TIRUPATI: The sacred hill town of Tirumala continues to have huge throngs of devotees lining up for darshan for the third consecutive day. The waiting time for darshan of the presiding deity Lord Venkateswara crossed 48 hours by Friday evening.
Nearly 72,195 pilgrims had darshan of the deity at the hill shrine on Thursday. The heavy rush saw about 55,000 pilgrims having darshan by 7pm on Friday. This, while more pilgrims joined the queue lines, which stretched from outside of the Vaikuntam queue complex -I and II to a distance of 4-5km, with the starting point at Gogarbham Dam, closer to the Outer ring road.
The pilgrim inflow continued despite TTD officials appealing to the devotees especially those with infant children and aged parents to postpone their pilgrimage to Tirumala in view of the heavy rush due to the weekend holiday, coupled with the Third Peratasi Saturday.
To bring the situation under control, the temple administration has suspended the issuing of VIP break darshan for the next three days.
Though the TTD made elaborate arrangements for the devotees, a dampener was the inclement weather conditions, with the result the waiting time for darshan increased to 48 hours.
Devotees who could not secure accommodation spent the night in the open or in the premises of TTD establishments along with their families. Thousands of devotees preferred spending their night in front of the main temple.
TTD EO Dharma Reddy regularly inspected the queue lines at various points and the Vaikuntam complexes. The EO urged the devotees to be patient till their turn came for the darshan. He urged the pilgrims to enter the queues only on Saturday morning and till that time take rest in the Pilgrim Amenities Complexes in Tirumala or Tirupati....