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Flower-Starved TTD Banks Heavily On Donors

Non-availability of land in Tirumala – abode of the temple of Lord Venkateswara —has forced the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams to depend on donors to meet the daily floral requirement. The daily floral requirement of the world-famous hill temple is put at 250 kg and the TTD procures an additional of 500 kg of flowers from the Farmers Horticulture Society in Kuppam to serve the needs of the other temples under its fold.

TTD gardens:- TTD gardens are spread across about 20 acres, but most of the land is devoted to ornamental gardening, leaving the management with just about five to six acres to grow flowers used in daily worship at the temple. Just about 40 to 50 kg of flowers of select varieties are grown in the existing extent.

Further, the condition laid down by the Sanatana Dharma Prachara Sadassu that only fresh water be used for growing flowers has further compounded the difficulties of the management which has been employing only treated water for gardening purpose at Tirumala given the frequent drought-like conditions and the steady increase in the pilgrim rush over the years.

To tide over the crisis, the TTD administration floated a novel scheme — 'Pushpa Kainkaryam'— but with the element of 'certainty' eluding it, it did not evoke a good response.

The TTD then got into the donation mode and in the process has successfully developed a core squad of benefactors, particularly from Coimbatore, Salem, Bengaluru and Hyderabad not only to meet its requirement on a daily basis, but also on special occasions such as festivals. When contacted, the Deputy Director of TTD (Gardens) Srinivasulu said even though the flowers are accepted under Pushpa Kainkaryam, the majority of regular donors grow them in their own plots.

Long-time agreement:- Plans are afoot to enter into a long-time agreement with such donors to ensure uninterrupted supply of flowers to the hill temple. The option of developing gardens in the surroundings areas of Tirupati, however, remains a distant possibility.

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