Srikalahasti sees surge in devotees
- Temple has witnessed more than 7k devotees on Monday, highest during the pandemic
- Over 1,700 Rahu-Ketu pooja tickets have been sold
- Temple generates about Rs 10 lakh revenue a day
Tirupati: In Srikalahasteeswara temple, the chanting of Om Namashivaya resonates as the number of devotees visiting the shrine has increased gradually during the last 10 to 15 days. As many as 7,830 devotees worshipped the deities on Monday which is the highest number after lockdown.
With the number of devotees visiting the hill shrine Tirumala has been increasing, other temples also were witnessing the buzz of activity as many pilgrims will cover the surrounding temples in the district. Though it was opened for devotees on June 17 after lockdown restrictions were relaxed, only less than 1000 devotees have visited the temple for most of the days till August.Temple has witnessed more than 7k devotees on Monday, highest during the pandemic
From August the number of pilgrims has increase on few occasions. The temple has witnessed 3,852 devotees on September 13 and 5,175 on September 27. On October 5, the number has crossed 7,000. Similarly, the number of Rahu-Ketu poojas for which the temple has been a famous destination, were as low as less than 100 in the initial days of June-July.
Even the Rahu-Ketu poojas have increased in number to 1,799 on Monday out of which 1,058 were performed by commoners with the purchase Rs.500 tickets. The temple management has started performing arjitha sevas recently with limited number of tickets.
Temple executive officer C Chandrasekhar Reddy told The Hans India that with the increase in the number of devotees the revenue also started going up. From less than Rs 50,000 per day in the initial days, now the temple is generating an average of Rs 10 lakh per day with a maximum of Rs 16 lakhs on Monday.
Rahu-Ketu poojas fetch the major chunk of revenue for the temple. Still, the number of devotees performing these has to be doubled to reach normal figures, he said. However, as the turnout of devotees was increasing they strengthened security and SPF personnel would be screening everyone before entering the temple.
The services of Shiv sevaks were also being utilised. As a precautionary move, they are sanitising entire premises every hour and cleaning the railings. The temple authorities have opened cottages in two blocks to provide accommodation to the devotees. The temple administration is expecting more devotees when transport facilities operate in full capacity in the coming days.