South India Religious News Updates ( 1st Week of May, 2018 )

 In Buddhism, Hinduism

South India Religious News Updates ( 1st Week of May, 2018 )

Telangana : Vemulawada temple authorities to plant Ekabilva

Recently authorities at the Sri Rajarajeshwara Swamy temple at Vemulavada have decided to plant a number of ‘Ekabilvam’ and ‘Mahabilvam’ trees, leaves of which are considered important for ‘Lingarchana’ ritual of Sri Rajarajeshwara Swamy.

The temple authorities have decided to grow these trees in four acres at Thipppapur goshala, near Guruvaiahnagar, Nampally. They have already procured the saplings of these trees. The saplings were planted amid chanting of Vedic hymns on Wednesday at 7 am. Ekabilvam saplings will be planted in the shape of ‘Lingam’ in the middle of the nursery which would be maintained under the name of Mahadeva Linga Avarana. Mahabilvam trees will be planted around the lingam.

Leaves from these trees will be used to perform daily rituals in Sr Rajarajeshwara Swamy temple.

Kerala : Thousands throng Kannagi temple for the annual festival

Thousands from Kerala and Tamil Nadu offered worship at the Kannagi temple at Mangaladevi inside the Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) on Chitrapournami

There was heavy rush of devotees, who trekked the 13-km forest path from Kumily to reach the temple, from early morning. A large number of them travelled by foot while trip jeeps conducted services from the Kumily bus stand to the temple. Devotees were issued passes at the Kumily bus stand.

The Theni and Idukki district administrations had jointly made arrangements for the Chitrapournami celebrations. The temple was opened at 6 a.m. Priests representing the two States led the pujas in Malayalam and Tamil. Entry was allowed from Kumily only until 3 p.m. As per official estimate, 17,000 people visited the temple on Monday. On Chitrapournami day last year, 14,000 people had offered worship at the temple. As many as 52 trip jeeps conducted 865 services to the temple. Police officers and Forest Department officers were deputed at various points in addition to executive magistrates for ensuring law and order.

Only the stone of the temple believed to be built by ancient Tamilakom King Cheran Chenkuttuvan 2,000 years ago remains there. The temple is mentioned in Tamil epic Silappathikaram and according to mythology, Kannagi, who burnt Madurai out of rage against King Pandian Nedumchezhian for the injustice meted out to her husband Kovalan, had walked 14 km to reach Mangaladevi inside the forest. It is believed that Kannagi rejoined with her husband at the spot.

The inscriptions at the temple date back to the Chola dynasty of the 11th century. Devotees are allowed entry to the temple only once a year on Chitrapournami day.

Karnataka : Lingayats in Maharashtra demand religious minority status

Last month, the Karnataka cabinet recommended to the Centre to grant religious minority status for Lingayats, who until now were considered a part of Hinduism.

Lingayat community members in Maharashtra have took out a morcha here to demand a separate religion status for the community in Maharashtra as done in neighbouring Karnataka. Community members from five districts – Nashik, Dhule, Jalgaon, Ahmednagar and Nandurbar – took part in the morcha which started from Star-Zone mall and ended at the Nashik Road’s divisional revenue commissioner office. The rally, which also saw participation from women, was organised by the Lingayat Sangharsh Samiti of North Maharashtra.

The participants demanded religious minority tag for the Lingayat community in Maharashtra as done by the Congress government in poll-bound Karnataka. Last month, the Karnataka cabinet recommended to the Centre grant of religious minority status to the Lingayats, until now considered a part of Hinduism. Samiti members said the Lingayats account for 9 per cent of the total population of Maharashtra.

Karnataka : Rahul Visits Gurudwara in Bidar

Continuing his visits to the religious shrines in poll bound Karnataka, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday visited Gurudwara in Bidar. The Karnataka Legislative Assembly election 2018 is scheduled to be held across the state on May 12.

Congress and BJP, have been campaigning in the state for the last few months to impress the voters. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will be fighting against BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa for the CM’s post in the upcoming polls. Earlier, BJP released its election manifesto for Karnataka a week after Congress released theirs.

Karnataka : BJP to set up 500 Cr for Restoration and Renovation of Mutts and Temples

The Bharatiya Janata Party, in its election manifesto, promises that the party would ensure that revenue from temples is used “only and fully” for expenditure on temples and religious activities. The manifesto says the party would set up a Rs. 500 crore fund for restoration and renovation of temples and mutts.

The party also said it would reintroduce the Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Preservation Bill 2012 and also re-establish the ‘Gau Seva Ayoga’ set up by its erstwhile government, if voted to power.

Buddha Vanam at Nagarjuna Sagar to be opened in October

Buddha vanam project special officer Mallepalli Laxmaiah speaking at 2562th Buddha Jayanthi Celebrations in Buddha Vanam at Nagarjuna Sagar in Nalgonda district announced that Buddha Vanam, a Buddhist theme park at Nagarjuna Sagar, would be open for the public from October 14.

The 2562th Buddha Jayanthi celebrations were conducted in Buddha Vanam at Nagarjuna Sagar on a grand scale. Buddhist monks offered prayers in the Maha stupha on the premises of Buddha Vanam. Speaking on the occasion, Mallepalli Laxmaiah said that the works of Buddha Vanam gained momentum after the visit of the Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao two years back. Stating that the remaining works would be completed at a cost of Rs 25 crore, he said the public would be allowed to view Buddha Vanam from October 14.

Stating that Buddha Vanam comprised eight segments – Buddha Chaithravanam, Jathaka Chakra, Dhyana Vanam, Stupa Park, Archarya Nagarjuna International Higher Buddhist Learning Centre, Lower Krishna Valley Park and   Maha Sthupa – he said a Buddhist University would also come near the Buddhist Theme Park at Nagarjuna Sagar.

He exuded confidence that Telangana State would emerge as Buddhist Heritage Centre in the country in near future. Three segments Jataka chakra, Buddha Chaithravanam and Stupa Park would be opened for public on October 14 and remaining segments would also opened for public view in phased manner, reported The Hindu

Stating that 27 Buddhist sites were identified in Telangana State and efforts were on to develop them, he informed the state government was contemplating to bring all these sites under the purview of Buddha Vanam. He has exuded confidence that Telangana State would emerge as Buddhist Heritage Centre in the Country in the next five years. He has also informed that lectures would be conducted on Buddhism in Buddha Vanam for every thirds Sunday in every month from May 20.

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