High priests of the temple performed special rituals at the ancient shrine marking the beginning of the nine-day festivities.
The sacred golden "Pedda Sesha Vahana" procession of Lord Venkateswara was taken out in a grand manner around the shrine with an estimated around one lakh devotees taking part in it, a temple official said.
The entire Tirumala wore a festive look with a large number ofcolourfulelectric illuminated cutouts, depicting several Hindu Gods and Goddesses put up at many places.
The most auspicious event of the festival, "Garuda Seva", that attracts lakhs of devotees, would take place on the night of October 14.
Tight security arrangements, including installation of sophisticated surveillance cameras, had been put in place in and around the temple complex and on the routes leading to the hills, the temple official added.
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