Monday, Oct 06, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
TIRUPATI. Oct. 5. The hill temple of Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala has netted Rs. 7.25 cr. during the nine-day annual Brahmotsavam, which came to an end today with the customary `Chakrasnanam.'
Talking to mediapersons at Tirumala at the end of the grant fete, the TTD's Executive Officer, Ajeya Kallam, reeled out some interesting statistics about the festival, which attracted eight lakh pilgrims from all over the country.
There was however no significant increase in Brahmotsavam earnings, which is believed to be due to the tension following the abortive bid to assassinate the Chief Minister, Chandrababu Naidu, in a mine blast on the Tirumala ghat road on Garuda seva day. The Rs. 7.25 cr. includes collections from the hundi, sale of laddus, sale of various seva tickets and the rents received from the cottages, guest-houses etc.
As for the other important statistics, 4.6 lakhs of laddus were sold this year against 3.6 lakhs last year. Similarly about 2.42 lakh pilgrims had their heads tonsured against last year's 2.10 lakhs, 3.11 lakh pilgrims were given a free meal under Nitya Annadanam scheme against 2.7 lakhs. The number of pilgrims ferried up and down the Tirumala-Tirupati ghat road during the festival was 4.94 lakhs this year as against last year's 5.05.
The highlight of this year's fete was the floral decorations -- 340 metric tonnes of flowers and fruits reached the hill temple as donations from devotees from all over the country and nearly 200 flower designers from Chennai, Bangalore, Calcutta were involved in decoration work under the TTD's Sri Vari Seva service.
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