Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams
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Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams abbreviated as TTD is an independent trust which manages the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple at Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh. The trust oversees the operations and finances of the second richest and the most visited religious center in the world. It is also involved in various social, religious, literary and educational activities. TTD employs about 16,000 people.
Establishment and legislative setting
TTD was established in 1932 as a result of the TTD Act of 1932. According to the Act, administration of the temple was vested to a committee of seven members and overseen by a paid Commissioner appointed by the Madras Government. Advising the committee were two advisory councils – one composed of priests and temple administrators to aid the committee with the operations of the Tirumala temple and another composed of farmers for advise on Tirumala's land and estate transactions.
The Andhra Pradesh Charitable and Hindu Religious Institution and Endowments Act (1969) sections 85 to 91 expanded the provisions of TTD. The number of trustees was expanded from five to eleven with compulsory representation from certain communities. Apart from the responsibilities defined in the previous act, Devasthanam was obliged to promote study of Indian languages, operate Sri Venkateswara University in Tirupati and propagate Hindu Dharma by research, teaching, training and literature creation.
The A.P. Charitable & Hindu Religious Institutions & Endowments Act (1987) superseded the 1979 Act. The Board of Trustees membership was expanded from a maximum of eleven to fifteen and abolished the hereditary rights of temple priests and right to garner a share of the hundi proceeds. After increased pressure from the priests over a long period, the AP government made an amendment to the Act in 2006, to discontinue these two controversial clauses. It is mandatory for non-Hindus to sign a declaration form before entering the hill temple, stating that they have faith in the presiding deity, Lord Venkateswara.
TTD provides various services for pilgrims to Tirumala and Tirupati including bus services, food and accommodation for pilgrims. It maintains the queue management system, facilitates head tonsure and distribution of Laddu. It runs information and ticketing centers in the major towns and cities across the country. It maintains various marriage halls, degree colleges, junior colleges and high schools. Sri Venkateswara Central Library and Research Centre (SVCLRC), established by TTD in 1993, houses approximately 40,000 volumes of books, mainly on religion and philosophy. The Research Wing works towards studying and publishing material related to Hindu religion, produce authentic papers on original Sanskrit texts and provide translations of major Hindu works in regional languages, Hindi and English. Dharma Prachara Parishad was established to propagate the Hindu dharma. TTD also helps promote the age-old cultural heritage of India, in the areas of traditional sculpture and architecture, temple renovation and reconstructions and restoration of Hindu sculptures. Complex queueing algorithms and emerging technologies have been evaluated and implemented to manage the huge crowds with Tata Consultancy Services designing and implementing the software and hardware infrastructure for queue management along with other companies.
Free Bus Service at Tirupati
APSRTC runs free buses from the Tirupati Railway station to Alipiri, with a frequency of 30 minutes. Pilgrims who intend to walk up the hills to Tirumala can use these buses.
- Railway station To Alipiri
- Railway station To Srivari Mettu
Free Bus Service at Tirumala
The Free bus services,operated by TTD in tirumala are known as "Dharma Radhams"There are 12 such buses that pass through cottages,choultries,temples and other places in Tirumala, at a frequency of every 3 minutes in the prescribed time slots.
The food offerings as “Annaprasadams” are being undertaken by TTD in a massive way in Matrusri Tarigonda Vengamamba Annaprasadam Complex at Tirumala, in all the waiting queue lines and compartments of Vaikuntham Queue Complex I and II, foot path routes etc. In Tirupati and Tiruchanoor also the distribution of free food as “Annaprasadam” is being made to not less than 15,000 devotees
Donations given by devotees equal nearly 130 million every month. Auctions of human hair fetched a revenue of INR 150 crores in 2011 and 203 crores in 2012. Temple admission ticket sales fetched a revenue of $25 million in 2007. Laddu, a confectionery, is offered as Lord's prasadam. TTD has procured machines from MICO BOSCH to automate the manufacture of Laddus. Sale of laddus fetched a revenue of staggering $10 million in 2007.
The civet is an endangered cat-like animal that first appeared in historic texts during the 12th century. In these texts, it was depicted that Kings would be bathed in the oil created from the secretion of these cats, called Punugu oil, for aromatic purposes. In the 14th century the oil became known as being a very prestigious perfume. In the 21st century, the temple has used this oil to anoint the sacred image of Sri Venkateswara every Friday. Due to the weekly occurrence of this practice, the TTD reared nine of these civets in the Sri Venkateswara dairy farms to easily collect the secretions. Then in 2002, due to the endangered nature of the animals, this practice came under fire. The topic cropped up again in 2008, this time accompanied by the confiscation of their civets due to the violation of the 1972 Wildlife Protection Act. The temple tried to re-obtain the civets by stating that without these animals it would go against their ageless religious practices. If that plan failed, they had hopes of funding a zoo refuge for these animals and in turn be able to collect their secretions.
- Growth and Development of Tirumala-Tirupati as a Dimension of Indian Civilization, by Talapaneni Subramanyam Naidu, Anthropological survey of India. Published by Anthropological Survey of India, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Dept. of Culture, Govt. of India, 1990.
- A Study of Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanams Educational Institutions: Higher Education, by P. Krishna Murthy. Published by P. Krishna Murthy, 1984.
- "NDTV Report". Retrieved 13 September 2007.
- "TTD - Overview". TTD. Retrieved 15 April 2007.
- The Tirumala Temple. Tirumala: Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams. 1981.
- "Archakas gear up for 48-hour protest". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 24 April 2006. Retrieved 19 April 2007.
- "In Tirumala, declaration by non-Hindus mandatory". 27 July 2012.
- "TTD to use 'hi-tech' methods soon". The Hindu. 8 January 2000. Retrieved 19 April 2007.
- "TTD Budjet for 2013-14".
- "Steps to increase laddu production at Tirumala". The Hindu. 8 January 2000. Retrieved 19 April 2007.
- McHugh, James (April 1, 2012). "The Disputed Civets and the Complextion of the God: Secretions and History in India". Journal of the American Oriental Society (American Oriental Society) 132 (2): 245–273.