For the fourth consecutive day on Tuesday, Tirumala reeled under the impact of heavy crowd. The surge in the inflow of devotees which began on Vaikunta Ekadasi is expected to go up during Christmas holidays.
The impact of the crowd was mainly felt at the second Vaikuntam queue complex which was packed with pilgrims. The cubicles inside the massive complex were filled to capacity, and the darshan queues spilled out on to the road for several furlongs.
With no sign of respite to the surge in the number of devotees, particularly those reaching the town on foot, the temple administration had to issue special entry tickets for darshan in the afternoon.
The most sickening aspect of the episode was that thousands of devotees who failed to have a darshan of the Lord broke coconuts at Ahilandam in fulfilment of their vows before returning home.
Also, on account of lack of proper accommodation, devotees either took shelter in the temporary sheds on the sprawling grounds in front of the main temple complex or invaded the porches of various Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam establishments.