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Lakhs witness Garuda seva

Staff Reporter

Temple town wears a festive look


  • Devotees congregate several hours in advance to witness the event
  • Deity is adorned with precious and antique ornaments
  • Tough time for security personnel in managing the crowd

    TIRUMALA: Over two lakh devotees participated in the "Garuda seva" festival on Saturday -- the most auspicious event during the ongoing nine- day annual Brahmotsavams of Lord Venkateswara, Tirumala.

    The lord mounted atop the Golden Garuda vahanam was taken out in a grand procession around the Mada streets encircling the holy shrine. The entire temple town wore a festive look and the atmosphere was electrified with the chanting of "Govinda namam'' by tens of thousands of devotees who had congregated several hours in advance to catch a divine glimpse of the sacred procession.

    The processional deity was adorned with precious and antique ornaments like - the Makarakanti haram, Lakshmi haram and Saligrama haram and other diamond ornaments whose history is rooted deep in the legends. The palm-sized emerald adorned on the chest of the Lord was a feast to the eyes of the devotees.

    Bhajan troops

    The repeated appeals by the TTD staff to the devotees not to throw currency coins on the Vahanam proved futile. Scores of bhajan troops followed the procession singing devotional songs in the praise of the Lord. The police and the TTD security personnel had a tough time managing the crowd during the procession.

    Star attraction

    Over half a dozen temple elephants, horses, bulls including Veda gosti led by the TTDs pontiff and the traditional temple band marched ahead of the celestial procession. The rhythmic drum beat by the Udipi melam artistes and the folk artists from Maharashtra, who were specially commissioned for the festival, were the star attraction.

    Earlier, in the evening the sacred umbrellas from Chennai reached Tirumala which were later used during the procession.

    Kanchi seer Jayandra Saraswati witnessed the seva.

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