Tirupati: Over 22,500 pilgrims have darshan of Lord on Saturday

Over 22,500 pilgrims have darshan of Lord on Saturday
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Over 22,500 pilgrims have darshan of Lord on Saturday

Highlights

As many as 22,533 pilgrims had darshan of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala on Saturday which is the highest so far after darshan was resumed in the famed shrine on June 11 this year after a gap of nearly three months due to Covid-19.

Tirupati: As many as 22,533 pilgrims had darshan of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala on Saturday which is the highest so far after darshan was resumed in the famed shrine on June 11 this year after a gap of nearly three months due to Covid-19.

While the number of devotees who had tonsured their heads fulfilling their vows also increased to 7,494 which was also the highest so far.

Temple sources also said that for the last 10 days, the daily cash offerings in the Hundi has also been ranging from 1.25 crore to 1.45 crore showing about 20-25 per cent increase.

According to sources, the big increase in darshan was due to increase in the issuing of Kalyanotsavam tickets against payment of Rs 1,000 each which has now crossed one thousand daily. The TTD decision to allow two persons for darshan against each Kalyanotsavam ticket (i.e. two persons per ticket) saw the number of devotees opting for it steadily increasing.

The pilgrims who are keen on darshan of Lord Venkateswara have no other option after the Rs 300 special entry tickets get exhausted but to go in for purchase of Kalyanotsavam ticket as the TTD also suspended the issuing of off line free Sarva Darshan tokens since last month.

In other words, since almost a month there is no dharma darshan in Tirumala temple due to cancellation of issuing of offline free tokens due to rapid increase of Covid in the pilgrim city and also to avoid pilgrims from far off places coming to Tirupati during Tamil Paratasi month, as a precautionary measure to check spread of virus in the city, resulting in the darshan being allowed only on payment basis through special entry and Kalyanotsavam tickets booked in advance online.

This apart, issuing of VIP break-darshan tickets and `Supatham' (Rs 300 special entry ticket) liberally against the recommendation letters from TTD chairman office, trust board members and also VVIP rose manifold leading to the number of devotees having darshan on Saturday increased to 22,533.

In the last two months, 20,000 Kalyanotsavam tickets have been booked which reveals the big demand for the tickets from the devotees after the TTD began allowing darshan facility to the Arjitha seva.

It may be noted here that the TTD after suspending offline free darshan tokens increased the Rs 300 special entry tickets to 13,000 daily which was 3,000 only in the beginning i.e. in June.

Meanwhile, Congress leader P Naveen Kumar Reddy demanded that the TTD management resume issuing offline free darshan tokens for the sake of poor pilgrims who cannot afford darshan on payment basis.

In a release here on Sunday, he said as the Covid cases also declined considerably in the city, the TTD should immediately resume issuing at least 5,000 free darshan tokens daily keeping in view the ardent devotees coming on foot from far off places.

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