Lord Malayappa Swamy, along with His Consorts, being taken out in a procession on the Swarna Ratham in the four Mada Streets of Tirumala on Saturday | Express
Lord Malayappa Swamy, along with His Consorts, being taken out in a procession on the Swarna Ratham in the four Mada Streets of Tirumala on Saturday | Express

Pilgrim’s progress: Huge rush of devotees at Tirumala

On day one of the Vaikunta Dwara Darshan, around 4,800 VIPs and VVIPS, including 18 ministers from Andhra Pradesh and seven from Telangana, offered prayers at the Srivari temple.

TIRUMALA: As many as 72,000 devotees had Uttara Dwara Darshan of Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala on the auspicious occasion of Vaikunta Ekadasi on Saturday. The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) will be facilitating darshan to the devotees for the next nine days.

On day one of the Vaikunta Dwara Darshan, around 4,800 VIPs and VVIPS, including 18 ministers from Andhra Pradesh and seven from Telangana, offered prayers at the Srivari temple. MLAs, MLCs, MPs and prominent leaders from political parties such as YSRC, TDP, BRS, and BJP had darshan. Former Chief Justice of India NV Ramana also offered prayers at the temple.

According to the TTD officials, the temple’s Uttara Dwaram was opened around 1 am and VIPs and VVIPs facilitated darshan before the commencement of special and Sarva Darshanams from 5:15 am. The processional deity of Sri Malayappa Swamy, along with His Consorts, was taken out in a procession on the Swarna Ratham in the Four Mada Streets in the afternoon.

Speaking to reporters, TTD chairman Bhumana Karunakar Reddy said the Temple Trust had made elaborate arrangements for the 10-day fete. He added that the devotees had a smooth Uttara Dwara Darshan on Vaikunta Ekadasi day.

TTD executive officer (EO) AV Dharma Reddy pointed out the Vaikunta Dwara Sarva Darshan began 45 minutes ahead of schedule at 5.15 am. As per time slots, the special darshan and Sarva Darshan devotees were allowed to offer prayers to the Lord, he explained. Further, the TTD official said Anna Prasadam, coffee and tea were provided to the devotees.

Devotees offer prayers at Sri Venkateswara temple | Prasant Madugula
Devotees offer prayers at Sri Venkateswara temple | Prasant Madugula

According to the Temple Trust, a total of eight lakh people are expected to throng the hill shrine during the 10-day fete. This includes special entry darshan, Sarva Darshan and others. It may be noted that the TTD had released 2.25 lakh Rs 300 special darshan tickets and another 20,000 SRIVANI tickets online for all 10 days.

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