Andhra Pradesh

No ‘holy dip’ in Tirumala’s Pushkarini from today

The Lord Venkateswara temple at Tirumala.

The Lord Venkateswara temple at Tirumala.  

A temporary closure to contain the spread of COVID-19 virus, says TTD management

Amid growing concerns regarding the rising number of positive COVID-19 cases across the country, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), in a rare move on Wednesday has announced the closure of Pushkarini (temple tank) for the public.

With this, no pilgrim will be allowed to take bath in the Pushkarini with immediate effect.

Avoiding mass contact

According to statistics about one third of the visiting pilgrims numbering anywhere between 20,000 to 25,000 pilgrims take a ‘holy dip’ in the temple tank every day.

It is learnt that taking a cue from reports that several State governments have ordered closure of schools, colleges, national parks, theatres, malls and swimming pools, etc., in their respective States, the management is said to have taken the decision.

Showers to bathe

However, respecting the sentiment attached to the practice of taking bath in the temple tank during their pilgrimage to the holy town by the devout, the TTD has set up 18 showers on the upper banks that will pump the tank water.

Speaking to media, TTD Additional EO A.V. Dharma Reddy said: “The restriction is temporary, and will be lifted should the ill-effects of the dreaded virus subside.”

More precautionary measures

Further, he said the TTD has already embarked on several precautionary measures to contain the spread of the dreaded virus like regulating a direct line for the deity’s darshan, cancellation of certain sevas, supply of masks to its staff, social distancing and avoiding mass congregations, and periodical spraying of disinfectants at all the vital points where the congregation of pilgrims is large.

The decision to keep the temple tank out of bounds for the public for a while is just another step in that direction, according to Mr. Reddy.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 8:20:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/ttd-closes-pushkarini-for-public/article31097861.ece

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