Tirumala temple hundi nets record low income of Rs 73 lakh

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Tirupati: The ongoing six-day vedic ceremony at the famous hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara near here has affected daily collections at the sacred ‘hundi,’ which hit a record low of Rs 73 lakh against Rs 3 crore yesterday, a temple official said.

The temple hundi attracts cash offerings to the tune of Rs 3 crore or more besides gold and other offerings on a daily basis, the official said adding the income registered a dip due to restrictions on entry of devotees into the shrine on account of ‘Astabandhana Balalaya Maha Samprokshanam‘ ritual.

The ceremony, held once in 12 years, is conducted by the high priests by undertaking minor structural repairs with herbal paste harder than the concrete mix, amid chanting of vedic hymns.

In view of the sanctified observance at the shrine, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) has resolved to allow less than 30,000 devotees from yesterday, to be regulated during the few hours when the priests temporarily halt their work, the official said.

Earlier, TTD had announced a complete ban on the entry of devotees during the 6-day ritual, drawing flak from devotees. Subsequently, it withdrew its decision.