Srinivasa Murthy Deekshitulu, former chief priest of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam has breathed his last breath at Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences in Tirupati. He was suffering from other comorbidities before being tested Covid positive and admitted to the Covid hospital.
He was one of the priests who belonged to the hereditary families who served the temple. It is known that he had contracted the virus from his family members, so the samples of his elder son and younger son works as priests at TTD were collected. As per the customs and traditions followed by the temple, if retired or serving priests of those four hereditary priests families die then the temple sends sandalwood, garlands and other sacred articles on an elephant to carry out the final rituals. Now that the covid protocol is in force regarding the disposal of deceased bodies of the covid patients, there is still uncertainty about this issue.
Nearly 170 TTD employees were so far tested Covid positive. Due to the rise in cases, different parts of the temple were so far closed but there was no official order regarding the closing down of the temple for devotees.
Inputs from Praveena Mandapati
CLICK HERE !! To be found on google search engine.