A mega pilgrim accommodation complex would be built at a cost of Rs 120 crore at nearby Alipiri at the foothills of Tirumala, the abode of Lord Venkateswara, for the benefit of devotees visiting the ancient shrine, officials said Tuesday. The decision to construct the multi-storied 500-room rest house complex was taken at a meeting of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) Board, which administers the cash-rich temple among others, its Chairman Putta Sudhakar Yadav told reporters.
The board at the meeting held in Tirumala also resolved to renovate some of the TTD cottages and rest houses on the hills at an estimated cost of around Rs.112 crore, he said. The TTD operates a number of cottages and huge rest house complexes in Tirumala and Tirupati providing low-cost accommodation for the benefit of thousands of pilgrims thronging the shrine from different parts of the country throughout the year.
According to a temple official, over 8,000 rooms maintained by TTD were available in Tirumala and around 2,000 here in addition to VIP guest houses. There were also nearly 2,000 rooms run by different mutts on the hills. The demand for accommodation soars during special occasions like new year day, annual brahmotsavam and holidays when the number of pilgrims crosses the one lakh mark per day and the total available rooms prove inadequate to meet the rush.
An estimated 2.4 crore pilgrims visit the over 2000-year old temple and the TTD has pegged its overall revenue for 2018-19 at Rs 2,894 crore, including Rs 1,156 crore by way of cash offerings in the ‘hundi’ (offering box).