South India Religious News Updates
Andhra Pradesh : TTD to build Sri Venkateswara Temple in Amaravathi
Tirumala Tirupati Devastanam (TTD) officials, led by Joint Executive officer P Bhaskar, recently made a presentation to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu on their plans to develop a temple dedicated to Sri Venkateswara Swamy over 25 acres of land in the state’s upcoming capital Amaravati.
While putting forward the proposal, the officials said the temple would be built along the lines of the world famous temple at Tirumala, which is administered by TTD, and said the design was decided as per Agama and Vastu Sastra.
TTD Joint Executive Officer P Bhaskar said the design was prepared, taking into account Pallava, Chola, Chalukya and Vijayanagara architecture. He referred to the Kailasanatha temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and the Vaikunta Perumal temple to Lord Vishnu of the 7th century in Kanchipuram as examples of Pallava architecture. The architects, he said, borrowed ideas from Chola architecture from temples at Tanjore and Gangaikonda Cholapuram built in 11th century AD in Tiruchirapalli district.
Some aspects of the Chalukya architecture, including the rock temple of Lord Vishnu temple in Badami, Aihole and Virupaksha temple of Lord Shiva at Pattadaka in Bijapur district of Karnataka, have also been considered in the temple design. Officials also took into account several features of Vijayanagara architecture which has been depicted in temples of Hazararama and Vittala at Hampi, built in Krishnadevaraya reign of 1509-50 AD.
Advising them to protect the sanctity of the temple’s traditions as per ancient culture, Naidu asked the officials to develop modern facilities outside the temple through use of separate funds for the convenience of the pilgrims and visitors.
Officials said once the CM approved the design, TTD would allocate the required funds following which construction would begin in a couple of months.
Andhra Pradesh : Sri Jagannatha Swamy Temple gets a face lift
Sri Jagannatha Swamy temple, vijayanagaram, believed to be constructed in the 13th century, will be getting a facelift with the concerted efforts of devotees who formed Sri Jagannatha Seva Samiti to improve the condition of the temple and protect its valuable lands. The temple was a given a new look with the renovation of temple without disturbing the original structure.
The temple, considered to be the replica of famous Jagannatha Swamy temple of Puri, Odisha, was constructed in accordance with rules of Pancha Ratra Agama Sastram. Prayers are offered to Lord Jagannatha Swami along with his siblings Subhadra and Balabhadra. Special pujas are performed to Sri Venugopala Swamy and goddess Mahalakshmi on the same premises. The temple was in a dilapidated condition till a few months ago.
The local youngsters who took steps for its cleaning were shocked with identification of sculpture which was hidden with thick and tough coatings. Then, they brought the issue to the local elders who in turn alerted Endowments Department and the Archaeology Department for the preservation of Kalinga sculpture. All the elders formed Sri Jagannatha Seva Samiti and contributed around Rs. 40 lakh to ensure the facelift. The Endowments Department also sanctioned around Rs. 12 lakh.
Tamil Nadu : Avani Festival begins at Tiruchedur
The 12-day ‘Avani Thiruvizha’ festival began at the Subramaniaswamy Temple at Tiruchendur on last week. The inner sanctum was opened at 1 a.m., following which a ‘vishwaroopa deeparadhana’ was offered at 1.30 a.m. and ‘marthanda abishekam’ at 2 a.m. This was followed by ‘udhayamarthanda deeparadhana.’ It was then followed by a flag hoisting ceremony at 5.40 a.m. Sixteen types of offerings were made, as part of the ‘abishekam’ to the flagpole. Devotees thronged the temple in large numbers after taking a holy dip in the sea.
The car festival, which will be held as part of the festival, has been scheduled for September 8. The festival would go on till September 10. Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Joint Commissioner B. Bharathi was present. The police made elaborate security arrangements for the festival.
Kerala : Muslim youth clean the Ayyappa Temple
With Kerala limping back to normalcy from the punishing deluge, people are lending a helping hand to one another, cutting across religious and communal divides for the massive clean-up process. In one such noble gesture which is now being widely lauded on social media, workers of Wiqaya, a dedicated team of Muslim students in the state, volunteered to clean an Ayyappa temple at Kolpadam near Mannarkkad in Palakkad district.
A 17-member team of volunteers who belong to Samastha Kerala Sunni Students federation (SKSSF), one of the largest Muslim student organisation in Kerala, cleaned the Ayyappa temple and made it ready for devotees to enter.
“We have a dedicated team called Wiqaya who are all set to do any volunteer work to help the needy. They have been indulging in rescue and relief work across the state during the floods,” said Habeeb Faizy Kottopadam, who headed the relief work in Palakkad district to the media.
