There was a tremendous response from devotees in Hyderabad to subsidised sales of the famous 'Tirupati laddu', considered the sacred prasadam of the Sri Venkateswara temple in Tirumala in Andhra Pradesh. Officials said that in two days alone, over 1 lakh laddus had been sold.
About 1.35 lakh laddus, priced at a subsidised Rs 25 each instead of the normal Rs 50, were made available at the information centre of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams in the city's Himayatnagar area, of which 1.10 lakh had already been sold since sales began on Sunday, the official said on Monday.
Entry of devotees to the more than 2,000-year old temple, that used to draw thousands from across the country every day during normal times, has been barred since March 25 to check the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), which oversees affairs of the temple, then hit upon the idea of selling the laddus at subsidised prices in various places, including Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai. As part of the exercise, it commenced sale of laddus in Andhra Pradesh on May 25.
Many devotees expressed satisfaction at having received the 'prasad' after standing in the sun for hours to make a purchase, but were disappointed at not being able to have darshan at the temple, while others decided to distribute the laddus free of cost.
The officials said that the information centre was expected to receive laddus on Tuesday as well.
Various precautions to be taken due to COVID-19 like physical distancing, ensuring that all wear masks, provision of sanitizers and wearing of gloves were being followed, he said.