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Animals Take to Streets as Covid-19 Lockdown Keeps Pilgrims away from Tirupati

Representative image

Representative image

Located on top of the holy seven hills of Seshachalam forest, the temple is generally bereft of wild animals when it is open due to the rush of pilgrims.

Hyderabad: With the nationwide lockdown having kept pilgrims away from religious shrines, several wild animals have been spotted at Lord Venkakateswara's Tirumala temple in Tirupati. After 128 years, this is the first time the temple has had to close its doors to devotees, with 30 to 40 million of them visiting each day when it remains opened.

Located on top of the holy seven hills of Seshachalam forest, the temple is generally bereft of wild animals when it is open due to the rush of pilgrims.

But now, several can be seen strolling on the roads. A few days ago, a large group of deer was seen on the ghat roads of Tirumala. At the same place at the beginning of lockdown, two black cobras were spotted, which were later rescued by forest officers. The next day, two black bears entered the streets near the main temple entrance.

A leopard, spotted a few days ago, sat in the middle of the main road leading to the temple.

first published:April 24, 2020, 20:48 IST