Holidays in a row swell pilgrim rush at Tirumala

Holidays in a row swell pilgrim rush at TirumalaA view of the queue line filled with pilgrims at Tirumala temple on Sunday
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Tirumala, the abode of Lord Venkateswara, is witnessing heavy rush of pilgrims due to consecutive holidays resulting in the waiting time for darshan going beyond 24 hours on Sunday.

Tirupati: Tirumala, the abode of Lord Venkateswara, is witnessing heavy rush of pilgrims due to consecutive holidays resulting in the waiting time for darshan going beyond 24 hours on Sunday.

The swelling pilgrim rush resulted in the pilgrims taking shelter wherever they could find a place including on road sides, under trees, in parks and in TTD buildings with the available accommodation exhausted. Journey-fatigued pilgrims were seen resting with families and luggage everywhere on the hills.

The pilgrim crowd which started increasing from Friday evening swelled on Saturday with the inflow of pilgrims picking up because of government holiday (second Saturday) resulting in the massive queue complexes filling to the brim. By Sunday early morning, the overflowing queue complex led to the queue line stretched outside the queue complex up to Lepakshmi emporium circle.

It is needless to say that those waiting in the queue line outside the queue complex facing difficulties with no facilities like seating, toilets, etc., However, the TTD on its part made elaborate arrangement for supply of food items and water on round-the-clock basis through Srivari Sevak volunteers which to some extend is mitigating the inconvenience the pilgrim outside the complex are facing due to waiting for long in the queue line for darshan.

Anticipating an influx of pilgrims to Tirumala due to weekend, coupled with holidays, TTD authorities limited the break darshan only to protocol VIPs and refused recommendations for VIP break darshan on Saturday and Sunday which was later extended up to Tuesday.

According to TTD sources, the heavy inflow of pilgrims would continue Monday also, due to a declared holiday for Bakrid festival and expected to come down only by Tuesday evening only.

Meanwhile, temple sources said about 67,000 pilgrims had darshan till 6 pm on Sunday while the queue line of pilgrims waiting outside the queue complex stretched further to Old Annadanam complex indicating that more than a lakh pilgrim waiting for darshan (both inside and outside queue complex), as per the official release on the status of pilgrims in Tirumala. In other words, the pilgrims have to wait for more than a day for darshan.

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