Andhra Pradesh

Coronavirus lockdown | Tirumala temple opened for trial run of darshan

Devotees offer prayers outside Lord Venkateswara temple at Tirumala on Monday.

Devotees offer prayers outside Lord Venkateswara temple at Tirumala on Monday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The temple reopened for public after 80 days

The hill temple of Lord Venkateswara here was on Monday opened for trial run of darshan for the public.

Though the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams did not compromise in the performance of day-to-day rituals, the famed temple was kept out of bounds for devotees since March 20 — five days ahead of the announcement of nationwide lock down in the wake of COVID-19 — and re-opened after an interval of 80 days.

The TTD has imposed several restrictions in the darshan of deity.

It resolved to allow its employees and their families during the first two days of the trial run, followed by local denizens on the third day, to identify and plug the deficiencies, if any, before allowing the general public from June 11.

Restrictions

Devotees above 65 years of age and children below 10 years would not be allowed. Besides making face masks and social distancing mandatory, devotees would be barred from visiting sub-temples within the main temple complex and strictly urged to use herbal sanitiser before and after making their offerings into the ‘hundi’ and refrain themselves from touching it. Employees who are likely to come into direct contact with devotees, including the temple annadanam staff, volunteers and barbers were provided with PPEs.

TTD Chairman Y.V. Subba Reddy, who supervised the trial run, expressed his happiness at the arrangements and felt that there was scope for allowing more number of devotees with minor modifications.

Speaking to media, he said the intention behind the trial run was to get a first-hand report at the ground level. After taking stock of the three-day trial run, a decision whether or not to increase the number of devotees woudl be taken.

Toll fee

Meanwhile, the TTD deferred the proposal of increasing toll fee at its Alipiri security point at Tirupati. During its February board of trustees meeting, the TTD had resolved to categorise the passenger vehicles and introduce fast-track system at its toll gate in accordance to the guidelines issued by National Highway Authority (NHA). However, a final call over the issue will be taken post COVID-19 scare.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 6:50:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/tirumala-temple-opened-for-trial-run-of-darshan/article31782585.ece

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