The holy pilgrimage of Tirupati is all set to be given a facelift on a grand scale. Keeping in mind the daily rush of pilgrims to the pilgrimage of Sri Venkateshwara, a form of Bhagwan Vishnu at Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, the Southern Railways has decided to give the existing Tirupati railway station a major overhaul.
The news to modernize the Tirupati Railway Station has been confirmed by General Manager for the South Central Railways, Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav. He made the announcement as he visited the railway station premises in order to inaugurate a statue of the iconic deity, Shri Venkateshwara, and also took part in the puja that followed soon after.
To quote his press briefing, “keeping in view growing pilgrim rush to the Bhagwan Venkateswara temple, the Tirupati railway station would be modernized at a cost of Rs. 524 crore. The tenders for the works would be floated soon.”
He also added further that platform numbers 4 and 5, he said, would be modernized as per international standards, with open waiting halls, a premier executive lounge, and a spacious cloakroom.
For those unaware, as per the Indian tradition, Tirupati is the holy pilgrimage of Bhagwan Vishnu, who resides as Sri Venkateshwara at the Tirumala hills. The pilgrimage is popular not only throughout India but also overseas, especially in the Indian diaspora. The railway station was inaugurated in the late 1890s, with trains running initially on meter gauge, and later operating, as of now, on broad gauge.
Also, Tirupati is not the only railway station to get a major makeover. According to the manager Mr. Vinod Yadav ‘They will be developed under joint venture (JV) mode by Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) and National Building Construction Company (NBBC).
The development of five other railways stations such as Guntakal, Kurnool, Guntur, Warangal, and Vijayawada, would be taken up at an estimated `15 crore each for developing the circulating area, facade, to construct foot-over-bridges (FoBs) wherever required and improving waiting area. The funds for the project will be provided by government.’
This is credible proof of the commitment that Indian Railways has made towards the restoration of the dignity of Sanatan Dharma. Be it removing the surcharge levied on the pilgrims of the Kumbha / Ardhkumbha Yatra, or initiating trains to major destinations as mentioned in the epic of ‘Ramayana’, under the banner of ‘Ramayana Express’, or even making most of the pilgrimages like Deoghar more accessible to the general public, you name it and the Railways has done it.
The Railways also has a plan to revamp the railway station of the much revered Ayodhya, keeping in mind the possible restoration of the revered Ram Janmbhoomi Complex. As such, it should come as no surprise if the Railways are resolute in their intent to revamp the station of Tirupati.
Ever since the BJP has suffered a setback in the three states of Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan, a lot of opportunistic people have turned out, lamenting the lack of BJP’s contribution towards the cause of Sanatan Dharma. Since Indian Railways is managed mostly by the Central Government, the recent decisions should serve as an eye-opener to such people. We hope that the decisions are implemented soon in letter and spirit so that the pilgrims of Tirupati shall have better access to the sanctum sanctorum.