Pilgrim rush resumes at Tirumala post polls

In all 75,783 devotees from across AP visited the ever-bustling hill shrine on May 14, temple hundi net Rs 3.08 crore
Devotees seen waiting in queues to have darshan of Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala on Saturday
Devotees seen waiting in queues to have darshan of Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala on SaturdayPhoto | Express

TIRUMALA: The pilgrim rush to the ever-bustling Tirumala resumed immediately after the general elections in Andhra Pradesh. The hill shrine has witnessed a reduced activity for more than a month, as the people are directly or indirectly busy with the election process not only in the State but across the country. During this period many devotees who had booked darshan, Arjitha Seva tickets, or held free tokens were notably absent, with official sources reporting between 10,000 to 22,000 no-shows.

Prior to the elections, even the hundi collections were lower, with the maximum collections ranging between Rs 2 crore to Rs 2.5 crore up to May 13. However, post-elections, both footfall and collections saw a significant increase. On May 14, nearly 75,783 devotees had darshan and the hundi collection was Rs 3.08 crore. On May 15, as many as 81,930 pilgrims visited and the collection was Rs 3.9 crore. The numbers dwindled to around 76,369 devotees on May 16 with hundi collection at Rs 3.63 crore. On May 17, the Parakamani staff halted counting after the hundi collection reached Rs 3.63 crore, with a footfall of 71,510.

On Saturday, an auspicious day marking the beginning of the annual Padmavathi Pranaya Utsavam, the flow of pilgrims increased further. A total of 50,199 people had darshan, with the authorities expecting that the number would surpass 80,000 by midnight.

Under the direction of TTD executive officer (EO) AV Dharma Reddy, officials monitored the situation hourly and reported to the EO. Police and vigilance teams actively managed the outside rush from the E&C toll gate and the bus stand area to the queue complex, with additional summer arrangements already in place.

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