President offers prayers at Tirumala temple

Tirupati, July 1 (IANS) APresident Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday offered prayers at the Tirumala temple of Lord Venkateswara, seeking blessings for welfare of all human beings.

He was accompanied by his son Abhijeet Mukhrje, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.

Clad in traditional dress as per the custom of the temple, the president had darshan of Lord Venkateswara.

Speaking on this occasion, he said he is energised every time he comes to Tirumala.

“The very sight of Lord energises me every time I visit this holy place and I prayed Him to bestow His divine blessings on the entire humanity,” a statement by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) quoted Mukherjee as saying.

TTD chairman Ch. Krishnamoorthy, TTD executive officer D. Sambasiva Rao and other officials welcomed him amidst the Vedic chants by temple priests and Mangala Vaidyam.

A.V. Ramana Deekshitulu, one of the priests, explained to the president about the importance of the presiding deity, his ornaments, different idols in Sannidhi and the mythological importance of Tirumala temple.

After darshan, the president was given holy water – Teertham, Melchat Seshavastram and was extended Satari honours.

The president later had darshan of sub-shrines including Vakulamata, Vimana Venkateswara, Bhashyakarulu, Sri Yoga Narasimha Swamy and made the offerings in Srivari Hundi.

TTD offered prasadam and laminated photo of the deity to the country’s first citizen.

Earlier, Mukherjee visited Sri Bhu Varaha Swamy temple following the temple tradition which is in vogue since several centuries. Before offering prayers to Adivaraha, he also paid a visit to Swamy Pushkarini and sprinkled holy waters over his head.

The TTD, which manages the affairs of the famous temple, made elaborate arrangements for the president’s visit, closing down ‘darshan’ for all other pilgrims from 12 noon.

After landing at Renigunta Airport from Hyderabad, where he is on a southern sojourn, the president drove to Tiruchanoor and offered prayers at Padmavathi temple.

Accompanied by the governor and the chief minister, he performed puja at Padmavathi temple before reaching Tirumala.

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