A huge rush of devotees was witnessed on Friday (April 7) at the hill temple of Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, with common pilgrims waiting for more than 30 hours in queue for darshan.
Due to three consecutive holidays (April 7 to 10 – Good Friday, second Saturday, and Sunday), the famous Tirumala temple is seeing huge crowds.
With more devotees expected in the coming days of the holiday season, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) has decided to increase darshan hours for common pilgrims.
Also read: Tirupati temple to remain open during gold-plating project
According to TTD’s Executive Officer AV Dharma Reddy, they would give 15 hours of darshan out of 18 to common pilgrims. He said this during Friday’s ‘Dial Your EO’ event.
On Friday, 71,782 devotees visited the Tirumala temple and the approximate waiting time for Sarvadarshanam (without Slotted Sarva Darshan – SSD tokens) was 36 hours, with 28 waiting compartments, TTD said in a statement.
On Thursday, the wait time was 30 hours and more than 60,000 devotees offered prayers at the temple.
Also read: Tirupati temple richer than Wipro, Nestle, ONGC
Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani too visited the famous temple on Friday.
Irani offered prayers to the deity and returned to Delhi in the afternoon. She was accompanied by former TTD board member Bhanu Prakash Reddy during her visit.
Andhra Pradesh High Court Chief Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra also visited the temple along with his wife.
As part of his visit, the Chief Justice and his wife participated in Abhisheka Seva and had a VIP break darshan, the TTD statement said.
TTD chairman YV Subba Reddy, executive officer Dharma Reddy and Third Additional District Judge Veerraju accompanied Justice Mishra.
Similarly, Justice Mishra and his wife also worshipped at Sri Padmavati Ammavari Temple in Tiruchanoor. After the darshan, a temple official offered theertha prasadams (consecrated food) to the couple.