Is the processional deity, the Utsava Murthy, of Lord Venkateshwara at the holy Tirupati shrine, developing cracks? Yes, say Agama pundits. Due to regular bathing, performance of ablutions like lengthy "snapana Tirumanjanam," the deity is developing cracks. Known as Malayappa Swamy, the Utsava Murthy is used in most of the processions in the temple town and all the worships are offered to this deity only. The idol is very ancient and historical.
Temple sources say that the TTD might permanently stop sevas like Arjita Seva to protect the deity. The sevas include Sahasra Kalasabhishekam, Nitya Vasantotsavam and Visesha Puja. The proposals are likely to be put before the TTD board, when it meets in December. The TTD may scrap some of these sevas to ensure the longevity of the deity's idol.
Due to continuous rubbing, the face, eyes, fingers, waist portions of the idol are worn out. This had become a controversy after several devotees raised the issue. The TTD had then undertaken some repairs to the idol and did some etching to ensure that the features are clear. But, with cracks developing in the idol, such a thing may not be possible now.