Lord Malayappa Swamy mounted on the exquisitely decorated golden Garuda Vahanam as lakhs thronged Tirumala temple during the Brahmotsavams on Friday | express
Lord Malayappa Swamy mounted on the exquisitely decorated golden Garuda Vahanam as lakhs thronged Tirumala temple during the Brahmotsavams on Friday | express

Grandeur marks Garuda vahana Seva in Andhra Pradesh

Two lakh devotees converge at the Tirumala temple to catch a glimpse of the deity on the fifth day of the annual fete

TIRUMALA: Grandeur marked the procession of the auspicious ‘Garuda Seva’ at the famous hill temple of Lord Venkateswara on Friday on the fifth day of the ongoing Salakatla Brahmotsavams.The processional deity of Lord Malayappa Swamy mounted atop the bejewelled golden Garuda Vahanam was taken out in a procession within the temple complex. The deity was adorned with very rare and precious jewels even as a sea of devotees thronged to get the glimpse of the Malayappa Swamy, the processional deity of Sri Venkateswara on the mighty Garuda Vahana.

Considered as one of the most significant events in the nine-day festival, Garuda Vahana Seva attracts huge crowd. A conservative estimate of pilgrim turnover in the galleries along the four Mada Streets to witness the celestial event was around 2 lakh. VIPs and VVIPS were given about 20 minutes of time to offer prayers to Lord Malayappa on Garuda at Vahana Mandapam.

According to legend, Garuda, the King of Aves and favourite charioteer of Sri Mahavishnu (Sri Venkateswara), was considered the most respected and most sought after follower of his master. The darshan of Srivaru on Garuda vahanam is believed to be very auspicious, which fulfils the desire of devotees.

The procession of Garuda Vahanam took off to a ceremonial start amid thunderous chants of ‘Govinda, Govinda’ by lakhs of devotees, who had assembled several hours in advance in the galleries of the Mada Streets. TTD allowed pilgrims from Supatham, Karnataka Choultries, Andavan Mutt, Krishna Teja Point, Vyasaraja mutt, Andavan mutt, Marketing Godown, Annaprasadam & Parakamani side gates.

Lakhs throng galleries for celestial event 

The procession started at 7 p.m. amid thunderous chanting of ‘Govinda, Govinda’. The devotees sprang on their feet as soon as the Vahanam emerged out of the Vahana Mandapam. Thousands of devotees lighted camphor and offered prayers.The deity was adorned with rare and precious jewels, whose history is rooted deep in the legends. The jewels included the centuries-old ‘Makara Kanti’, ‘Lakshmi Kasula Sahasranama Haram’, ‘Kati’, ‘Varada Hastams, and the diamond-studded golden crown.

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