TIRUPATI: Nearly, 2.4 lakh sacred laddoos of the Lord Venkateswara of Tirumala hill shrine were sold on the first day of sales in the headquarters of 12 districts of Andhra Pradesh on Monday, said an official.
Hordes of devotees queued up for the sacred ‘laddoo prasadam’ at the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) marriage halls (Kalyana Mandapams) and information centres. They had to comply with all COVID-19 precautions under the close watch of government officials.
Interestingly, the whole stock of laddoos was sold within the first few hours in all the districts, the official said.
The devotees also appeared to be more than happy to buy the laddoos for an added reason. As a token of gift during lockdown for the devotees, the TTD has reduced its price from Rs 50 and sold it at Rs 25, the official said.
Earlier, the TTD suspended the darshan for devotees from March 20th keeping in view the dangers of rapid Coronavirus spread and also due to the nationwide lockdown to contain the pandemic. As a result, the hill shrine remains with a deserted look since then for so long, perhaps for the first time in the recorded history of the famous temple.
After the laddoo sale on Monday across Andhra Pradesh, the TTD is now waiting for a clearance from the governments of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Telangana to put the laddoos for sale in Chennai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad during the lockdown, a board official has said.