Normalcy returns to rain-hit Tirumala as pilgrim rush picks up again

The second ghat road was damaged after a landslide even as streets in Tirupati remained knee-deep in water
Normalcy returns to rain-hit Tirumala as pilgrim rush picks up again
Normalcy returns to rain-hit Tirumala as pilgrim rush picks up again
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As things returned to normalcy in the rain battered temple town of Tirumala on Sunday, thousands of pilgrims participated in the annual Kartika Vanabhojanam atop the Seven Hills and came for the darshan of the presiding deity Lord Sri Venkateswara.

The Times of India reported that a large number of pilgrims also visited from flood-hit Tamil Nadu as five compartments in the queue complex were full and the general darshan was completed in five hours.

“The pilgrim rush during November this year was lower than that of November 2014. This was due to disruption in road and rail traffic in view of unprecedented rainfall in Tirumala-Tirupati and surrounding districts right from November 9 to December 3. However, on no day the rush fell below the 40,000 mark," TTD communications officer T Ravi Kumar told the newspaper.

Andhra Pradesh also saw heavy rains as a result of the depression in the Bay of Bengal that has left Tamil Nadu devastated.

Districts like Nellore saw many low lying areas inundated while some mandals of Chittoor witnessed 105.5 mm rain in just 12 hours. All three road routes from Tirupati to Chennai were also damaged as many streets in Tirumala remained knee-deep in water.

The TTD closed down the second ghat road and the pedestrian pathways to the temple as a precautionary measure after landslides on the hill. It also appealed to devotees and advised them on not to bring children and elderly to the temple till the weather gets better.  

The TTD has since restored the ghat roads since and has taken steps to ensure that the devotees are not inconvenienced. The rains had also filled up all the reservoirs in Tirumala and Tirupati which was facing a severe crisis due to water shortage.

The TTD is now looking forward for the year's biggest event ­ Vaikunta Ekadasi on December 21 and Dwadasi on December 22 which witness a massive turnout of pilgrims.

"As there are just two weeks left for Vaikunta Ekadasi and Dwadasi, the TTD has cancelled privileged darshan and advance accommodation allotment in view of pilgrim influx." TTD executive officer D Sambasiva Rao said.

The police have also tightened security in the temple town as a general precaution.

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