Tirupati (AP): A four-hour long cleansing ceremony was conducted amid chanting of Vedic hymns at the famous hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara near here on Tuesday ahead of the annual ‘Brahmotsavams’ festivals, first of which begins Thursday.
As part of the Koil Alwar Tirumanjanam ceremony, the high priests along with top officials and a few hundred staff cleaned the entire temple complex, including the sanctum sanctorum.
After a process of combing and pumping of water, an aromatic paste made of herbs, sandalwood, turmeric and refined camphor was applied on the walls, roofs and pillars of the 2000-year old shrine, an official told.
In the process, the millennia-old idol of the presiding deity, Lord Venkateswara, was fully covered with a wrap.
The moveable centuries-old idols of gods and goddess and its related worship golden and silver utensils at the sanctum Santorum were also shifted to ante-chambers during the cleansing ceremony, the official said.
In view of the ceremony, devotees were allowed into the temple only from noon.
The first nine-day festivities — Adhika Masa Brahmotsavm — would begin on September 13 with the hoisting of flag by the high priests while the regular Navaratri Brahmotsavam would commence on October 10, the official said.
Elaborate security and other arrangements have been made for the smooth conduct of the festivals.