Religious fervour marks Rathasaptami at Tirumala

Lord Malayappa Swamy being taken out in a procession on Garuda Vahanam as part of Rathasapthami celebrations at Tirumala on Friday
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Lord Malayappa Swamy being taken out in a procession on Garuda Vahanam as part of Rathasapthami celebrations at Tirumala on Friday

Highlights

Tirupati : After a lull, Tirumala witnessed a huge gathering of pilgrims on Friday on the occasion of the annual Rathasapthami which was observed amids...

Tirupati : After a lull, Tirumala witnessed a huge gathering of pilgrims on Friday on the occasion of the annual Rathasapthami which was observed amidst gaiety and religious fervour on the holy hills.

As it was the first major religious event which TTD resolved to allow pilgrims to participate after nearly a year, the auspicious Rathasaptami, also popular as Surya Jayanti, naturally saw a huge congregation of devotees from all over the country at the hill top temple town to witness the colourful vahana sevas held as part of the fete.

The highlight of the day-long celebrations was the devotees had the rare opportunity of witnessing seven vahana sevas that were held one after another from dawn to dusk. According to the inscriptions, the temple has been conducting the annual fete since 1564 AD.

The galleries around the shrine were packed with devotees who started pouring in from early in the morning well before the commencement of the Vahana sevas which began with Suryaprabha vahanam that took off at the auspicious hour at 5.30 am.

The processional deity Malayappa richly dressed in and adorned with dazzling ornaments, mounted on flower-decked Suryaprabha vahanam blessed the devotees who in ecstasy chanted 'Govinda, Govindaa' reverberating the skylines of the holy hills.

This was followed by Chinna Sesha, Garuda and Hanumantha Vahanam which were conducted one after another till noon.

Later, the deity was taken in a procession atop tastefully decorated Kalpavruksha, Sarvabhupala and Chandraprabha Vahanm in the four mada streets much to the delight of the devotees.

However, the TTD, as a precautionary measure, held Chakarasnam, immersion of holy disc in Pushkarini (temple tank), in Ekantham without permitting devotees, disappointing them.

The colourful cultural programmes by troupes from various states, traditional music, sonorous chanting of hymns from Vedas and Divyaprabhandam by the pundits added more to the spiritual ambience palpable on the holy hills.

It is needless to say that the fete generated much interest among the devotees as they missed the vahana sevas in the two Brahmotsavams which were conducted last year as the utsavams were held in Ekantham due to Covid effect.

TTD management made elaborate arrangements for the smooth conduct of the Saptami fete for which only the devotees having darshan tickets were permitted to witness.

The Annadanam wing through Srivari seva volunteers ensured continuous distribution of food items beverages and drinking water to the pilgrims waiting in galleries while the vigilance and security wing made fool-proof arrangements for orderly movement of pilgrims and also smooth flow of vehicles on the hills and the ghat roads.

TTD chairman Y V Subba Reddy, EO Dr K S Jawahar Reddy, Addl EO A V Dharma Reddy, TTD board members and others were present.

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