Devotees of Lord Venkateshwara Swamy temple in Tirumala might get the opportunity to have darshan just 30 feet from the sanctum sanctorum if the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), which manages India’s richest shrine, has its way. The TTD authorities are seriously examining a proposal to create two additional exit doors on either side of Ramulavari Meda, the penultimate door of the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.
This will allow pilgrims to offer prayers from a distance of only 30 feet. At present, the devotees are allowed the ‘Maha Laghu Darshan’ (very brief look) of the god from Bangaru Vakili or Jaya Vijaya Bheri, which is about 200 feet from the sanctum sanctorum, during peak hours. The next best darshan during non-peak hours is “Laghu Darshan” (brief look) which can be done from a distance of 100 feet.Only a small number of devotees, mostly VVIPs, will get the opportunity to have a complete look of the god from crown to the lotus feet, from Kulasekhara Padi, the threshold of the last door.
With the latest proposal of the TTD to provide two additional exit doors for the main temple, the pilgrims will get an opportunity to get the perfect glimpse of the presiding deity, if not the total sanctum sanctorum. “After all, every devotee wants to have a complete darshan of the god and not just the crown or face from a long distance. The latest proposal will give such an opportunity to the devotees,” a source in the TTD said.The new proposal, according to the TTD sources, will also help more number of pilgrims have darshan and leave the complex quickly.
At present, the devotees have to make a U-turn in front of the sanctum sanctorum to leave the temple. This results in slow movement of devotees in the queue. If two additional exit doors are created, they can go out of the complex without causing any inconvenience to the incoming devotees, the sources said.But the idea of constructing two exit doors in the main temple complex is still being discussed within the TTD trust board, and has not taken the shape of any formal proposal.
The authorities would have to tamper with the main temple structure and take up demolition on either side to provide for additional exit doors, which is against the Agama Sastra (vedic scriptures), which dictates the temple rituals.”For that the TTD authorities have to convince the Agama pundits and Seers who have laid down certain rules to run the temple. After all, god has to be accessible to all his devotees,” a temple authority said. According to an estimate, if all the devotees are allowed up to Ramula Vari Meda in the present conditions with each devotee being provided darshan for two seconds, the TTD authorities can allow a maximum of 30,000 devotees per day.