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Thursday, Dec 27, 2001

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Southern States - Andhra Pradesh

Fervour marks Vaikunta Ekadasi
By Our Staff Reporter

TIRUMALA, DEC. 26. The annual `Vaikunta Ekadasi' festival was today observed in the temple of Lord Venkateswara amidst ecstasy.

The `Vaikunta Dwaram' encircling the sanctum sanctorum of the Lord, which is opened only once in a year on this day, was thrown opened to the devotees. According to mythology, it is strongly believed that, any person who passes through this `Vaikunta Dwaram' on this particular day, straightaway attains salvation. The interiors of the Vaikunta dwaram were tastefully decorated with flowers and illuminated.

In connection with the festival, the processional deities of Lord Malayappa swamy along with His two divine consorts Sri Devi and Bhu Devi mounted atop the golden chariot were dragged around the main thoroughfares of the sacred shrine this morning. Several thousands of devotees lined up the streets to witness the colourful festival.

The entire town wore a festive look. Jubilance and joy marked the day.

In view of the festival, the T.T.D. management dispensed withy all pre-dawn rituals but regulated VIP entrance tickets to facilitate the VIPs.

There was no sign of any drop in the turnout of the pilgrim crowd. The waiting time for Sudarshan ticketholders got stretched to the 29th of this month, almost consuming three days in the process.

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