Tirumala temple witnesses lowest turnout of pilgrims

Devotee numbers at Tirumala swell on weekends
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Devotee numbers at Tirumala swell on weekends

Highlights

The nationwide severe pandemic Covid which hit hard the people seems not spared even the world famous Tirumala, the abode of Lord Venkateswara witnessing steep fall in the pilgrims flow.

Tirupati: The nationwide severe pandemic Covid which hit hard the people seems not spared even the world famous Tirumala, the abode of Lord Venkateswara witnessing steep fall in the pilgrims flow. On Tuesday, just 2,262 pilgrims had darshan of Balaji much less than the previous day number which was 2,400.

The income through Hundi offerings (kanukas) was Rs 11 lakh on Tuesday while it was Rs 24 lakh on Monday, temple sources said while a senior priests lamented that the temple complex which used to buzz with constant flow of pilgrims never looked so empty reveal impact of the pandemic.

With almost all the states in the grip of severe pandemic, the pilgrim rush was steadily declining since four-five weeks while the latest development of many states imposing partial lockdown curtailing public and vehicular movements resulted in the steep fall in the number of pilgrims.

It is needless to say that the dip in the pilgrim rush hit hard the hawkers, shopkeepers and the private transport operation and almost all the shopping areas on the hill looked deserted with most shops downing their shutters with no business. The shops located in the areas of cottages and guest houses more so far away from the shrine were remaining closed for more than a month.

The RTC which used to ferry 70,000-80,000 daily up and down before the pandemic now transporting 1,000-1,500 daily revealed severe impact of the fall in pilgrim rush due to severe impact of Covid.

A 72-year-old Venkataramana, native of Tirumala having a shop in the shopping complex in the main centre of Tirumala, said he had closed his shop ten days back and observed that the impact of the pandemic was unprecedented and added that almost 90 per cent of the people livelihood was hit due to declining pilgrim rush.

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