HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: The idol of Tirupati Balaji has been brought to Kathmandu from Andhra Pradesh of India for a marriage ceremony to be held tomorrow.
For the first time, the Tirupati Balaji marriage ceremony will be organised outside India, at Tundikhel from 9:30 am to 8:30 pm, according to the organiser.
“Any one can enter the festival for free and take part in the spiritual fair,” said Upendra Mahato, president of the main organising committee. “However, offering money, flowers and worshiping materials is not allowed.”
A large number of Nepalis visit India to pay obeisance to Tirupati Balaji. “We are organising the fair for the sake of devotees,” Mahato said. “Our spiritual mission is to bless the country with peace, prosperity and development.”
According to the legend, Adi Varaha manifested himself on the western banks of the Swami Pushkarini in Andhra Pradesh, while Vishnu in the form of Venkateswara came to reside on the southern banks.
The statue of the God was brought to Kathmandu in a bus along the Sunauli route today, said Mahato. “A team of 60 persons, including seven Indian priests, departed from Andhra Pradesh for Kathmandu four days ago,” he said. “The statue will be kept here only for a day.”
A rally will begin from Bhatbhateni at 8:00 am and move through Naxal, Dilli Bazaar, Putalisadak to Tundikhel, Shaligram Singh, main coordinator of the festival, said. “The ‘marriage’ of Tirupati Balaji (Lord Vishnu) and Shreedevi-Bhudevi (Laxmi) will be solemnised from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm,” he said. Rajendra Aryal, coordinator of the organising committee, said the government has pledged security for the festival. “Some 800 police personnel will be deployed and many more private security guards will be stationed to manage the crowd,” he said.
Devotees will enter the site from the western gate of Tundhikhel and exit through the eastern gate. “We have arranged public vehicles for devotees till 11:00 pm,” said Aryal.
The organisers, including industrialists, will foot the bills. “We estimate that the fair will cost Rs 8 to 9 million,” Aryal said.
The town of Tirupati Balaji is considered one of the most sacred places for the Hindus. Tirupati Balaji represents Vishnu. Considered the richest temple in the world, the Tirupati Balaji temple is a vibrant cultural and philanthropic institution with a glorious history.
The town of Tirupati is 67 km from Chittoor, the southern portion of Andhra Pradesh. The shrine is located on a hill at Tirumala, a cluster of seven hills known as Venkatachalam, with an elevation of 853m above the sea level.