Traffic Restrictions and Barricades Create Discomfort for Tirumala Devotees:
Large crowds of pilgrims who had assembled to witness the Garuda Vahanam procession faced significant confusion and difficulties in accessing the viewing galleries near the Tirumala temple.
The day started with a surge of devotees gathering at the entrance gates leading to the galleries located on the four mada streets encircling the Tirumala temple. These galleries provide excellent vantage points for observing the Garuda Seva procession.
Nevertheless, despite the preparations made by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) and the security provided by the Tirupati district police, pilgrims found themselves scurrying from one entry point to another in a frantic attempt to reach the galleries.
At some entrance points, emotions flared as security personnel engaged in disputes with disappointed pilgrims who were unable to gain entry to the galleries. Regrettably, many pilgrims were unable to access the galleries because they had already reached their full capacity of nearly 2 lakh by the evening.
The traffic conditions also added to the pilgrims’ woes. Tirupati police distributed passes to four-wheelers heading towards TTD at different points along the highway. However, the parking facilities in TTD were soon overwhelmed, with 15,000 vehicles reaching their maximum capacity.
As a result, private vehicles were not permitted to proceed beyond the Alipiri checkpoint. Devotees were compelled to park their vehicles in areas like Devlok and nearby establishments near Alipiri, from where they had to board APSRTC buses to reach Tirumala.