The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) management is seriously contemplating over the proposal of dispensing with the issuance of Divya Darshan tokens, issued half-way on the footpath leading to the sacred shrine, during the weekends.
If the proposal were to acquire a concrete shape, the widely popular tokens will not be issued from Friday afternoon till Sunday midnight, throughout the year. The TTD introduced the token system with an intention to encourage the visiting pilgrims follow the ancient tradition of reaching Tirumala on foot.Cascading impact
TTD Joint Executive Officer (JEO) K.S. Srinivas Raju said that over 38,000 tokens were issued on Saturday alone on the footpath, which had a cascading impact on the devotees waiting in the dharma darshan and special entry darshan queue lines.
However, a final decision over the issue is expected to be taken at a high-level meeting tentatively scheduled on Wednesday.Pilgrim rush
Meanwhile, there was no respite in the influx of the thronging crowd for the third day on Sunday.
Darshan lines spilled out to a couple of kilometres on to the road outside the mammoth queue complexes. Devotees spent several gruelling hours in the darshan lines outside the waiting complex in the scorching sun.
While it took more than thirty hours for the devotees in the ordinary queue lines for their turn to have darshan of the deity, the waiting hours for the devotees opting for Divya Darshan tokens stretched beyond fifteen hours.
To bring things under control, the temple administration dispensed with the issuance of Rs.300 specials entry tickets since afternoon.
Even though the harbinger of the impending crowd was felt as early as early April, the hill temple did not register any remarkable turnout in the pilgrim crowd on several days during the season owing to the general elections.