TIRUPATI: With the summer almost coming to an end, the hill town of Tirumala has been witnessing a surge in devotee arrivals in the holy hills for the darshan of Lord Venkateswara.
On Sunday, all compartments in the Vaikuntam queue complexes were full and devotees waited in a 4-km-long queue for darshan while the accommodation counters in Tirumala too put up ‘no vacancy’ boards.
As the summer vacations for educational institutions are coming to an end, the rush of pilgrims increased in the past two days.
Some 88,026 devotees had a glimpse of the Lord on Saturday. On Sunday up to 6pm, nearly 65,000 pilgrims had darshan, while over 30,000 devotees had lined up in the queue lines.
For Sarva Darshan on Sunday, all the compartments in the Vaikuntam queue complex were filled and the queue line extended for almost 4km from the compartments. It was taking nearly 10-12 hours for the pilgrims to have darshan. The entry point to the queue line is set at the outer ring road and beyond, from where the devotees take a long walk to reach the Vaikuntam queue complex.
With the increase in pilgrim flow, the facilities in terms of accommodation and other amenities are stretched beyond their limit. TTD officials have put up a ‘no vacancy’ board in the morning itself at all the accommodation counters in Tirumala.
Owing to heavy rush, TTD has cancelled VIP break darshans and limited these to protocol VIPs alone. The restrictions on VIP break darshans would be in place till July 15.
TTD executive officer A.V. Dharma Reddy is monitoring the pilgrim scenario at compartments, outside the lines at Narayanagiri gardens, the Lepakshi circle and beyond. He advised Annadanam officials to ensure continuous supply of food, water and beverages to the devotees in the queue lines, while the vigilance wing personnel are managing these lines.