Rahul Gandhi treks up Tirupati hills to pray to Lord Venkateswara

Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh): Congress president Rahul Gandhi Friday offered prayers at the famous hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala, near here.

On his arrival at the temple main entrance, Rahul was accorded a warm welcome by the hill temple management. After quickly trekking the nearly 10-km-long steep stairway leading to the ancient hill shrine, the Congress chief paid obeisance to the presiding deity, Lord Venkateswara, a temple official told PTI.

It took about two hours for Rahul to reach the sacred hills, the official said. After his spiritual trek from the foot of the hill at Alipiri in Tirupati in the afternoon, the Congress president made a brief halt at a heavily guarded Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams guest house on the hill and later visited the shrine, the official said.

After prayers, he was offered the sacred silk cloth, prasadam, and a holy memento, the temple official said.

He was in the temple for about 20 minutes. Tight security arrangements were put in place on the hills and all through the route leading to the hill shrine.

Later, Rahul left the hills to address a rally at Sri Venkateswara University Stadium here.