IT-enabled darshan

Published : Sep 21, 2007 00:00 IST

INFORMATION Technology is one important tool that the TTD has wielded to provide a hassle-free darshan to its ever-expanding pilgrim population. Biometric system, webcasting, Wi-Fi hotspot, voice-over-Internet-protocol (VoIP), touch-screen kiosks, smartcards, barcode technology, videoconferencing, e-procurement words one associates with software parks are very much part of the TTDs administrative lingo.

The Devasthanams major IT-based initiative to reach out to the devotees is e-darshan. With the opening of e-darshan counters at select places across the country, with end-to-end connectivity with Tirumala, devotees can book tickets for darshan and sevas, reserve accommodation and seek other requirements. A centralised database working on a biometric system captures the devotees thumb impression and photograph (to prevent impersonati on), which are then recaptured for cross-checking on their arrival at the temple.

The facility was made available at 33 centres in the initial phase. Of the 22 counters proposed under the second phase, 12 are already in operation. At the Tirumala temple, information is disseminated through closed circuit television screens and touch-screen kiosks.


Taking advantage of the mobile telephony revolution, the TTD has introduced an SMS service. One has to just type TTD and send the text message to 6060 to get an interaction started. A menu pops up, giving details on advance booking.

Vijaya Bank, a major partner in the TTDs IT-enabled services, invested Rs.30 lakh on servers and systems software, besides setting aside Rs.70 lakh a year for a three-year period towards running costs, thus saving Rs.55 lakh per annum for the TTD. Reliance Infotech has provided optical fibre cable connectivity to 42 buildings on Tirumala and the LAN (local area network).

Hindustan Computers Limited, which maintains the call centre, has installed the video-conferencing facility and has provided the smartcard system and the CCTV. Cisco Systems donated LAN bridges worth Rs.12.5 lakh.

Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited was instrumental in installing the media encoding server and PTZ cameras for audio/video streaming by extending 2-megabytes-per-second leased line between Tirumala and Mumbai. Chennai-based IC Infotech provided manpower t

A.D. Rangarajan
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