Mahatma Gandhi temple in Telangana sees increase in number of ‘devotees’
As patriotic fervor grips the country on the eve of its 75th year of independence, there has been a marked increase in attendance at a Mahatma Gandhi temple in a village in this Telangana district, with villagers flocking to have his ‘darshan’ and seek blessings.
For many people around the city of Chityal in Telangana, about 75 km from Hyderabad, visiting the Mahatma Gandhi temple becomes a feeling.
The first temple of its kind in the village of Pedda Kaparthy near the town of Chityal in the district has attracted attention even from afar, says PV Krishna Rao, secretary of the Mahatma Gandhi Charitable Trust which maintains the shrine.
Rao says the temple, which usually sees between 60 and 70 visitors on a normal day, is now seeing an increased flow of worshipers in the range of 350 after the Telangana government and Center initiatives to celebrate the 75th anniversary of independence.
“Normally, about 60 to 70 people come to offer prayers at the temple every day. Now, due to the wide publicity given to the name of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav by the Center and Swatantra Bharat Vajrotsavalu by the Telangana government, the number of visitors increased to 300 to 340 per day,” he told PTI.
He said that although the temple which was built in 2014 does not offer any special program marking Independence Day on August 15, it holds special pujas on October 2, Gandhi Jayanti.
He said the temple is slowly gaining in importance with people coming regularly and offering prayers with their family members.
Built on a four-acre plot near the Hyderabad-Vijayawada highway, the temple houses the Mahatma in a seated posture giving blessings to people.
According to Rao, the temple trust has also started offering silk robes to couples on their wedding day in nearby Chityal villages. It has become a new tradition that villagers, before handing out wedding invitation cards, offer prayers and receive blessings from the Bapu, he said.
When asked if there would be any special programs on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of independence, Krishna Rao replied that they did not confine Gandhi to the fight for independence alone.
“We see him as a mahitatmudu (person of divinity) rather than a mahatmudu (mahatma),” he said.
The Telangana Tourism Department has included the temple as one of the state’s divine destinations.
The temple trust also offers a marriage hall located within the premises at a nominal cost for inter-caste marriages with cavaliers for which the consumption of alcohol and non-vegetarian food is prohibited.
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