Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams: Wikis

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TTD Logo: Motto says Srinivasa Vijayathe (Victory to Lord Srinivasa)

Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (Telugu: తిరుమల తిరుపతి దేవస్థానములు) also referred as TTD is an independent trust which manages the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple at Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh. The trust not only oversees the operations and finances of the richest and the most visited religious center in the world[1], it is also involved in various social, religious, literary and educational activities within Andhra Pradesh and India. TTD employs about 14,000 people[2] to maintain the 12 temples and sub-shrines under its control along with the execution of its social activities.

Contents

Establishment and legislative setting

The templeTirumala

The Beginning:TTD was established in 1932 as a result of the TTD Act of 1932. According to the act, administration of the temple was vested to a committee of seven members and overseen by a paid commissioner as appointed by the Madras Government. Advising the committee were 2 advisory councils - one comprising of priests and temple administrators to aid the committee with the operations of the Tirumala temple and another comprising of farmers for advise on Tirumala's land and estate transactions. The Act was revolutionary in that no specific qualification for temple administration was laid for the commissioner and the committee members. However the act was limited in scope in temple fund generation and usage for religious purposes.[3]

Madras Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act (1951) superseded the 1932 act and sections 80 to 85 of the act were devoted to administration of TTD. Section 80 laid that a Board of Trustees consisting of five members as appointed by the Madras state government will look after TTD with the members holding office for five years. The act provided for the appointment of an Executive Officer (EO) who would be responsible for the properties and operations of TTD, custody of records of jewels, estate, money and funds of TTD, arrange and record collection of income and payment of expenses as well as execute activities beyond budget sanctioned by board of trustees if it involved pilgrim safety or service and later justify his actions and obtain approval for his actions. According to section 85 of the Act, TTD was to utilize the funds for maintenance and operations of the temples, educational institutes, hospitals, choultries and rest-houses, veterinary hospital under the devesthanam control. Also provisions for water supply, sanitary arrangements, roads and communications, lighting and electricity were also included. Power to acquire land and immovable property was also added, provided TTD had state government permission. The Act also covered training of priests and religious training under devasthanam. Thus the 1951 Act gave more controls and mechanisms for fund usage.[3]

Andhra Pradesh Charitable and Hindu Religious Institution and Endowments Act (1969) superseded the 1951 act with section 85 to 91 laying the provisions for TTD. Board of Trustees was expanded from five to eleven (11) with compulsory representation from certain communities. Three members from state legislative assembly, one person belonging to the scheduled castes and one woman member was made mandatory in the board of eleven whose term was fixed at three years. AP government was mandated with the appointment of EO and Deputy EO (DEO). Apart from the responsibilities defined in the previous Act, the major addition was that the devasthanam should promote study of Indian languages, should open and operate Sri Venkateswara University in Tirupati, should open and operate Hindu Dharma Prathishthanam. The objectives of Hindu Dharma Prathishthanam was promotion and propagation of Hindu Dharma by research, teaching, training and literature creation. Thus this Act was an improvement because of the 2 reason - inclusion of minority interests in the board of trustees as well as broadening the scope of the devasthanams to include study and dissemination of religious practices and knowledge.[3]

TTD Act (1979): Though the previous Act was path-breaking, it ended up making TTD equivalent to smaller temples in the state and the 1979 Act rectified this issue. The rank of EO was defined and additional posts of Financial Adviser and Chief Accounts Officer (CAO) created. The Act further broadened the scope of Sri Venkateswara Sishatachara Vidya Samstha (renamed from Hindu Dharma Prathishthanam) to include promotion of Hindu culture.[3]

A.P.Charitable & Hindu Religious Institutions & Endowments Act (1987) superseded the 1979 Act. The Board of Trustees was expanded from a maximum of eleven to fifteen while retaining previous minority and legislative representation (Section 96). The most controversial clause in the Act was abolishment of hereditary rights of temple priests as well as limited right to garner a share of the hundi proceeds.

After increased pressure from the priests over a long period of time[4], the AP government made an amendment to the Act in 2006 to discontinue these 2 controversial clauses.

Current TTD officers

Chairman, Board of Trustees: D.K. Adikesavulu Naidu
Executive Offier (EO): I.Y.R Krishna Rao I.A.S (July-2009-)succeeding, KV Ramanachari I.A.S.(April 2007 - July-2009)[5] succeeding A.P.V.N. Sarma I.A.S.[6] (February 2005 - April 2007)
TTD Board of Trustees: D.K.Adikesavulu Naidu, KV Ramanachari, Janga Krishnamurthy (AP MLA), P. Sudarshan Reddy (AP MLA), N. Subramanyam (AP MLA), N. Srinivasan, R.P. Goenka, Vijay Sai Reddy, O.V Ramana,Chintakunta Satyanarayana,Gokaraju Ramaraju, Dr. Chadalawada Sudha, T. Indira, Dr. I.V.Subba Rao I.A.S., P. Sundara Kumar I.A.S.[7]

