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Plan to Stop Special Paid Darshan Tickets at Tirumala Tirupati Balaji Temple

Tirumala Tirupati Lord Venkateshwara temple is considering to do away with all kinds of special darshan tickets, reserved sevas and paid worships. It is a welcome move as the so called VIP darshan tickets and other paid worships creates two classes of devotees at the world famous abode of Lord Balaji – poor and rich. Such tickets bought using money power by impatient devotees, cause inconvenience to poor devotees who stand in long queues for hours and often reminding them of their poor social status even before the Lord.

M. L. Melly Maitreyi writes in The Hindu about the plan to de-commercialize the Tirupati Temple

In a significant initiative to ‘de-commercialise’ the world-famous temple of Lord Venkateshwara and enhance the spiritual experience for devotees, the Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) Board is contemplating scrapping of special darshan tickets as also some of the ‘Arjita Sevas’ (paid worship).

In tune with the reforms, the Board recently constituted a two-member committee to study the feasibility of such an initiative and submit a report.

The effort now was to change the existing practices at Tirumala and provide equal access to all devotees, irrespective of their social status. In order to ensure a smooth transition, the committee would consider various implications of removing ‘Arjita Sevas’ as some of them were booked years in advance.

It must be noted that Vaishno Devi shrine recently started paid darshan and they defended the decision by citing Tirupati Temple as an example. So it is time for Tirupati Temple to lead by example and do away with all sorts of paid darshans and VIP treatments.