Tirumala/Tirupati: Post the examination results being declared and the onset of summer vacations for schools and colleges in India, the temple town of Tirupati and the abode of Sri Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala witnessed a heavy pilgrim rush.
Despite the severe heat wave in the Chittoor district, devotees were seen waiting in the long queues. The day’s temperatures recorded at Tirupati was 46.24 degrees Celsius and Tirumala hill was at 41 °C, but that didn't deter people from visiting the temple.
The rush was evident right from the Alipiri check point, to the accommodation centres, Vaikuntam Q complex, laddu counters and the anna prasadam complex. Devotees were seen waiting in the blazing heat with their families for a darshan of the Lord.
According to Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) sources, on Saturday the waiting time for darshan went beyond 24 hours and the line was seen two kilometres from the entry point. More than 66,334 devotees offered prayers at the Tirumala temple from 5 am in the morning until 6 pm in the evening. The numbers are expected to go up on Sunday.
The TTD JEO B Lakshmikantham, reviewed the arrangements and directed officials of various departments of the temple body to speed up the movement of devotees in the queue lines. He also directed that devotees should not be put through any inconvenience and ensured that the stock of laddoos and prasadam be stored in advance to handle the demand.