President offers prayers at Tirupati



Hyderabad: President Pratibha Patil and her husband Devisingh Shekhawat on Thursday offered prayers at the famous Tirumala temple near Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh, on the occasion of their 46th wedding anniversary.

Amid chanting of Vedic hymns, the couple was blessed by a group of senior temple priests, who also performed special rituals on the occasion. Several other family members of the President were present, according to officials of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), which manages the temple affairs.

Andhra Pradesh Governor ESL Narasimhan, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and Tirupati legislator and actor K Chiranjeevi, who has merged his Praja Rajyam Party with the Congress, were also present.

The President had reached Tirupati Wednesday evening after a five-day stay in Hyderabad as part of her southern sojourn.

After an overnight stay, she along with her family, went around the temple, had a 'darshan' of Lord Venkateshawara and participated in various rituals.

Later in the day, Patil will inaugurate Annadanam or free meal complex at the temple.

Built by TTD at a cost of Rs 33 crore, the complex will serve free food to 75,000 to 100,000 pilgrims a day.

IANS