Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, Andhra and precaution against Corona virus threats!!

Tirumala Sri Venkateswara temple, AP www.maalaimalar.com
Tirumala temple, one of the richest in the world, AP. scroll.in
Above image: The temple town of Tirupati in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh is one of the most popular  and holiest pilgrim centers in India.  Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, on the Tirumala hill (roughly 2500 feet above msl), nestling among the seven hills in the Eastern Ghats, 26 km by Ghat road from Tirupati is the abode of God Vishnu.  The temple stretches 2.2 acres and the main tower- gopuram is 50 feet tall. It is said this revered  temple receives flower donations from all over the world, weighing between 100-200 kilos a day to about 35 tonnes on special occasions!!  Surprisingly, here the hereditary priests (Vaishnavites) carry on the temple rituals with care and dedication for over 200 years.  The Venkateswara Veda Vidgyana Peetham at Dharamagiri has been training priests for 134 years to get the age-old tradition going. Yet another fact, which common people may not be aware of is that,  it is the Jeeyars (Vaishnava Mutt heads) who hold the keys to the sanctum sanctorum. They are the descendants of Sri Ramanuja, a great Hindu philosopher who prescribed the rituals at the temple. Famous for mouth-watering laddus made using the ancient methods  daily bout 3,00,000 laddus are produced  using modern machinery.  Yet another interesting fact is the temple also provides free quality vegetarian food  (anna prasadam) daily  to more than 70,000 devotees visiting the temple. This has been going on for decades.  With a history  dating  back to over twelve centuries, this holy place is one of the richest temples in the world and the daily Hundial (donation) collection is  the highest in the world. You may say there is hardly any Hindu family in India whose members have not been to this holy shrine.  ..................................................
Tirupai temple. m.dailyhunt.in
That the gradual increasing in the spread of  scare of COVID-19 seems to  have made little dent on the devout Hindus across India, in particular Tamil Nadu is quite baffling. Undeterred and not scared, their positive approach to a disease that has become pandemic is a good sign of their trust in God.  The virus that originated in China recently  is squeezing the entire world and, of late, Italy  and USA are facing the heat. What is puzzling is they multiply slowly and steadily over a long period ie one month or so. Lack of proper medication to take care of  infected people is  the most scary thing being faced by many countries.  


In the midst of all anxiety and tension going around nation wide  and abroad, the scar had no impact whatsoever  on the rush to Tirumala, Andhra State - the abode of Lord Sri Venkateswara. The average number of devotees visiting the temple, it is said,  remains at 75,000 per day touching close to 1 lakh  on  weekends. TTD officials   say the rush to the hill will go up during the  ensuing holidays by that time all School / College exams  will be over and most  of the pilgrims to  Tirumala  temple are  from Tamil Nadu. In view of  prevailing COVID-19 threat, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD)  advised devotees against visiting the Venkateswara temple for darsan if they have  even minor symptoms of cold, sore throat or fever.  
The TTD  took additional steps  for the visiting devotees - Audio/video announcements were being made to create awareness on the safety aspects with specific regard to the virus.
The TTD has already taken precaution to prevent the spread of the virus. Medical teams have been stationed at the Alipiri security point and the main entrance to intercept visibly sick persons and check their health condition. The devotees are advised  ''to bring face masks/hand sanitizers and keep a three-feet distance from others. .....The areas of congregation were being sanitized by special teams of the Health department at regular intervals. “Floors, hand rails, toilets and corridors leading to the main temple are being thoroughly cleaned with disinfectants every two hours. Quarantine facility has been created at the hospital in Tirumala whereas testing facility and isolation ward are available at the Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences, Tirupati.”
https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/ttd--