Andhra CM asks Tirupati temple to restrict number of devotees for six days
Chandrababu Naidu asked the trust board to curtail the number of devotees inside the Tirupati temple in a manner that would not cause any disturbance to the ritual as was done on previous occasions.Updated: Jul 25, 2018 07:17 IST
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu asked the trust board to curtail the number of devotees inside the Tirupati temple in a manner that would not cause any disturbance to the ritual as was done on previous occasions
Naidu asked the TTD, which administers the temple, to curtail the number of devotees during the Ashta Bandhana Balalaya Maha Samprokshanam ceremony. “It is not fair on the part of the TTD Trust Board to expect the devotees to wait for days together” to enter the shrine, a person in Naidu’s office quoted him as saying.
Naidu’s suggestion comes amid opposition to the closure move from pilgrims on the social media and resistance from Hindu spiritual leaders.
After a meeting on Saturday, the TTD said it had been decided that pilgrims would not be allowed darshan of the deity during the six-day ritual. Pilgrims would not be allowed to climb up the Tirumala hills either by foot or by vehicle from August 9 to avoid a rush of pilgrims. It was to be the first proposed closure of the temple.
Hindu seer Swamy Swaroopanandendra Saraswati of Sri Sarada Peetham said he suspected a conspiracy behind the closure.
“As per the Agama (prescribed in Hindu scriptures for the procedures to be followed in temples on different occasions) rules, devotees can witness the temple cleansing process and have the darshan of the presiding deity. The TTD authorities should have consulted heads of various Hindu mutts and peethams (religious seats),” he said in a statement.
Opposition YSR Congress lawmaker R K Roja alleged the trust’s decision had lent credence to the suspicion voiced by retired head priest AV Ramana Deekshitulu that the authorities had spirited away treasure hidden under the temple in December 2017 on the pretext of carrying out repairs to its kitchen.
Ruling Telugu Desam Party leader and TTD board chairman Sudhakar Yadav insisted there was no truth to the allegations “Our earlier decision to dispense with darshan to pilgrims...was in the larger interest of pilgrims as we can allow darshan for hardly 30 hours during the six-day period of religious ceremony,’’ he said before the decision was withdrawn .
“We cannot allow over 15,000 pilgrims a day in the available time. Our chief aim behind the previous decision was to avoid inconvenience and hardship to pilgrims.”
First Published: Jul 25, 2018 07:15 IST