Facilities

TTD provides various services for pilgrims to Tirumala and Tirupati. It has arranged for buses between Tirumala and Tirupati with a frequency of every 2 minutes. Also, it has package tours to holy temples and religious sites from Tirumala and Tirupati to nearby places. TTD has free and paid accommodation in Tirumala and Tirupati. It provides free meals, although donors can make a contribution. The canteen has a capacity to feed 20,000 pilgrims a day. It is also providing free mineral water through pipe lines and banned use of plastic bottles

It has built the Vaikuntam Queue Complex and recently rolled out the queue management system to ensure smooth movement of pilgrims. It maintains the walkway between Tirupati and Tirumala (Alipiri route) and Kalyana Katta where pilgrims fulfill their vow of tonsure. TTD ensures that the practices of Angapradakshinam, Tulabharam (offering of one's weight in coins or food item) and Niluvudopidi (offering ornaments to Lord) is carried in the temple.

It sells prasadams outside the temple on the north west corner. Laddu (small and big), Vada, rice varieties and dosa are sold. Also, Seva and darshan prasadam are distributed here.Only Laddu and Vada prasadams are sold , rice varieties and dosas are not sold but distributed . It runs Information centers in the major towns and cities of Andhra Pradeshi and in major Indian cities including New Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai and Kolkata.

It has constructed 125 Kalyana mandapams (marriage halls) in major towns and cities of Andhra Pradesh. Such Kalyana Mantapams are built and operated even inseveral foreign countries for benefit of Indians. These are rented to people for Marriage or other major functions. Temples of Balaji are also built abroad by the TTD.

Schemes

TTD has various schemes where devotees can fund part of the spending on social causes.

  • Sri Venkateswara Jalanidhi Scheme: "Provide water for pilgrims" usage
  • Sri Venkateswara Pranadana Trust: Provide free medical treatment to poor patients afflicted with life-threatening diseases
  • Sri Venkateswara Nitya Laddu Danam Scheme: Provide free laddu (25 g) to all pilgrims
  • Sri Padmavathi Ammavari Nitya Annaprasadam Scheme: Provide free prasadam to pilgrims at Sri Padmavathi Temple
  • Sri Venkateswara Vanabhivruddhi Scheme: Protect and maintain ecological balance in Tirumala hills
  • Sri Balaji Institute of Surgery, Research and Rehabilitation for the Disabled (BIRRD) Scheme: Provide medical services at no charge along with distribution of artificial limbs, calipers and aids.
  • Sri Balaji Arogyavaraprasadini Scheme: Medical services at Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences (SVIMS) for poor people
  • Sri Venkateswara Gosamrakshana Trust: Protection of Cow, a sacred animal in Hinduism
  • Sri Venkateshwara Balamandir Trust Scheme: Home for Orphans and destitutes
  • Sri Venkateswara Information Technology Seva Trust: Provide IT enabled services to general public
  • Sri Venkateswara Heritage Preservation Trust: Preservation of temples and religious symbols

Making the Donation: Minimum donation for schemes is Rs. 1000 and multiples thereof. The donation can be made by cheque or demand draft drawn on scheduled bank in the name of 'The Executive Officer, name of scheme '. The cheque/demand draft has to be sent to ' The Secretary, <name of scheme>, Office of the Chief Engineer, TTD, Tirupati 517 501.

Donor benefits

High value donors are classified under 3 categories and TTD provides uniform privileges to these donors. In addition, there might be privileges specific to each of the above schemes.

  • Rs 10 Lakhs and above: 3 Days accommodation in VIP Suite for family (5 or less) and admission for Archananantara Darsanam three times for a family (5 or less) in a year. 20 small laddus, 10 mahaprasadam packets and one vastra bahumanam once a year. One gold coin (5 g) and gold coated silver medallion during the first visit. The privileges apply during the life time of the donor or 20 years in case of companies. Income tax benefit is applicable under Indian law for these donations
  • Rs 5 Lakhs to Rs 10 Lakhs: 3 Days accommodation for ARP/VIP Suite for family (5 or less) and admission for darshan (Cellar Vaikuntam) three times for a family (5 or less) in a year. 10 small laddus, 5 mahaprasadam packets and one vastra bahumanam once a year. One gold coin (5 g) and gold coated silver medallion during the first visit. The privileges apply during the life time of the donor or 20 years in case of companies. Income tax benefit is applicable under Indian law for these donations
  • Rs 1 Lakh to Rs 5 Lakhs: 1 Day accommodation for ARP/VIP Suite for family (5 or less) and admission for darshan (Cellar Vaikuntam) for a family (5 or less) once in a year. 6 small laddus and one vastra bahumanam once a year. The privileges apply during the life time of the donor or 20 years in case of companies.

Cottages donation

TTD constructs cottages, guest houses, and choultries in Tirumala and donors can donate for the same. Enquiry needs to be made in Tirumala Information Center about current projects. TTD is also currently accepting donations for building choultries in Tirupati under Sri Sreenivasam Complex Donation Scheme.

Apart from the common benefits mentioned above for the appropriate sum, the donor can stay for a period of 30 days in a calendar year (not exceeding 10 days at a time). A tablet with donor's name and place is mentioned in front of the cottage. However donations are not entitled to Income tax exemption. The privileges apply during the life time of the donor or 20 years in case of companies.

