Andhra Pradesh

VIPs, restrict your Tirumala visit to once a year

YV Subba Reddy, the newly appointed Chairman of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) wants VIPs to restrict their visit to the Tirumala temple to once a year. He made this request on a day when the President of India Ram Nath Kovind landed at Tirupati for a darshan of Sri Venkateswara Swamy. 

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Reddy would find support for his move coming his way from Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu who too has advocated a cap on VIP visits to the temple. Naidu also set a precedent during his visit in June when he reached the temple complex through the Vaikuntam queue complex instead of the Mahadwaram, usually used by VIPs. He batted for VIPs giving up the privilege and made his family members pay for their tickets, food and accommodation. 

YV Subba Reddy outside the Tirumala temple

Subba Reddy also has good news for common pilgrims. The TTD will abolish the List I, List II and List III darshans. The list darshan was a discriminatory procedure adopted by the previous administration to segregate pilgrims in order of importance and stature. 

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L1 included ministers, MPs, MLAs, judges while government officials came under the L2 category. L3 category included all those who managed the much-sought after recommendation letter from either the Chief Minister or Endowments minister’s office or had a connection with a member of the TTD. These devotees would need to stand for a lesser time in the queues and could stay for a while longer in front of the sanctum sanctorum unlike the regular pilgrims whose darshan time typically would not exceed a couple of seconds. 

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A PIL is also being heard in the High court regarding abolish of the List system.

The richest temple in the year sees an average of 50000 pilgrims visiting it every day but the number doubles on auspicious occasions.

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