VISAKHAPATNAM: Thousands of devotees thronged the Swarnabharathi Indoor Stadium here Tuesday, the last day of the Venkateswara Vaibhavotsavalu, to witness special rituals performed to Lord Srinivasa, including the much-sought-after ‘Ashtadala Pada Padmaaradhana’ at the Tirumala temple replica erected here.
The devout, determined not to miss the rare opportunity of taking part in the sevas of Lord Balaji, performed completely and exactly as they are done in Tirumala -- right from decorating the lord to using the golden utensils -- made a beeline for the stadium right from morning.
The weekly seva performed on Tuesdays at Tirumala, ‘Ashtadala Pada Padmaaradhana’ turned out to be the highlight of the final day rituals of the week-long Vaibhavotsavalu organised by the TTD. It is said that it takes a waiting period of at least five years from the time of booking a ticket to perform this seva at Tirumala.
The seva is conducted after the second bell in Tirumala shrine and the archakas followed the same procedure here as well.
While renowned spiritual scholar Chaganti Koteswara Rao narrated the importance of the ritual, the priests commenced the puja by offering ‘dhupa’ (burning incense sticks) and ‘dipa’ (oil lamps) to the presiding deity. Then, they recited the 108 divine names of the Lord, offering one golden lotus at His holy feet with each name. On completion of the archana to the Mula Virat (main deity), archana was performed to Goddesses Lakshmi and Padmavati.
Later, ‘Ratha Harati’ was offered followed by ordinary ‘Harati’.
The ‘Ashtadala Pada Padmaaradhana’ was first introduced in Tirumala in 1984 on the golden jubilee year of the TTD when a Muslim devotee offered Lord Srinivasa 108 golden lotuses.
Visakhapatnam district collector N Yuvaraj and TTD JEO at Tirupati P Bhaskar participated in the seva with their families. A large number of TTD employees brought their parents to the Port City to witness the ritual.
The final day saw the priests performing ‘Nithya Kalyanam’ yet again for those devotees who had missed the event earlier due to huge crowds.
The seva was performed last Sunday and was attended by thousands of people.
Devotees from Vizianagaram, Narsipatnam, Tuni and other frontier areas also got darshan of Lord Venkateswara Swamy during the week-long devotional programme.