Deccan Chronicle

TTD's decision to issue online tokens for Angapradakshanam draws flak


Published on: June 14, 2022 | Updated on: June 15, 2022

Devotees allege that the move will make it difficult for the local devotees to have darshan of Lord Venkateswara

Tirumala Tirupati temple. (TTD website)

Tirumala Tirupati temple. (TTD website)

TIRUPATI: The TTD administration's decision to change the mode of issuing Angapradakshanam tokens from the current booking facility to online has drawn flak from some devotees, mainly the locals.

Angapradakshinam is a kind of seva offered to Lord Venkateswara inside the Tirumala temple. Pilgrims lie down and then roll all around the Vimana Pradakshina – the path which circumambulates the main gopura of Ananda Nilaya – in wet clothes at the pre-dawn hours, by way of a religious vow.

The temple body on Monday announced it will henceforth issue the angapradakshanam tokens via the online booking system. The online quota of angapradakshanam with 750 tokens per day for the period between June 16 and July 31 will be released on its online portal by 10pm on Wednesday, it said.

Objecting to this, members of the Tirupati Angapradakshanam Bhakthula Sangam staged a protest in front of TTD administrative buildings in Tirupati on Tuesday. They pleaded that the temple body roll back its decision.

The devotees, under this banner, alleged that the TTD’s move will make it difficult for the local devotees to have darshan of Lord Venkateswara.

"In the past, the TTD used to provide darshan facility for the Tirupati and Tirumala locals on Tuesdays, once a month, but later stopped extending the privilege. Now, the only way we have for darshan is by doing angapradakshanam and it also allows us to perform sacrament in the temple as part of fulfilling religious vows," they said.

With TTD changing the tickets issuance mode to online, those who are not aware of using the internet will face difficulties in getting the tokens", said Pratap Reddy, who led the protest on Tuesday.

He said that Angapradakshanam seva is not popular among the non-local devotees. "Devotees coming from far off places are not aware of angapradakshanam. Only local devotees are well- aware of this seva and those who vowed to perform it used to stand in queue and get the tokens. Now, only a few locals who use the internet can get the tokens," he argued.        

A temple official said the decision was taken to mitigate the problem of overcrowding at the booking counter. "We used to issue 750 tokens per day at the counters in Tirumala. During the summer, thousands of devotees queue up at the counters and it becomes a herculean task to control the crowd. This was done to also enhance the transparency," he claimed.

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