President worships at Lord Balaji temple
Tirupati: President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday offered prayers at the famous hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara at nearby Tirumala.
On his maiden 16-hour visit to the temple town after assuming the country's highest office, Mukherjee arrived at the shrine at the crack of the dawn to a ceremonious welcome with the priests according him full temple honours.
Amid chanting of vedic hymns, he was conducted to the sanctum sanctorum from the main entrance of the 2000-year old cash-rich shrine.
Mukherjee spent about half-an-hour in the temple premises, temple sources told a news agency.
After the worship, the President made an offering in the 'hundi' (offering box), they said.
Later, the President was presented with a sacred silk cloth, holy water and 'laddu' prasadam by temple authorities while the priests invoked divine blessings on the First Citizen at the Sri Ranaganayaka Mandapam.
Andhra Pradesh Governor ESL Narasimhan, Chief Minister N Kirankumar Reddy, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams chairman K Bapiraju accompanied the President during the visit.
As per tradition, Mukherjee paid his obeisance at the nearby shrine of Sri Adi Varahaswamy before visiting the Lord Venkateswara temple.