Are you planning Tirupati darshan? A big disappointment awaits VIPs who want the darshan of Lord Balaji, the presiding deity of Tirumala hills. The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam administration has ruled out VIP darshan at the shrine, making it clear that any requests regarding the same cannot be entertained. This decision comes in the wake of the announcement of the election schedule for the general assembly Lok Sabha elections. The curb on VIP darshan at Tirupati is expected to be enforced without any relaxation.
Recommendation letters of elected or formerly elected representatives is not likely to be entertained, the temple authorities have clarified. They have appealed to members of all political parties to cooperate and not make any political statements in the vicinity surrounding the temple premises, keeping in mind that it is the abode of Lord Balaji.
Leaders from across all political parties in India are known to visit Tirupati and offer prayers frequently at the abode of Lord Balaji. Not just from India, but even political leaders and elected representatives from other nations come to pay their obeisance to Lord Balaji at Tirumala hills. Earlier this month, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe offered prayers at the shrine for the fourth time.
Before offering obeisance to the deity, Wickremesinghe performed the tradition of offering ‘Tulabharam’, according to which a devotee is seated on a structure that resembles a larger version of a weighing balance and offers any commodities like sugar, rice, bananas, essential items that can be used to prepare a meal, precious items or money equivalent to the body weight.
It is estimated that around 50,000 devotees visit the Lord Balaji temple daily. Planning ahead and booking darshan tickets online is an effective way to make the entire process more convenient and comfortable. Special darshan tickets have also been made available on the site but the real challenge is that the online booking can be made for only one day in advance and the maximum is ten days.
For senior citizens and physically challenged pilgrims, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams have arranged for a special darshan from a separate gate and two time slots are made available for the same.