The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) on Saturday said that it would restrict 'darshan' for devotees at the Lord Venkateswara temple atop Tirumala between August 9 and August 17.
A special meeting was convened on the matter, following which TTD Trust chairman Putta Sudhakar informed that a grand cleansing ritual, titiled 'Maha Samprokshana', which is performed once in 12 years, was going to take place.
Therefore, no devotees would be allowed for the period between the evening of August 9 and the morning of August 17.
"Pilgrims will not be allowed to enter Vaikuntham Queue Complex for darshan after 6 pm of August 9. The darshan will resume to pilgrims only after 6 am from August 17 onwards. We therefore request the pilgrim devotees of Lord Venkateswara present across the globe to plan their pilgrimage accordingly", the TTD Board said in a press release.
Explaining the TTD's decision, Sudhakar told reporters, "The last time "Maha Samprokshana" was held, only 20,000- 30,000 devotees would visit the temple so, it was possible to allow a limited number of them. But, now over one lakh devotees visit the temple on a daily basis. Even if limited Darsan is allowed, most of the devotees will have to wait in queues. If Darshans are allowed on 9th and 10th; there will be a heavy rush on the Tirumala hill."
The temple receives 60,000-80,000 people every day and has been managed by hundreds of officials and priests. The figure even crosses a lakh during summer vacations and on special occasions.
In April last year, the temple reportedly said that it earned Rs 1,038 crore through cash offerings from devotees in 2016-17.
With nearly 2.68 crore devotees visiting the shrine during the financial year, the TTD said that a total of 10.46 crore laddus were sold during this time.
It had approved an annual budget of Rs 2,858 crore for 2017-18.
According to TTD officials, the temple's earnings during 2018-19 are expected to be Rs 2,894 crore, of which the offerings in temple 'Hundi' are likely to be Rs 1,156 crore.