TIRUMALA:Splendour marked the ‘Rathotsavam’ at the temple of Lord Venkateswara here on Wednesday, the penultimate day of the nine-day annual Brahmotsavam.
After the conduct of special rituals such as ‘Punyavachanam’ and ‘Navagraha Dhyanam’, the processional deities of Lord Malayappa, flanked by his two divine Consorts on His either side, were ceremoniously mounted atop the giant wooden chariot at the auspicious time between 5.50 am and 6.00 am amidst chanting of Vedic hymns by the temple pundits. Tens of thousands of devotees from various parts of the country participated in the divine procession that began at 7.00 am.
Devotees congregated all along the Mada Streets through which the procession passed by. The chariot was tastefully decorated with different varieties of flowers, flags and festoons. As is customary, the golden umbrella was tied atop the mammoth chariot. The chants of ‘Govinda Govinda’ by the devotees filled the air. The chariot rolled majestically down the thoroughfares of the hill temple preceded by temple paraphernalia, including half-a-dozen caparisoned elephants, horses, bulls, cultural and bhajan troops besides a contingent of Vedic pundits led by the priests of the temple.
The temple management also allowed the pilgrims, along with its staff, to pull the chariot. As the congregation was huge, the temple management facilitated the chariot movement at a slow pace for the convenience of the devotees. While the engineering staff manoeuvred the movement of the chariot, the district police, along with the TTD vigilance and security personnel, managed the crowd.
Chairman Dr Ch Krishnamurthy, executive officer Dr D Sambasiva Rao, joint executive officers K S Sreenivasa Raju, Pola Bhaskar, SP (Urban) Gopinath Jatti, CV & SO Nagendra Kumar, Board members Suchithra Ella, Hariprasad, A V Ramana, DP Ananth, Sandra Venkata Veeraiah, G Bhanuprakash Reddy, ACVSO Sivakumar Reddy, DyEO Temple Chinnamgari Ramana, Peishkar R Selvam, Parpathyedar Ajay and others were present.