The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams has resolved to temporarily bid adieu to the system of making pilgrims wait at the Vaikuntam Queue Complex before allowing them for the darshan of Lord Venkateswara. Normally pilgrims wait between two and 10 hours inside the complex subject to the turnout on the day.
Briefing the media, TTD Executive officer Anil Kumar Singhal and Additional EO A.V. Dharma Reddy on Saturday said the decision was taken in the backdrop of growing number of COVID-19 cases across the country. The State government has identified Tirumala as the premier town experiencing a large gathering of pilgrims.
Hence it had been decided to strictly follow the ‘time slot’ system in darshan and allow the pilgrims on an hourly basis without making them wait in the compartments.
The system will come into force from Tuesday and every pilgrim should invariably have the tokens and report at the complex only at the time as mentioned on them.
Devotees attending sevas such as Visesha pooja, SD Seva and Vasanthotsavams can henceforth postpone the day of their pilgrimage or swap to another darshan format like VIP break in case of their finalised visits, as the management strongly feels that allowing large number of people stay at a common place is likely to prove hazardous.
The Sita Rama Kalyanam at Vontimitta temple in Kadapa would be a low key affair without much fanfare. The festival would be restricted to the temple precincts and devotees could witness the religious proceedings on live telecast. Similarly the ground breaking ceremony (bhoomi pooja) for the construction of the temple of Lord Venkateswara in Mumbai had also been postponed.
To thwart away the evil effects of COVID-19, the TTD board had decided to perform Sri Srinivasa Shanti Utsavam along with Dhanvanthari Yagam.
Mr. Singhal said that priority had been attached in the maintenance of hygiene atop the entire town and periodical sanitising of crowded places such as Queue complex, Free meals complex and Central Reception Office and other places of pilgrim congregation.