Fire broke out in the famous hill shrine of Tirumala (Tirupathi) in Andhra Pradesh in the early hours of Friday, creating panic among thousands of devotees who were queued up for darshan.
The fire erupted in the ‘potu’ (kitchen) of the temple that is dedicated to Lord Venkateswara, where the famous Tirupathi laddus are made.
As cooks rushed out of the kitchens, two fire tenders were rushed to the spot to control the flames.
Andhra: Fire break out near Venkateswara Temple in Tirumala (Tirupati), 3 fire tenders at spot. pic.twitter.com/7EGqkDeQhB— ANI (@ANI_news) June 10, 2016
Located on the north side of the sanctum sanctorum within the complex, the kitchens are run by the Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam (TTD), the temple authority.
TTD executive officer Sambasiva Rao, joint executive officer Srinivasa Raju, and chairman Chadalavada Krishnamurthy reached the location to take stock of the situation.
“The total loss is estimated to be around Rs 20 lakh. The mishap seems to have occurred due to overheat,” Rao said.
Andhra: Fire break out near Venkateswara Temple in Tirumala,Tirupati,3 fire tenders at spot, situation under control pic.twitter.com/7j9qsscpoR— ANI (@ANI_news) June 10, 2016
The TTD has temporarily halted laddu-making, Rao said. He further said the kitchen will be modernised to avoid such an accident in the future.
The temple, one of the richest religious centres in the world, is famous across the globe and attracts thousands of devotees everyday. The Tirupathi laddu is given as prasad and is a large part of the temple operations.