For information related to the schemes, visit the website of TTD

Education and research

TTD runs separate degree colleges, junior colleges and high schools for boys and girls, in and around Tirupati. It started with the establishment of Hindu High School in Vellore by Hathiramjee Mutt. TTD also runs a prestigious college in India's capital.

  • Professional Colleges
    • SV Ayurvedic College, Tirupati
    • SPW Polytechnic, Tirupati
    • SV Yoga Institute, Tirupati
    • SV College of Music and Dance, Tirupati
  • Oriental Colleges
    • SV Oriental College, Tirupati
    • SVVVS College, Secunderabad
  • Degree Colleges
    • Sri Venkateswara College, New Delhi
    • SV Arts college, Tirupati
    • SPW College, Tirupati
    • Sri Govindaraja Swami Arts College, Tirupati
  • Junior Colleges
    • SV Junior College, Tirupati
    • SPW Junior College, Tirupati
  • High Schools
    • SV Higher Secondary School, Vellore
    • SV High School, Tirupati
    • SP Girls High School, Tirupati
    • SGS High School, Tirupati
    • SV Oriental High School, Tirupati
    • SKRS (EM) High School, Tirupati
    • SV High School, Tirumala
  • Elementary Schools
    • SV Elementary School, Tirupati
    • SKS Elementary School, Thatithopu
    • SV Elementary School, Tirumala
    • SV Elementary School, Tirumala

Library and Research Centre

Sri Venkateswara Central Library and Research Centre (SVCLRC), established by TTD in 1993, houses approximately 40,000 volumes of rare and valuable books, mainly on religion and philosophy. The Research Wing works towards studying and publishing material related to Hindu religion, produce authentic papers on original Sanskrit texts and provide translations of major Hindu works in regional languages, Hindi and English.

Promotion of Hindu religion

  • Dharma Prachara Parishad: Established to propagate the Hindu dharma. DPP maintains two Veda Patasalas, one at Dharmagiri in Tirumala and the other at Keesaragutta, Rangareddi district. DPP distributes selected reading materials and conducts an Epics Study examination for school-going children throughout Andhra Pradesh
  • Annamacharya Project: Established in 1978 with a view to propagate the tatwa and mahatwa of Lord Sri Venkateswara by 3 means: train musicians, research and publication and recording and sale of kirtans.
  • Dasa Sahitya Project: Propagates and popularises the literature of the saint composers of Karnataka, popularly known as Karnataka Haridasas, who enriched Kannada religious literature with their hymns
  • Alwar Divya Prabhanda Project: Started in 1991, the project aims popularise the life and works of the twelve Alwars and other Acharya Purushas who belongs to Srivaishnava Cult.
  • Sri Venkateswara Veda Recording Project: TTD has taken up the gigantic project of recording the rendering of Vedas available today, for posterity as the number of preceptors who can render the different sakhas of the vedas has dwindled.
  • Sri Venkateswara Video Audio Recording Project: Established in 1990, the project supports all TTD activities related to recording.
  • Sri Venkateswara Institute of Traditional Sculpture and Architecture: Preserve and promote the age-old cultural heritage of India, in the areas of traditional sculpture and architecture. The institute offers 2 courses of four years each and has 20 students enrolled into each programme.
  • Temple Renovation and Reconstruction: The Renovation sub-division of TTD was established to restore Hindu sculpture and architecture according to the Silpa Agama Sastra. It safeguards and promotes ancient Hindu architecture.

Financial highlights and Technology Used

The financial information of the TDD authority is not public and there is no transparency as to how the funds are used. The below are just estimates with no basis for truth.

File:Tirumala Musical Fountain.jpg
The Musical fountain in the backside of temple Tirumala
  • Donations given by devotees equal nearly $2 million every month
  • Complex queueing algorithms and emerging technologies have been evaluated and implemented to manage the huge crowds with Tata Consultancy Services designing and implementing the software and hardware infrastructure for queue management along with other companies.[8]
  • Auctions of human hair fetched a revenue of $25 million in 2007.
  • Temple admission ticket sales fetched a revenue of $25 million in 2007
  • Laddu, a confectionery, is offered as Lord's prasadam. TTD has procured machines from MICO BOSCH to automate the manufacture of Laddus.[9] Sale of laddus fetched a revenue of staggering $10 million in 2007
  • TTD approved an unprecedented $500 million budget for the fiscal year 2008 .[10]
  • Significant measures are taken for beautification of the temple town and the musical fountain present in back side of the temple can be one of the key attractions

Further reading

  • Growth and Development of Tirumala-Tirupati as a Dimension of Indian Civilization, by Thalapaneni Subramanyam Naidu, Anthropological survey of India. Published by Anthropological Survey of India, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Dept. of Culture, Govt. of India, 1990.
  • A Study of Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanams Educational Institutions: Higher Education, by P. Krishna Murthy. Published by P. Krishna Murthy, 1984.

See also

References

External links


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