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Why Is TTD Still Allowing Pilgrims?

Why Is TTD Still Allowing Pilgrims?

Even as the Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government is strictly enforcing the partial lockdown in the state for 18-hours a day to contain the spread of the Coronavirus, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams is still allowing pilgrims for the darshan of Lord Venkateshwara on Tirumala hills.

Though the TTD has suspended “Sarva Darshanams” (free darshan) for pilgrims, it has still been allowing darshan for pilgrims who purchase special darshan tickets for Rs 300 for the last few weeks.

This is despite the fact that the number of Covid-19 cases has been going up steeply across the state, including in Tirupati.

Even after the Jagan government imposed the partial lockdown and suspended bus services, the TTD continued to allow special darshans for the pilgrims.

This is despite the fact that all the other major temples in the state have been shut down for darshan of the deities due to rise in Covid-19 cases and lockdown restrictions. The daily rituals in these temples, however, have been going on.

But, the pilgrims to Tirupati, who have already booked their tickets for special darshan, seem to have realised that it would be dangerous to visit temples at this stage. So, they voluntarily deferred their plans to visit Tirumala.

As a result, on Wednesday, the Lord Venkateshwara temple recorded the lowest footfall in the history of Tirumala.

Only 2,262 pilgrims visited the temple and the hundi collection was the lowest at Rs 11 lakh. Only 962 pilgrims offered their hair at Kalyan Katta.

Yet, the TTD has decided against closing down the temple for darshans. It only said those who have booked their special darshan tickets between April 11 and May 31, could change their darshan date at a later date in the next one year.

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