Coronavirus: No Waiting in Queue Complexes for Balaji Devotees

Bhoomi pooja for the construction of Venkateswara Swamy Temple in Mumbai, scheduled for 5 April, has been put off.

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To check the spread of coronavirus, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) on Saturday, 14 March said pilgrims need not wait in massive queue complexes from Tuesday, 17 March as time-slot tokens would be issued for darshan of Lord Balaji in the hill shrine.

Addressing reporters at Tirumala, near here, TTD executive officer Anil Kumar Singhal said, "Following the call by the Andhra Pradesh government to initiate steps to check the prevalence of coronavirus we've contemplated some measures."

The devotees would not be allowed to sit in the compartments of queue complexes to avoid person-to-person contact. "In the given time slots system, the pilgrims would be allowed for darshan by limiting the numbers. The devotees are required bring a government issued ID card along with them to get the time-slot tokens for darshan," he said.

Special counters would be set up in Tirumala and Tirupati to issue such tokens, he said.

The bhoomi pooja for the construction of Venkateswara Swamy Temple in Mumbai, scheduled for 5 April, has been put off following the coronavirus scare, he said.

Certain 'Arjitha Sevas' conducted at the shrine, including Visesha Puja, Sahasra Kalasabhishekam and Vasanthotsavam would remain cancelled to avoid congregation of pilgrims for long duration on the hills.

Seeking divine intervention to safeguard humanity from the dreadful virus, TTD would conduct a three-day Maha Yagam, Srinivasa Shantyotsava Sahita Dhanvantari Maha Yagam from 19 to 21 March, he said.

The yagams would be held under the guidance of the chief pontiff of Visakha Sarada Peetham Swarupanandendra Saraswathi Swamy and Mantralaya Raghavendra Mutt seer Subudendratheertha Swamy, he added.

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