The inner precincts of the hill temple of Lord Venkateswara has been spruced up for the annual Salakatla Brahmotsavams scheduled to commence on Saturday.
For the first time in the history of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), the nine-day festival will be conducted on a low key devoid of its usual grandeur in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. The two-time daily processions of the deities on various vahanams (carriers) that form the ‘nucleus’ part of the event will also be absent and devotees with valid darshan tickets alone will be allowed to motor up.
Despite all the reversals, TTD has geared up itself for the ceremonial conduct of the mega event.
The festival will take off to a religious start with ‘Dwajarohanam’ (hoisting of the temple flag) on Saturday with ‘ankurarpanam’ on Friday.
The two-time ‘vahana sevas’ will be organised between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. and 7.00 p.m. and 8 p.m. every day at kalyanotsava mandapam inside the main temple complex.
While the auspicious ‘Garuda seva’ will be observed on September 23 between 7 p.m. and 8.30 p.m., curtains will be drawn on the mega event with the performance of Pallaki and Tiruchi Utsavams on September 27 followed by Dwajavarohanam the same night.
Sarva Bhoopala vahana seva will substitute the procession of golden chariot and wooden chariots on September 24 and 26 respectively.
Procession taken out
Meanwhile, the 175-feet giant rope and the mat made of darbha (sacred grass) used in the Dwajarohanam ceremony were on Thursday taken out in a procession from TTD forest office and handed them over to the temple officials. The sacred grass was procured from the green fields of Chelluru village near Vadalamalapeta mandal about 20 km from Tirupati.
The TTD categorically made it clear that all the religious formalities will be strictly adhered to during the conduct of the festival and there will be no room for any lapse.
In the larger interest of the devout, the management has also resolved to live telecast the religious proceedings on all the days of the festival period.