Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu Tuesday offered prayers at the famous hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala. An ardent devotee of Lord Venkateswara, Mr.Naidu arrived here Monday evening after inaugurating an Indian Culinary Institute, built by the Ministry of Tourism at a cost of Rs 100 crore, near Renigunta airport, 15 km from here. After an overnight stay on the hills, he visited the shrine at the crack of the dawn and spent about 20 minutes in the temple, sources said. On his arrival at the shrine, he was accorded a warm welcome and taken to the sanctum sanctorum by the priests and officials of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) that governs the ancient shrine.
Mr.Venkaiah, accompanied by his family, chose to stand in the queue and walk along the Vaikuntam queue complex along with other devotees. This is a departure from usual procedure of constitutional heads and Heads of States of other countries being allowed into the temple through the Mahadwaram, thus surpassing the queue. While speaking to media persons, the Vice President urged all the dignitaries, leaders and politicians to minimise their visits to the temple town of Tirumala and thereby give scope for common people to worship the deity.