Abode of spiritual environment
Come Brahmotsavams, the four Mada Streets around the Srivari temple at Tirumala become a treasure trove of devotional culture and new address for spiritual environment. What was once the congested by lanes of Tirumala township has now shaped into a vast open-air theatre showcasing the cultural and spiritual activities of Tirumala Tirupati.
Accommodating nearly 2 lakh devotees on its galleries the Mada Streets are now bristling with activity throughout the year wearing festive look with rangolis, bright arch lights, bhajan, sangeet in six to seven platforms in galleries, huge LCDs presenting the daily rituals inside the temple and other cultural activities beamed by the in house SVBC channel. "In nut shell the Mada Streets have become the front face of TTD, demonstrating its devotional and cultural agenda,” says Dr D Sambasiva Rao, the TTD EO.
The glittering procession of utsava deities, Lord Malayappaswamy and his consorts- Sridevi and Bhoodevi– on festivals, Brahmotsavams, on full moon days (pournami) and auspicious events like Vaikunta Ekadasi, Ratha Sapthami etc., on the Mada Streets is a feast to the pious minded. Over years the TTD has transformed the once crowded, congested slum like area behind the temple into a state of art' devotion square'.
Special steel arches, public address system, arc spot lights, CC cameras, comfortable cemented step seats, toilets and drinking water outlets have been set up. The TTD has put up three layer iron grill barricades all along the ‘Mada’ streets encircling the hill shrine. The decision behind the move is to further strengthen the security to the Hill temple in view of the threat perception.
'The devotees after darshan at Srivari Temple could settle down for processions and enjoy the cultural activities- bhajans, vishesa vesha dharanas, folk arts, nama sankeertans showcased by TTD. “We also supply food, tea and snacks for devotees at the galleries”, says the JEO Sri K S Sreenivasa Raju.
The Mada Streets stretching 2.5 kms on the four sides of the Srivari temple have become beehive of activity during the nine-day festival of Brahmotsavam. Pious devotees call it ‘Thiru Mada Veedhi”. They even kiss the ground and wear its dust on their fore head in reverence.
What was a sore sight behind the sacred Srivari temple a decade ago comprising of dilapidated buildings, unkempt streets, dangerously hanging electrification and poor sanitation spots has now become a major attraction of devotees from cross the country. “The Lord Venkateswara has been walking on these paths since several centuries” they say.
During the present Brahmnotsavam, Mada Streets became the nerve centre of cultural activities with over 750 artists performing both mornings and evenings. “Just a fleeting view of Srivaru is enough for me” cries Ramanamma, 60 year old devotee from Salem who has waited for almost 12 hours in the queue line after walking up the arduous 9 kms to Tirumala from Tirupati.