Tirupati: The nine-day annual Brahmotsavam festivals of Lord Venkateswara at nearby Tirumala commenced here on Tuesday with the hoisting of the sacred flag and chanting of vedic hymns.
The high priests of the shrine, amid chanting vedic hymns, hoisted the sacred flag carrying the image of Garuda atop the Dwajasthambam (holy mast) inside the temple.
Two Brahmotsavams will be held this year,each lasting nine days, due to an extra month in the Hindu lunar calendar. The first, `Salakatla Brahmotsavam` began today, while the second one `Navaratri Brahmotsavam` would start at the hill temple on October 15.
Temple sources said idols of Lord Venkateswara, Sri Lakshmi and Padmavathi adorned with diamond jewellery were taken out in a procession around the hill temple. Thousands of devotees had darshan of the divine procession, they said.
Meanwhile, observing a four-decade old practice, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, N Kirankumar Reddy handed over a pair of new silk cloths to the priests for the use of the Lord.
Earlier, he also laid the foundation stone for a two km long ring road called Tiruvenkata patham at an estimated cost of Rs 15 crore and Vakula Visranthi Nilayam (Rest house) for the benefit of visiting devotees.