Tirupati temple in Andhra Pradesh | Wikimedia Commons
Tirupati temple in Andhra Pradesh | Wikimedia Commons
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Bengaluru: The Tirupati temple, one of the world’s richest, is gearing up to reopen with precautionary measures.

According to home ministry guidelines, places of worship can’t reopen until 31 May, but Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), the trust that manages the temple, has asked permission from the Andhra Pradesh government last week to open doors to its devotees, government officials told ThePrint.

“Tirumala has been in the green zone since the beginning of the pandemic. We closed down the temple as a precautionary measure. Lord Venkateshwara has always been our guide and will keep us safe with his blessings during this time,” TTD chairman Y.V. Subbareddy told ThePrint.

A TTD official, who didn’t want to be named, said the trust’s revenues have dipped by over Rs 200 crore during the lockdown. 

The temple was shut down on 20 March, the first time in its history.

Temple’s preparations

The temple has begun preparations to welcome its devotees by marking circles on the premises where people usually stand in queues, making wearing of masks compulsory and capping the number of visitors per day.

“We will make every possible effort to ensure that Covid protocols are followed, including using thermal scanners, social distancing and making wearing of masks compulsory. We will also be reducing the number of devotees who come for darshan,” Subbareddy said. 

The temple witnesses a footfall of 80,000 to 1 lakh devotees on a daily basis. But, post-lockdown, 25,000-35,000 devotees can visit the temple.

“We will ensure that devotees do not come in groups. They will get darshan one by one. Social distancing has to be maintained. We have already made arrangements and painted the main areas with circles to ensure people follow rules. We have also decided to limit the number of people coming to the temple between 25,000 and 35,000 per day,” he added.

“They will be made to enter in a phased manner. Timings (of darshan) also will be managed as we will have to sanitise the temple each time we finish one slot,” he said. 

The temple also plans to conduct a mock drill involving its 21,000 employees to see if it can manage the movement of devotees after the lockdown. The drill will see some employees queuing up like devotees on the temple premises, while others will manage them to ensure precautionary measures are followed.

A quarantine facility has also been earmarked near the temple in case of any emergency.


Also read: Tirupati temple chairman credits Lord Balaji for saving Rs 1,300 cr deposited in Yes Bank


Prasad will continue to be distributed

Unlike several other temples in south India where they have decided to do away with prasadam (food offerings), the TTD chairman said the world-famous Tirupati ladoo will continue to be given.

“… offering of holy water and the prasadam (offering) will continue. We will follow strict sanitisation protocol and it may be given in a box, instead of handing it over,” he said.

“The offerings are from Lord Venkateshwara himself; we believe he keeps us safe from this pandemic as he has done all this while,” he added. 

Temple revenues badly hit

Asked about reports that the trust may not be able to pay salaries to its employees, Subbareddy dismissed them.

The TTD official mentioned above also denied the claim. “On an average, Tirumala gets around Rs 3 to 4 crore a day. During the lockdown, our revenues have dipped by more than Rs 200 crore. But that does not mean we are financially strained and cannot pay our employees. We have managed to pay them until the month of May,” he said.

The TTD’s revenues come from contributions from devotees, sale of the prasadam, rent from lodges near the temple, among others.


Also read: India’s Tirupati temple is learning from McDonald’s, coming to a town near you


 

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19 Comments Share Your Views

19 COMMENTS

  1. Hello मैं मध्यप्रदेश से हु अन्य राज्य के दर्शनार्थियों के लिए भगवान वैकटेशवर के दर्शनों की अनुमति कब दी जाऐगी।

  2. As usual print is on its mischievous path. But People know your nefarious intentions. It will not succeed.

  3. This is really big challenge for TTD. Maintaining social distance & controlling crowd is not easy. All the best to TTD. Is ttd allow devotees from other states also?

  4. You see. The problem is with us. We always expect authorities to control. Tjere is absolutely no vouce that says, we will comply and bring in self-discipline. Until this is displayed there is no light at the end of tunnel.

  5. sir due to lock down we could not be able attend the kalyanostva on 27th march. hence when regular darshan opens after the lock down can i use the un used seva of kalyanostv please confirm

  6. Allow accommodation on hilltop tirumala only to those who have darshanam ticket. Similarly do not allow to climb up hills without confirmed darshanam slit. This will be good step. Also arrange accommodation booking at tirumala to be booked at foot steps Alipuri( below the hill,in tirupati itself.

  7. Pleez kabhi opene huva to

    Replya bej Dena

    Muje wisit Dena hai

    Me

    March end me hi jaane walata

    8 saal se Jana chahta ta

    Lock down ho Gaya

    Very sad

    Pleez Kabi open huva to notifikeshan bejo

    Govinda govinda

  8. Temple priest could be left with the idol to worship it and carry out daily rituals.since,it would be the priest alone,corona virus could not spread from lord venkateshwara to any priest.

  9. I am Lord Venkateswaras bakth. In my view, it is not good opening of the this Temple, now. Atleast upto June, the temple may be closed. The Authorities of Temple may say that safeguards are made. But, practically it is not possible to control the crowd while making darshan of Lord. So, in the interests of the public, the authorities /government may have to consider to postpone opening of the temple. Temple is worshipping place and it should not be considered as revenue earning manufacturing factory.

  10. All for money….Break the FDs and pay ur people…venkateswara is all along debt holder…it does not matter….Thirumala, one by one dharsan,,,unimaginable…may be for rich and powered people ,this idea has come out…not good….green zone to be kept green is not a joke…all the best….

  11. Before opening the doors to devotees, the Trust may be pleased to open a tiny niche of its vaults to provide financial relief to the poor who have been devastated by the pandemic.

    • There should be no hurry in opening TTD temple.. Only thing is devotes are not there. All sevas for SRI VARU is happening in a simple way anyhow… Right now may be income for temple is down and there is no “padandi pandandi” in temple….

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