Thousands of devotees logged on to the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam website amid huge demand for darshan tickets.
On Friday, the board released 460,000 tickets online for January.
Immediately following the tickets’ release, the website received 14 lakh hits. However, the allotment process went off smoothly with the entire quote of tickets booked within 55 minutes, reports suggest. The board has already confirmed on its official website that special entry darshan quota for January had been completely booked.
The board released 20,000 tickets per day for January 1 and January 13 to 22 and 12,000 per day from January 2 to 12 and January 23 to 31. On the other hand, it released 5,500 virtual service tickets online for January 1, 2, 13, 22, and 26, all of which were booked within minutes.
The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam governs the hill-shrine of Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala. It will also release 155,000 tickets for sarvadarshan tickets for January today.
The board is also set to allot unutilised Udayasthamana Arjitha Seva to raise funds for three major projects, including construction of a super-speciality children’s hospital, reports suggest.
The tickets will be available both online and offline. Each ticket will cost Rs 1 crore on all days except Friday. The ticket for Fridays will be available for Rs 1.50 crore. The allotment is likely to generate Rs 600 crore for the board.
Udayasthamana Arjitha Seva was launched in 1981, but stopped in 1995 before being officially wound up in 2006. When first introduced, tickets were priced at Rs 1 lakh. The board sold around 2,600 tickets. However, 531 tickets have been left unutilised. Now, the board has decided to allot these tickets, the reports said.
The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam has also made it mandatory for devotees to have a certificate of vaccination with both doses or a negative Covid-19 report for darshan. The board has implemented new regulations to protect the health of devotees amid a steady increase in the number of devotees.