No lockdown for darshan in Tirumala temple in Andhra Pradesh

South India

The Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanams (TDD) authorities have decided not to enforce the complete lockdown re-imposed by the government in Andhra Pradesh’s temple town from July 20 to September 5 in the light of the rapid spike in coronavirus infection.

Tirupati corporation areas alone accounted for about 1,800 of the 5,400 COVID-19 cases reported in Chittoor district as a whole. TTD chairman YV Subba Reddy told Sakshi Post on Tuesday, July 21 that there not be any interruption in darshan services for the devotees at Lord Sri Venkateswara Temple in Tirumala.

He said that they had arrived at the conclusion that the dreaded coronavirus was not spreading through devotees.  He also said that they would provide darshan for devotees who had booked online. However, local bookings have been suspended.

He urged devotees from containment zones not to visit Tirumala for darshan though the temple authorities have taken adequate care to ensure do not get infected with the virus. Reddy claimed that the TTD was providing better treatment to the COVID-19 affected priests and employees of the TTD.

There was huge demand for shutting down the famous temples thronged by devotees from all over the country and abroad after more than 100 priests and employees tested positive for Covid-19. Former TTD chief pirest P Srinivasa Murthy Dikshitulu succumbed to the infection on Monday. He was 73.

Under the complete lockdown all shops barring essential services are being allowed to open only between 6:00 AM and 11 AM in the temple town. The decision to enforce the lockdown, after curbs were eased from June 1 when Unlock-1 came into being, was taken at a special meeting held by District Collector Narayana Bharath Gupta, said a Times Now report.

Image Credit: Times Now

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