Sea of humanity for Garuda Seva at Tirumala

3.5 lakh devotees converge at hill shrine to witness event; TTD rises to occasion by ensuring supply of food and water
Lord Malayappa Swamy takes ride on his favourite carrier, Garuda, at Tirumala on Friday
Lord Malayappa Swamy takes ride on his favourite carrier, Garuda, at Tirumala on Friday

TIRUMALA: The spiritual ecstasy at the temple of Lord Venkateswara reached a fever pitch on Friday on the occasion of the auspicious Garuda Seva. Religious fervour was all-pervasive as lakhs of devotees from different parts of the country converged on the hill shrine to take part in the event.

The heavy rain started at 11.45 am, continued for an hour and then drizzle continued till evening. However, the rain failed to dampen the festive spirit. Tens of thousands of determined devotees who had already assembled all along the four mada streets through which the procession was to pass by rather preferred to remain in their seats braving the downpour which lasted till late in the evening. DIG Kanthi Rana Tata supervised the security arrangements. 

Additional EO AV Dharma Reddy monitored the queue lines and EO Anil Kumar Singhal inspected the arrangements made at the four Mada Streets.

The procession of Garuda Seva took off to a ceremonial start amid thunderous applause by the mammoth gathering who had assembled several hours in advance in front of the main temple complex. The air was electrified with the chanting of “Govinda Govinda” and the devotees went into raptures even as the processional deity of Lord Malayappa mounted atop the bejewelled golden Garuda Vahanam was brought out of the Vahana Mandapam. 

The deity was adorned with rare and precious jewels like diamond studded golden crown, centuries-old Makarakanti, antique Lakshmi Haram and other treasured gems whose history is rooted deep in the temple legends. 

The palm-sized emerald that adorned the chest of the idol was the cynosure of all eyes. 

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The New Indian Express