Tirumala temple to open for devotees from Monday, guidelines issued
The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams in Andhra Pradesh is all set to reopen for Sri Venkateswara Swamy darshan after a span of 80 from Monday.
TTD Board Chief YV Subbareddy, along with TTD Executive Officer Anil Kumar Singhal, Additional EO AV Dharma Reddy and Tirupati JEO P Basant Kumar, announced the decision to reopen temple gates and explained about the arrangements and measures taken up by the TTD which manages the hill abode of Lord Venkateswara in Tirupati of Andhra Pradesh.
After the temple gates were closed for pilgrims on March 20 as a measure to contain the novel coronavirus spread, the TTD is resuming Srivari darshan at Tirumala which will commence on an experimental basis from Monday (June 8).
Here are the guidelines issued by the temple management:
Around 500 pilgrims will be allowed for darshan every hour between 6:30 am and 7:30 am.
Initially, on a trial basis, darshan will be provided to the employees of the TTD and their families who can book slots using Intranet facility on June 8 and 9. For this, employees have to book their slots on June 6 and 7.
Following the guidelines by the government, senior citizens (65 years and above) and children below 10 years of age are barred from darshan.
On June 10, time slot tokens will be issues to Tirumala locals -- 500 persons per hour -- at the Time Slot Token Counters in Tirumala premises.
June 11 onwards, darshan tickets worth Rs. 300 will be issued to devotees online. The online quota for booking will be available from June 8 onwards.
Those who are coming to villages or rural areas will also have to book darshan ticket online. However, the Gram volunteers will be trained on simple steps to book the tickets to assist villagers to book darshan tickets.
The TTD is already negotiating with Collectors of all districts and Commissioners of Panchayat Raj with a request to orient Gram Volunteers.
Similarly, daily 3,000 Sarva darshan tickets will be issued at the SSD counters located in Tirupati.
VIP break darshan will commence from June 11 onwards.
Every day, the VIP break will be between 6:30 am and 7:30 am and will be given to only Self-Protocol VIPs. No recommendation letters will be entertained.
Keeping in view the safety of the pilgrims, only Alipiri walkers path will remain open from 6 am till 4 pm, while Srivari Mettu will remain closed.
Both the Ghat Roads will remain open from 5 am till 8 pm even as the Covid-19 curfew is being observed between 9 pm and 5 am.
Only the darshan of the main deity is allowed. Sub-temples including Vakulamatha, Bhashyakarula Sannidhi and Yoganarasimha Swamy are dispensed with for the time being.
Devotees will not be allowed to enter Swamy Pushkarini (temple pond) as per existing Covid guidelines. No Theertham and Shatari will be given.
Devotees will be provided with herbal hand sanitizers near Srivari Hundi to prevent the spread of the virus.
Every devotee who enters Alipiri with a ticket has to invariably undergo Thermal scanning, vehicle scanning and hand sanitization at Alipiri toll gate.
Accommodation in Tirumala will be organised on alternate (Odd-Odd, Even-Even) mode to pilgrims and only two persons per room will be allowed to stay in Tirumala only for 24 hours.
No extension of the rooms will be provided.
A 12-hour gap for re-allotment of rooms will be maintained and sanitization of rooms will be carried out for every two hours.
Room allotment in Tirupati will also be on the same lines.
Following the norms set by the government, only 50 persons will be allowed to perform marriages in the marriage halls at Tirumala, only after approval by the health officer.
Non-stop announcements on the Do's and Don'ts, Covid 19 measures, guidelines to be followed in Tirumala and wearing masks, using hand sanitizers and maintaining social distancing will be made in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Hindi and English at Alipiri footpath, Tirumala, accommodation areas, both SED and SSD entry points in Tirumala for the awareness of the pilgrims.
Matrusri Tarigonda Vengamamba Annadanam Complex alone will be functional for the time being from 8 am till 8 pm.
Hoteliers and shop keepers in Tirumala will be oriented on how to deal with social distancing and other guidelines
PPA kits are set ready for health workers, vigilance, Srivari Sevakulu and Kalyanakatta Barbers who have more interfaces with the pilgrims.
Huge reception from pilgrims all over the state and from Bengaluru and Hyderabad information Centres over the sale of Srivari Laddu prasadams
Covid-19 Random tests will be conducted for 200 devotees and employees every day.
Special Covid-19 testing and sample collection centres have been set up at Alipiri and Aswini Hospital in Tirumala.
Corona Testing Laboratory is also set up at SVIMS hospital Tirupati exclusively for benefit of devotees and employees.
Devotees have to sign a declaration at the Alipiri stating that they have to adhere to the central and state government Covid-19 guidelines if in case they tested positive after the tests.
Devotees located in containment zones are advised to not book any online darshan tickets.
Devotees from other states who booked online tickets should observe all Covid-19 guidelines prescribed by the respective state governments.
They should also note that darshan tickets will not an entitlement to enter into the state.
This was the first time in 128 years that temple was closed from pilgrims.
The temple with a 2,000-year-old history only closed for religious rituals and solar moon eclipse but remained opened after that.
Last time, it was in the year 1,892 when the religious rituals at one of the richest temple were halted and its door was closed for devotees.