“When we got to know about the Ayyappa temple, which was submerged in water, is not in a state for devotees to enter — we approached the temple committee and informed them that we are ready to do the cleanliness work, and they accepted the offer,” said Faizy who is also the state treasurer of SKSSF.
“Kolpadam is known for communal harmony, every year the temple committee used to welcome the rally during eid-e-milad (Prophet’s birthday) celebrations,” he added.Authorities of Purappillikkav Rakteswari temple at Eravathur near Mala had allowed a hall attached to it be converted into the venue for Eid ul Adha prayers on Wednesday as nearby Kochukadav Mahal mosque was submerged under water.
Telangana: Temple Priests to have salaries on par with Govt Employees
The Telangana government announced that priests at Hindu temples in the state will be paid salaries at par with government employees and that the salaries will be paid from the treasury with effect from 1 September reports The News Minute.
Apart from priests ‘imams’ and ‘muezzins’ will get Rs 5,000 monthly remuneration from 1 September, benefiting nearly 9,000 of them. Earlier they were paid Rs 1,000 which was later increased to Rs 1,500. The retirement age had also been raised from 58 to 65.
The ‘Archakas’ who perform rituals at Hindu temples would now come under the Endowment Department purview.
The Dhoop Deep and Naivedyam programme, being implemented in 1,805 temples, will be extended to another 3,000 temples in the state and their funds will be increased from Rs 2,500 to Rs 6,000 said the chief minister.
KCR (K Chandrashekhar Rao), as the chief minister is popularly known, declared that government would supervise and monitor temple related issues. A Dharmika Parishad will be formed for that matter.
Telangana: 114 yr old Shrine of Our Lady of Health gears up for Annual fete
Asia’s biggest octagonal church, the Shrine of Our Lady of Health, in Khairatabad is gearing up for the annual festival of ‘Our Lady of Health’, which will be celebrated on September 8.
The church has been celebrating the festival, marking the birthday of Mother Mary, in a grand manner since the inception of the shrine in 1904. The 114-year-old shrine is being decorated for the solemn occasion with elaborate arrangements.
The nine-day special prayers, which commenced on August 29 will culminate with the main festival on September 9. These prayers are being conducted every morning and evening at 6 am and 6 pm by different groups of the shrine.
The parish priest of Shrine of Our Lady of Health Rev Father Gopu Sunder Reddy said that there would be night vigil services on September 7 and 8 while the birthday celebrations will begin on the midnight of September 7 with the holy mass.
On September 7, the shrine will offer special mass at 6 am, followed by rosary at 4.30 pm, adoration at 5 pm and novena mass at 6 pm. As part of the festivities, there will also be Word of God, worship, adoration, health healing and other prayers for the devotees coming to the church.
With devotees coming from various parts of the country for the celebrations, the shrine will be offering the holy mass in Telugu, Hindi, English, Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada.
“Last year there was a footfall of over 7 lakh during the festival and this time we are expecting more than 10 lakh as the birthday is falling on Saturday. In view of huge turnouts, various departments in the city such as Police, GHMC, Water Board, Electricity and RTC are making special arrangements for the smooth conduct of the festival,” Rev. Reddy said.
According to him, the procession with the statue of Mother Mary will be taken out on September 8 between 4 pm and 6 pm on the stretches of AC Guards. The procession would cover four to five kilometres in which over one lakh devotees are expected to participate, he added.
Telanagana : SangaReddy to get Mini Hajj House
The State is all set to get its first ‘Mini Haj House’ with the Telangana State Waqf Board (TSWB) giving permission to allocate a land parcel in Sangareddy district for its construction. According to an official, the board recently released a circular after it decided to allocate 10 gunta land parcel in Kalvakunta endowed to the Masjid-e-Deendar Khan waqf institution.
The official said, after Sangareddy MLA C. Prabhakar and Irrigation Minister T. Harish Rao requested that a no-objection certificate (NoC) for construction of the Mini Haj House be issued, two inspections in Kalvakunta by the Sangareddy district inspector-auditor and TSWB inspector-auditor were conducted.
In their report, the duo stated that while survey number 223/1 in the village does not have access to public transport, survey number 311 is near a bus stand and a mosque. They suggested that the latter be handed over for construction.
“We have placed the issuing of the NoC on the agenda of the next board meeting, on September 5, and ratify the decision,” a board member requesting anonymity said, reported Telanagana Today.
The cost of construction of the Mini Haj House would be paid by the government. “The expenses, an amount of Rs. 1 crore, will be borne by the government, as announced by the Minister for Irrigation,” an excerpt from the circular reads.
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