Tirumala Hills, which is the abode of Lord Venkateswara, which normally sees tens of thousands of devotees from different parts of the world, on Friday wore a deserted look owing to the outbreak of COVID-19, a temple official said.
The entry of devotees into the shrine of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala has been banned temporarily for seven days since Friday afternoon in the wake of the virus scare, the official said.
After allowing those who had already reached the hills on Thursday into the shrine until afternoon, the gates of all queue lines leading to the shrine have been shut, the official told PTI.
All routes including stairways and hill roads leading to Tirumala from the foot of the hills called Alipiri were closed since Thursday evening, he said adding that the devotees who were unaware of the situation and unknowingly arrived at Alipiri were being persuaded to leave, he said.
The daily rituals and other traditional observances would, however, be conducted as usual to the presiding deity of Lord Venkateswara at the over 2000-year-old hill shrine, he said.
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