The image of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) on Sunday suffered a severe blow when the infuriated pilgrims broke the iron gates of the queue compartments and barged into the corridors of the Vaikuntam complex for the darshan of Lord Venkateswara.
Pilgrims, enraged at the interminable waiting hours, not only raised slogans against the management but also resorted to gate crashing. In all the iron gates of four compartments in the labyrinthine complex have been reportedly damaged. The TTDs Vigilance and Security personnel and the local police immediately rushed to the spot and pacified the pilgrims and brought things under control.
Here it may be mentioned that the temple town has been groaning under the impact of huge pilgrim crowd in connection with the Vaikunta Ekadasi festival. For the second day on Sunday, there has been no respite in the surge of pilgrim crowd. The queue lines stretched over to a couple of kilometres outside the massive queue complexes. Pilgrims spent their night in the darshan lines daring the bone-biting chill weather.
It took more than twenty hours for the common pilgrims in the dharma darshan lines to get darshan of the deity. As a breather the management partially relaxed the issuance of special entry darshan tickets.
Festival mood remained all-encompassing on Vaikunta Dwadasi on Sunday. Thousands of devotees took a holy dip at the temple tank in connection with the ‘Chakrasnanam’ organised in the small hours of the day.
Meanwhile thousands of devotees who failed to secure any kind of darshan tickets returned to their native destinations without the darshan of the deity. Serpentine queue lines were witnessed at the laddu issuing counters. In addition to this, pilgrims were also subjected to difficulties with the shortfall in the bus services to Tirupati.