An “unprecedented pilgrim rush” at the Tirumala Venkateshwara Swamy temple has pushed the sarva darshanam waiting time to over 48 hours.
The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams officials are appealing to the devotees planning to visit Tirumala now to reschedule their visit.
On Saturday, 89,318 pilgrims could avail darshan while about 30,000 more were on the hill waiting.
Temple authorities have canceled the VIP break darshan facility till Wednesday, to allow more pilgrims inside the temple.
The Covid-19 situation easing after two years, summer vacations and the weekend have contributed to the heavy flow onto the hill shrine.
“There is an ocean of devotees on the Tirumala hill now. The pilgrim influx is higher than at the time of Vaikunta Ekadasi, Garuda Seva like most auspicious days. As a result, Srivari Darshan is taking over 48 hours,” a senior official said.
While all the queue lines and 30 waiting compartments in the Vaikuntam complex are brimming to their capacities, the line outside has extended up to two kms. At the Alipiri toll gate, the entry point into the Tirumala hills at Tirupati, long lines of vehicles are waiting their turn.
“It is possible to allow up to 4500 pilgrims per hour into the temple but about 8000 are adding every hour. We request the devotees to take note of the present situation in Tirumala and alter their pilgrimage plans accordingly to avoid any sort of inconvenience,” TTD executive officer Dharma Reddy said, after inspecting the queue lines on Saturday evening.
The rush is expected to continue for a few more days. The temple hundi collection on Saturday was Rs 3.76 crore while on Thursday 26 May it was a whopping Rs 5.43 crore.
Meanwhile, 48,539 tonsures were carried out on Saturday.
Though officials said that elaborate arrangements were made to provide drinking water, milk, and annaprasadam to the pilgrims in the queues, some people complained that they did not get the provisions or received them very late.