Tirumala: The temple management of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) is all set to reopen the doors for darshan of Sri Venkateswara Swamy from June 8 onwards, after a span of 80 days due to coronavirus restrictions, said TTD Trust Board Chairman YV Subba Reddy.
The TTD Board Chief along with TTD Executive Officer Anil Kumar Singhal, Additional EO AV Dharma Reddy, and Tirupati JEO P Basant Kumar, elaborated on the arrangements and measures taken up by TTD in view of the recommencement of darshan from Monday onwards while addressing media persons here at Annamaiah Bhavan on Friday.
The key points of the interactions are:
1. Ever since after the closing of darshan for pilgrims on March 20 to avoid the spread of COVID-19 in Tirumala, TTD is resuming Srivari darshan at Tirumala which will commence on an experimental basis from June 8 onwards.
2. Everyday darshan will be between 6:30am and 7:30am with 500 pilgrims alone allowed for darshan in each hour.
3. Initially, on a trial basis, the darshan will be provided to the employees of TTD and their families who shall book darshan slots using the Intranet facility on June 8 and 9. for this the employees have to book their darshan slots on June 6 and 7. Following the guidelines by GOI, 65 years and above old senior citizens and below 10 years old children are barred from darshan.
4. On June 10, time slot tokens will be issues to Tirumala locals @ 500 persons per hour in the Time Slot Token Counters at Tirumala.
5. From June 11 onwards, 3000 numbers of Rs 300/- darshan tickets will be issued to devotees in on-line. The online quota for booking will be available from June 8 onwards.
6. Those who are coming in Villages or rural areas shall also have to book darshan tickets in online. However, the Gram volunteers will be trained on simple steps to book the tickets so as to assist the villagers to book darshan tickets. TTD is already negotiating with Collectors of all districts and Commissioners of Panchayat Raj with a request to orient Gram Volunteers.
7. Similarly, daily 3000 Sarva darshan tickets are issued at the SSD counters located in Tirupati.
8. 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 only and no recommendation letters will be entertained.
9. Keeping in view the safety of the pilgrims, only the Alipiri walker's path remains open from morning 6am till 4pm while Srivari Mettu remains closed. On devotee security grounds then Srivari Mettu footpath.
10. Both the Ghat Roads remain open from 5am till 8pm as the COVID 19 curfew is being observed between 9pm and 5am.
11. Only the darshan of the main deity is allowed. Subtemples including Vakulamata, Bhasyakarula Sannidhi, Yoganarasimha Swamy is dispensed with for the time being.
12. Devotees will not be allowed to enter Swamy Pushkarini as per existing COVID guidelines. No Theertham and Shatari will be given.
13. Devotees will be provided with herbal hand sanitizers near Srivari Hundi to prevent the spread of the virus through hundi cloth.
14. Every Devotee who enters Alipiri with Darshan ticket has to invariably undergo Thermal scanning, vehicle scanning, and hand sanitization at the Alipiri toll gate.
15. 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 24hours. No extension of 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 is also on the same lines.
16. As the marriage season is in offing, following the GOI norms only fifty persons will be allowed to perform marriages in TTD marriage halls at Tirumala only after approval by the health officer.
17. Non-stop announcements on the Dos and Donts, COVID 19 measures, guidelines to be followed in Tirumala viz. wearing masks, using hand sanitizers and maintaining social distancing will be carried out 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.
18. Matrusri Tarigonda Vengamamba Annadanam Complex alone will be functional for the time being from 8am till 8pm. Hoteliers and shop keepers in Tirumala will be oriented on how to deal with social distancing and other guidelines
19. PPA kits are set ready for Health workers, vigilance, Srivari Sevakulu, and Kalyanakatta Barbers who have more interface 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.
20. Covid-19 Random tests will be conducted on 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.
21. The devotees have to sign Declaration at the Alipiri stating that they have to adhere Central and state government COVID 19 guidelines if in the case they tested positive after the tests.
22. Devotees located in the containment zones are advised not to 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 are not an entitlement to enter into the state.
The Lord Balaji Temple at Tirumala was closed for general devotees in the wake of the announcement of countrywide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On May 30, the central government announced that temples can be opened.
The three-day-long Jyeshta Abhishekam celebrations have started at Lord Balaji temple.