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Steady rise in pilgrims visiting Tirumala, revenue back at pre-Covid levels

G. Naga Sridhar Hyderabad | Updated on January 11, 2021

Nearly six months after the Tirumala Venkateshwara Temple opened its doors to devotees after being shut down for over 80 days on account of Covid, the snaking queues of devotees are back in sight.

The number of devotees visiting the temple shrine has now reached more than half the pre-Covid numbers.

On an average, 40,000 devotees have availed darshan every day in the last one month. In pre-Covid times, 75,000 pilgrims had darshan every day.

``The significant dip in the number of new Covid-19 cases in Andhra Pradesh, normalcy in public transport and availability of accommodation are driving more devotees to Tirumala,’’ a senior official of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) told BusinessLine on Sunday.

The months of December and January usually see huge numbers on account of the new year, he added.

Normal

For pilgrims, Tirumala now presents an almost ‘normal’ picture, V. Ramana, a devotee who had a darshan last week, said.

``I had darshan in June last year, immediately after the shrine was reopened. The fear about Covid and hesitation among the devotees I noticed then is now absent,’’ Ramana added.

A close watch is being kept to identify devotees showing cold, cough and fever symptoms, and they are being discouraged from visiting the temple town.

Precautions

Precautionary measures are also being maintained. Wearing of masks, use of hand sanitisers and social distancing are being regularly monitored.

Revenue

TTD’s revenue has now een stabilised. The daily hundi (parakamani) collection, used to average Rs 2.5 crore in the pre-Covid-19 period.But, since December last year, the daily hundi collection has been to the tune of Rs 2.9 crore.

Published on January 10, 2021

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