Tirumala, October 14: Decades ago saint poet of Tallapaka in Kadapa district Annamacharya came to Tirumala on a hard and rigorous route to reach his beloved deity Lord Venkateswara. He almost crawled on his knees in expression of devotion for his beloved deity.

A 15th-century Hindu saint known to compose songs called sankirtanas in praise of the god Venkateswara in the musical form of the keertana Annamacharya is remembered for his saintly life,and is honored as a great devotee of Vishnu by devotees and saintly singers. He is believed to have been the avatar of Nandaka, the sword of Vishnu and godfather of Telugu song-writing . Annamacharya is said to have composed as many as 32,000 sankeertanas (songs) on the god Venkateswara of which only about 12,000 are available today. He is also the author of musical treatise called “Sankirthana lakshanamu”.

In memory and also as a tribute to Annamacharya, the TTD has refurbished the gravel path of Annamcharya in the forests with granite slabs and also built pathways, rest stops. At the beginning of Annamacharya path from Lakshminarasimha Temple on the down ghat road (which was originally the up and down ghat road earlier). There were two small temples of Hanuman and Venkateswara across the diagonal path. The borders of the path are cleared of forest shrubs and foliage so as to not attract insects, reptiles and snakes.

But path provided a great view of the green and lustrous ravines and the valley below which connected all the peaks of Tirumala. Entire path is well laid with granite slabs, lighting, drinking water pipes and assured security. Annamayya margam abuts the Alipiri foot walkers path and located at the 6th mile stone (for walkers). “Soon we might open it up pedestrian traffic as the road path is very risky and also accident prone” says the TTD officials.

The Annamacharya margam commences from there and drops closer to Mokala mettu about 1/3 the distance from the top of Tirumala shrine. TTD has plans to organize this track as a devotional and spiritual alcove so that pilgrims coming by walk could get an extra dose of spiritual elixir.elixir is presently building a foot over road bridge from the Annamayya marg so that the devotees could safely cross the road and avoid accidents.