Tirupati temple to build dining hall for 10,000 pilgrimsApril 27th, 2008 - 9:52 pm ICT by admin
Tirupati, April 27 (IANS) The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) Trust board, which manages the affairs of what is the country’s richest temple, has decided to build a mega dining hall to accommodate 10,000 people at a time. TTD authorities said 10,000 pilgrims could dine at one time in the proposed mega ‘annadanam’ complex, which will be constructed at a cost of Rs.3.14 billion. Another building will also be constructed to provide accommodation for 12,000 pilgrims.
This was among several key decisions the board took Sunday to improve amenities for pilgrims visiting the Lord Venkateshwara temple, located on the Tirumala hills.
The board decided that its platinum jubilee celebrations titled ‘Amrutasevam’ would begin in June this year. Several programmes would be held during the year-long celebrations to mark 75 years of the board.
The board decided to train priests in the temples located in Dalit majority areas.
It also decided to provide financial assistance for education of the children of its employees. Those studying medicine and dentistry will get Rs.55,000 and Rs.40,000 a year respectively. Students who score above 500 marks out of the total 600 in claass 10 final examination, will be given Rs.300 per month as financial assistance till their post-graduation education.
The board announced that it would construct 1,020 flats for its employees in Tirupati town.
The board decided to sell ‘mangalsutras’ of five and ten grammes each made of gold with the Lord’s image. These wouldbe sold at stalls in the temple premises.
TTD, which recently approved a budget of Rs.19.25 billion for 2008-09, runs several educational and welfare organizations. It pays more than Rs.1.6 billion as salaries to its employees every year.
Hindus from across the country and abroad visit the temple and make offerings in the ‘hundi’ (collection box). The ‘hundi’ collections alone annually account for Rs.4.25 billion while the temple also earns Rs.1 billion from the sale of human hair.
About 50,000 people visit the temple every day and the number crosses 100,000 on special occasions.