TTD provides parking to pilgrims

TTD provides parking to pilgrims
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Much to the relief of devotees visiting Sri Govindaraja Swamy temple here, the TTD at last provided parking facility near the shrine in the pilgrim city

Tirupati: Much to the relief of devotees visiting Sri Govindaraja Swamy temple here, the TTD at last provided parking facility near the shrine in the pilgrim city. The ancient temple which is the biggest one in Chittoor district has many sub-temples also in the same sprawling complex and is a treasure house of temple arts of splendid sculptures with intricate carvings attracting good number of visitors whose number is increasing year after year.

More importantly, it, unlike most other shrines, occupies a unique place in Vaishnavite tradition as it has sub-temples separately for Alwars Tamil poet-saints much venerated by Vaishnava devotees, who did not miss to offer prayers during their pilgrimage to Tirumala.

Daily, on an average more than 10,000 pilgrims visiting the shrine while on weekends and holidays the number of visitors range from 12,000 to 15,000 to offer prayers to Lord Sri Govindaraja Swamy, who as per Hindu mythology is elder brother of Lord Venkateswara of Tirumala.

But, all these years, the pilgrims visiting the shrine faced lot of inconvenience due to poor facility particularly lack of parking facility for the vehicles, as TTD’s all attentions were confined to Tirumala, the abode of Lord Venkateswara and to some extent Tiruchanur, the abode of Goddess Padmavathi.

It is needless to say that the parking problem turned acute to the visiting pilgrims as the shrine which is located in the most congested commercially high value old town, nearer to railway station. The TTD failed to respond to the series complaints from the visiting pilgrims, who pressed for providing parking facility to their vehicles.

At last, TTD Executive Officer Anil Kumar Singhal took the initiative and directed the officials, six months back, to look out for a suitable site near the temple that can be developed as parking area for the pilgrims’ vehicles which at last bore fruits with the officials able to identify the site owned by the TTD near the temple.

However, for the reasons not known there was resistance from the locals in the area for developing the vacant site as parking facility delayed TTD move, sources said. But with EO Singhal, who along with officials inspected the site two months back, ignoring commercial options to keep the pilgrim interest utmost saw the TTD go ahead in converting the vacant site as parking lot for the pilgrims visiting the shrines, bringing an end to the inconvenience faced by the pilgrims all these years.

Following the inspection, the Engineering authorities were quick to level the ground and thrown open the parking facility for pilgrims. TTD Chief Engineer Ch Chandrasekhar Reddy said that the old Goshala building on the site will also be removed soon to make the parking facility clearly visible and park more vehicles.

Social activist Mangati Gopal Reddy welcoming the TTD move, wanted more such pilgrim friendly initiatives from TTD shedding its VIP oriented
commercially driven approach.

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