Source PTI The nine-day 'Adhika Masam Brahmotsavam', held once in three years, began at the famous hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara Thursday, with the hoisting of the sacred 'garuda' flag by high priests amid chanting of Vedic hymns.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, keeping with a four-decade-old practice, offered new silk cloths to the deity on behalf of the state government.
Carrying the cloths on his head, Naidu came in a procession and handed over them to the priests.
Later, the centuries-old idols of Lord Venkateswara and his divine consorts Goddesses Lakshmi and Padmavathi, adorned with ornaments, mounted on the golden 'Pedda Sesha vahanam' (carrier) were taken out on a grand procession around the hill temple complex in the evening.
Thousands of devotees thronged the hill shrine for the festivities.
A thick security cover has been put in place over Tirumala for the grand festivities.
Owing to 'Adhika Masam' (extra month which makes it 13 months this year) in the traditional Hindu Lunar calendar, two 'brahmotsavams' of nine days each are being conducted this year.
The regular 'Navaratri Brahmotsavam' of the hill temple would commence on October 10, the official said.
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