Tirumala: With the spike in Covid-19 cases, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) has decided to suspend the issuance of Sarva Darshan tokens at Tirupati from April 12. Sarva Darshan tokens will only be issued till Sunday evening. Chittoor is one of the five Covid hotspot districts in the State and it is witnessing a surge in daily count. On Wednesday, Chittoor recorded 296 new infections and its cumulative Covid tally crossed the 91,000-mark. Of the daily count of 296 in the district, 120 cases were reported in Tirupati urban and 48 cases in Tirupati rural mandals.
As thousands of pilgrims congregate at Bhudevi Complex and Vishnu Nivasam for Sarva Darshan tokens, there is a every likelihood of surge in Covid cases. Hence, the TTD has decided to suspend issuance of tokens from Monday. The TTD said it will formally announce resumption of darshan tokens’ issue once the Covid surge subsides.
After Tirumala temple opened on June 9 last year post lockdown, the TTD started issuing about 3,000 Sarva Darshan tokens a day. It increased the number of tokens to 22,000 during week days and to 24,000 on weekends in March. However, the TTD had reduced the number of tokens to 15,000 from April 1 with the spike in Covid cases.
TTD appoints Mukhya Archakas
The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) on Wednesday issued fresh orders appointing Archakas, who will serve the presiding deity in Sri Venkateswara temple. The Deputy Executive Officer of Tirumala temple issued the orders creating hierarchical positions such Chief Priest, Mukhya Archaka and Archaka.
The TTD appointed four from the hereditary families — Gopinath Deekshitulu of Gollapalli family, Rajesh Deekshitulu of Paidipalli family, Ravi Chandra Deekshitulu of Peddinti family and Narayana Deekshitulu of Tirupatamma family — as Mukhya Archakas. The appointments were made to fill the Mukhya Archaka vacancies as per GO Ms N0 855 of 1989, Deputy EO Harindranath said. AV Ramana Deekshitulu will be the Chief Priest of Tirumala temple.