TIRUMALA :The annual nine-day Salakatla Brahmotsavams commenced with Dhwajarohanam amid Vedic chants at the Venkateswara temple here on Friday evening.
Dhwajarohanam was conducted near Nadimi Padi Kavili inside the temple complex. Temple priests hoisted the celestial flag atop the temple pillar between 5.36 pm and 6 pm. Chief priest AV Ramana Dikshitulu and other pandits chanted hymns and conducted the half-an-hour-long ritual.
According to mythology, Garuda, the vehicle of Venkateswara Swamy, goes to the Devalokam to invite Brahma, Indra, Yama, Agni, Kubera and Vayudeva and sapta rishis to participate in the nine-day spectacular event.
After hoisting the flag, Naivedyam was offered at Balipeetham and distributed to the congregation around the Dhwajasthambam.The prasadam offered at that time is considered very sacred.
Specified Authority chairman Jagadish Chandra Sharma, executive officer MG Gopal, joint executive officers KS Srinivasa Raju and Pola Bhaskar, CV&SO G Srinivas, ACVSO Sivakumar Reddy and others were present. Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, accompanied by his family members, offered Silk Vastrams to Lord Venkateswara on behalf of the state government and participated in the Pedda Sesha Vahana Seva.
The Lord was taken around the four Mada Streets in the Pedda Sesha Vahanam.
Coming out of the temple, Naidu patted executive officer MG Gopal and other officials for introducing three-line queue and online ticketing. At the same time, he said more needed to be done to provide satisfactory darshan and accommodation to pilgrims.
The three-line queue is aimed at averting jostling by devotees and ensuring satisfactory darshan of the Lord. Naidu said they introduced the online Seeghra Darshan tickets to reduce the waiting time for pilgrims.
Tirumala Hills should always reverberate with Venkateswara Namasmarana and there should be no other activities on the sacred hills, he said.
Asking the staff to respect pilgrims, he serving pilgrims was tantamount to serving the Lord. Congratulating the staff and priests for their efforts so far, he assured to look into their problems.
On arrival earlier in the day, Naidu was accorded a warm welcome by TTD officials.
He held a review meeting with TTD officials at Sri Padmavathi Guest House where TTD officials made a PowerPoint presentation on the developmental works, preparations for Brahmotsavams and other matters.