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President to inaugurate TTD platinum jubilee fete

A. Devarajan

Sri Venkateswara Bhakti Channel also to be launched

-Photo: K. V. Poornachandra Kumar

Precious items: An exhibition of artefacts of the TTD in Tirupati in connection with the inauguration of its Platinum Jubilee.

TIRUPATI: The stage is all set for the grand gala opening of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations on Monday by President Prathibha Devisingh Patil.

As to the medieval history of the TTD with the advent of the British, the management of the temple of Lord Venkateswara had passed into the hands of the East India Company in 1801.

There are archival evidences to Lord Clive in 1800 AD giving instructions to the Nawab of Arcot in connection with the arrangements to be made for affording conveniences to a dignitary who visited Tirumala on pilgrimage. Mackenzie manuscripts of 1801 (Vol.XVI page 476-C clearly recorded the boundaries of the ‘Seven Hills’ spread over 250 sq km.

The ‘Company’ managed the Tirumala temple under the well-defined rules contained in the ‘Bruce Code’ drawn up in 1821 based on the previous usages and customs and did not interfere in its day to day affairs.

Formed in 1932

It had for this purpose transferred in 1843 the management of the temple to the Head of the Hathiramji Mutt, Tirupati who managed its affairs until the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams Act of 1932 was enacted for better governance.

The TTD Act was, however, superseded by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act of 1951.

Seventy-five years is not a small period in the history of any organisation more so for a premier religious organisation like the TTD with its annual budget hovering around a whopping Rs. 1,000 crore.

An autonomous institution being managed since its inception by trust boards appointed by the successive State governments, the TTD management besides ensuring the proper conduct of the temple rituals, festivals and fares.

Maintenance of educational institutions, hospitals, home for the aged, orphans, hospitals including a super-speciality hospital and an advanced centre for the curing the physically-challenged, leprosy patients. The latest addition to its list of social-medicare schemes is ‘SRAVANAM’, conceived to cure hearing-impairment among the infants.

Another focus area of the TTD is the spread of spiritualism, propagation, protection and promotion of Hinduism, its scriptures, literature, values, culture and heritage through a range of programmes spending enormous funds through its umbrella organisation -- Hindu Dharma Rakshana Samstha (HDRS).

“We will go all out for effective implementation of all these programmes, come what may,” asserted TTD Trust Board Chairman B. Karunakar Reddy at a news conference on Sunday.

TTD Executive Officer K.V. Ramanachary cited in this connection Sri Venkateswara Bhakthi Channel -- a television network which would be inaugurated by the President tomorrow in the temple of Lord Venkateswara at a pre-dawn programme.

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