Tirupati(AP), 16 July, 2019: President Ram Nath Kovind

Sunday offered prayers at the ancient hill shrine of Lord Sri Venkateswara Swamy at Tirumala near here.

The President accompanied by his wife Savita and other members of his family, arrived here on a spiritual visit on Saturday to worship at four different shrines in and around the hills here.

At the crack of dawn Sunday, on arrival at the main entrance of the hill temple complex, the President was accorded a ceremonial reception, amid chanting of Vedic hymns by high priests and top functionaries of the shrine who conducted him to the sanctum sanctorum, a temple official told PTI.

Kovind spent about half an hour inside the over 2000-year old shrine, the official added.

After offering prayers, the President was offered a sacred silk cloth, portrait and laddu prasadm by TTD Chairman YV Subba Reddy, Executive Officer Anil Kumar Singhal, and Special Officer AV Dharma Reddy among others, the official said.

Before visiting the Lord Venkateswara shrine, as per tradition, Kovind paid obeisance at the shrine of Sri Bhu Varahaswamy close to the hill temple, the official said.

Earlier, upon arrival yesterday at Renigunta airport, the President en route to Tirumala Hills, had offered worship at the shrine of Goddess Sri Padmavathi in Tiruchanur and an ancient cave shrine of Lord Shiva at Kapilatheertham near here, the temple official said.

It was Kovind’s second visit to the hill shrine after offering prayers to Lord Venkateswara in September 2017.

The President is expected to leave Tirumala for Sriharikota, some 100 km from here later Sunday and after an overnight stay, would witness the launch of lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 tomorrow and return to Tirupati and fly back to New Delhi, a government official said.

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