Tirupati: The Telangana row has reached the famous Tirupati temple. For the first time in nearly four decades, buses to the famous Hindu temple on top of the Tirumala Hills were stopped today in protest against the Centre's decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh.
Over 1500 Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) buses between Tirupati and Tirumala Venkateswara temple have gone off the roads. The distance between Tirupati and the temple is nine km.
The bus services to the hill shrine, used by almost 50,000 pilgrims every day, were so far exempted from strikes by APSRTC employees. The striking employees have also threatened to stop private vehicles operating in the area.
Significantly, a few employees of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) trust, which looks after the temple affairs, have also joined the strike against the proposed statehood to Telangana.
The Tirumala temple is considered the richest Hindu temple in the world.