The nine-day ''Adhika Masam Brahmotsavam'' held once in three years concluded on Sunday with the conduct of the celestial bathing of the centuries- old idols at a makeshift tank built in the shrine of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala, near here.
The ''Brahmotsavam'' that began on September 19 was conducted amid observing COVID-19 precautionary measures without processions and devotees, a temple official told PTI. Marking the conclusion of the festival,the processional idols of Lord Venkateswara and consorts Padmavathi and Lakshmi, and Sri Chakram were given the bath by chanting Vedic hymns in the morning, the official said.
The priests, after performing special pujas to the idols, took them back to the sanctum sanctorum of the ancient shrine. For the last several centuries, the high priests used to conduct the ''Chakrasnanam'' in the tank close to the temple, the official said adding that tens of thousands of devotees used to take part and also take a dip at the moment of Chakrasnanam.
This time, all these customs were not followed owing to the novel coronavirus. Because of ''Adhika Masam'' (an extra month which makes it 13 months this year) in the traditional Hindu Lunar calendar, two ''Brahmotsavams'' of nine days each were conducted this year, he said. No decision has been taken on the participation of devotees in the ''Navaratri Brahmotsavam'' to begin on October 16, he said.