Tirupati: After almost 80 days of unprecedented closure, the Venkateswara temple at Tirumala will open to worshippers on June 8 with several measures against the spread of the COVID-19 virus. But on the first two days only TTD staff and Tirumala locals will be allowed in to try out the new system. Pilgrims from elsewhere will be allowed only from June 11.
“Darshan will be between 6.30 am and 7.30 am. Only 6,000 people will be allowed for darshan daily. Five hundred devotees will be allowed to have darshan every hour,” TTD Trust Board chairman Y.V. Subba Reddy told the media.
On an experimental basis, TTD will provide darshan to its employees and their families, who can book slots on June 6 and 7 for darshan on June 8 and 9. Those above 65 years and children younger than 10 will not be allowed. On June 10, time slot tokens will be issued to Tirumala locals.
“From June 11 onwards, devotees from across the country except from containment zones will be allowed for darshan. While 3,000 darshan tickets of Rs 300 will be issued to devotees online, for which bookings will open on June 8, another set of 3,000 sarva darshan (free darshan) tickets will be issued daily at the Slotted Sarva Darshan counters in Tirupati,” he said.
VIP break darshan will also commence on June 11. “The VIP break will be between 6.30 am and 7.30 am and will be given to self-protocol VIPs. No recommendation letters will be entertained,” Subba Reddy said.
“Keeping in view the safety of pilgrims, the Alipiri walkers’ path will remain open from 6 am till 4 pm while Srivari Mettu will remain closed till further notice,” the chairman said.
Subba Reddy said only pilgrims’ possessing darshan tokens will be allowed to trek up to Tirumala. Every devotee who enters Alipiri with a darshan ticket has to undergo thermal screening, vehicle scanning and hand sanitisation at the toll gate. He said devotees wishing to avail accommodation facility at Tirumala can book their rooms online. Subba Reddy addressed the media along with TTD executive officer Anil Kumar Singhal, Additional EO A.V. Dharma Reddy and Tirupati JEO P. Basant Kumar Annamaiah Bhavan in Tirumala....