'Vaikuntha Dwara' darshanam at Lord Venkateswara temple will be held only for two days, on January 6 and 7, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) Trust Board Chairman YV Subbareddy said on Sunday.
"Vaikuntha Dwara darshanam will be made available for two days only, on Monday and Tuesday. January 6 and 7, on the eve of Vaikuntha Ekadasi," Subbareddy said at a press conference.
Subbareddy also added that the board had decided to give a 'Laddu prasadam' to the devotees at the temple. "One Ladoo prasadam will be provided free of cost to every pilgrim visiting the hill temple. Pilgrims who wish to have more Ladoos can purchase them at Rs 50 for each piece," he said.
The TTD board of trustees had held a high-level committee meeting with the TTD Additional Executive Officer as a convener with a religious bent of mind to hold consultations with renowned spiritual leaders over the issue of extending the Vaikunta Dwara darshanam for ten days.
Thereafter, TTD board held a press conference and said that the board has decided to continue the existing tradition in its true spirit for this year, confining it to two days. The emergency meeting was called following the Andhra Pradesh High Court's directives to make a decision about extending the darshan process to 10 days. The HC had issued directives to TTD trust board after a PIL was filed concerning the same.
The 'gopura kalasam' - inverted pot-like metal object atop the tower, of Kothanda Ramar temple, was allegedly stolen on Friday, police said. They suspect that the kalasam could have been stolen and smuggled to Sri Lanka.
Gopura Kalasam is sold in various countries, including Malaysia and Singapore for its antique, mystic qualities and transcendental powers to bring prosperity and wealth.
"It fetches a very high price ranging from Rs 10 lakh to one crore," an official of the idol wing said. "The 'hundial' of the temple was stolen about a few months ago," they said. "An investigation is on," they added.