7,000 pilgrims participate in Metlotsavam

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Tirupati, Jun 30 (UNI) As a prelude to the TTD's Diamond Jubilee (Amruthotsavam) celebrations to be held from July 7, devotional fervour marked the 'Metlotsavam' (festival of steps) conducted by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams(TTD) at the foot of the Tirumala hills in Alipiri here today.

Thousands of devotees, including TTD employees, who thronged the venue in traditional attire, offered prayers to each of the steps leading to the hill shrine and sang bhajans on Lord Venkateswara.

As many as 7,000 devotees in large numbers took part in the 'Metlotsavam.' Speaking on the occasion, TTD Chairman B Karunakara Reddy and Executive officer K V Ramanachary said the event was conducted as a prelude to the TTDs Amruthotsavam, performing on the completion of 75 years of TTD.

In 1933, the Madras Legislature passed a special act, which empowered the Tirumala Tirupatyi Devasthanams (TTD) committee to control and administer a fixed group of temples in Tirumala-Tirupati area, through a Commissioner appointed by the then Government of Madras.

The four-day celebrations of the TTDs Amruthotsavams will begin with the inauguration by President Pratibha Patil on July 7. Mr Reddy said many temples were established at the foot of the Tirumala hills and various development works were taken up including development of 'pilgrims kalibata from down hills to Tirumala' for benefit of the pilgrims.

TTD had distributed religious books related to Venkateswara Swamy and provided free darshnam and food to those who participated in the Metlotsavam.

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