lockdown is completely lifted.

“We used to get 7-8 weddings a month during the normal season, with the number rising to 15 during this auspicious March-April season. Many weddings have been cancelled while some were held in private. We agreed to adjust the advance amount for any date up to six months, but there appears to be a confusion over when the lockdown will be lifted,” said Kandati Prakash of Padmavathi Convention Centre, located near Sri Padmavathi temple in Tiruchanur.

He said due to the decline in cash inflow, he is worried about repaying his loan that he had taken to construct a building. He expects the bleak situation to continue.

On a much smaller scale, the ‘Nadaswaram’ players, garland makers, photographers, priests and small caterers with a team of three cooks and ten servers are struggling to make ends meet. As most of them are in the unorganised sector, there is neither an assured income, nor a livelihood source to fall back on during such times.

Even if the lockdown is lifted as announced, the industry is not expected to look up immediately, as the ensuing period is considered unsuitable, if not entirely inauspicious, for performing weddings.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 6:39:55 PM |

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