Vaikunta Ekadasi 2018: Governor ESL Narasimhan, Other Telugu Leaders Throng Tirumala Temple
Tirumala: Political bigwigs and top bureaucrats, particularly from the Telugu States, thronged the abode of Lord Venkateswara Swamy on the occasion of Vaikunta Ekadasi on Tuesday. Pilgrims arrive in large numbers at the hill temple for Uttara Dwara Darshan on the day. This year, Vaikunta Ekadasi and Dwadasi is scheduled to be observed on December 18 and 19.
According to local reports, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) have made elaborate arrangements for the smooth conduct of the rituals. Temporary sheds have been erected around Tirumala's Mada Streets, Alwar Tank and Narayanagiri Gardens with defined entry and exit gates.
"We had provided darshan to nearly 1.7 lakh pilgrims on Vaikunta Ekadasi and Dwadasi in 2017. This year too, arrangements have been made accordingly," Tirumala JEO KS Srinivasa Raju was quoted as saying by the New Indian Express.
Raju said Sarva Darshan began on December 18 around 5.30 am and will last up to midnight of December 19 with a break of less than an hour for Naivedyam. He called upon the staff to provide best services to pilgrims.
If all compartments of Vaikuntam and sheds in Narayanagiri Gardens gets filled, the sheds put up in the four Mada streets would be thrown open for the waiting pilgrims. Arrangements were made for nearly 40,000 pilgrims in the temporary sheds.
The JEO said Srivari Seva volunteers will ensure continuous supply of food and water to devotees. He said over two lakh devotees are expected to have Uttara Dwara Darshan during these two days. Continuous announcements through radio and broadcasting will be given about the entry points in different languages for the benefit of pilgrims, he added.
A day earlier, Governor ESL Narasimhan took every one by surprise when he suddenly decided to personally take stock of the arrangements being made for the Ekadasi. The Hindu stated that Narasimhan went round the Narayanagiri gardens where the TTD had erected elephantine temporary sheds using German technology that provided a protective cover to the pilgrims from all sides particularly from the sweeping cold waves and fog.
The Governor, who spent his night for the second consecutive day atop the sacred town, was also scheduled to have the 'Vaikuntha dwara darshan' in the wee hours of Tuesday.