The annual Salakatla Brahmotsavams of Lord Venkateswara began with Dwajarohanam on Saturday.
The sacred yellow cloth, bearing the imprint of Lord Garuda, was ceremoniously hoisted atop the dwajasthambham (flag post) signalling the commencement of the nine-day festival.
After observing the mandatory religious proceedings, the flag was hoisted in the auspicious Meena lagnam between 6.03 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. amid chanting of verses from the sacred texts and the mellifluous rendition of Nadaswaram by a band temple musicians in the presence of both the senior and junior pontiffs.
For the first time in the known history of the temple, the Brahmotsavams, which give the devotees a rare opportunity to personally experience the affluence of the presiding deity, were being celebrated on a low-key note, devoid of the usual fanfare.
With the TTD deciding to confine the festivities to the inner portals of the main temple complex in strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocol, the processional deities of Lord Malayappa and His two consorts were taken around the Vimana Prakaram encircling the sanctum sactorum along with the parivara devathas such as Anantha, Garuda, Chakra, and Viswaksena, besides the dwaja patam.
According to mythology, Lord Garuda, on this day of dwajarohanam, personally extends invitations to all the celestial beings such as Yaksha, Gandharva, Kinnera, Kimpurusa, Rishis, and Astadikpalakas to take part in the celestial wedding pageantry of Lord Venkateswara, which is believed to have been performed by Lord Brahma himself.
Later in the night, the festivities relating to Pedda Sesha Vahanam were observed inside the temple, marking the beginning of the vahana sevas.