Monday, May 15, 2006

Visa Venkateswara Swami


Deccan Herald covers the "God of Sure Visas":

The 500-year-old Balaji temple at Chilkur, about 40 km from Hyderabad attracts plenty of visitors, the devout praying for a hundred different things, as at most temples. But none as many as those who want visas. So, much so, the (swayambhu) god here has begun to be referred to as 'Visa Venkateswara Swami'. It is a growingly popular belief, around here, that this god grants the most difficult-to-obtain visas to go abroad for jobs, post-marriage emigrations, or higher studies, in a miraculously short time after making a vow.

... when your vow is fulfiled, you come back and make 108 circumambulations. To help you remember the numbers as you walk around, the temple gives you little pieces of paper with 108 marks on them so you can keep count by crossing out one number each time you complete a round.

Priceless ...

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Thanks to my friend anc colleague Jayant for the tip-off.

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Update: Kaps points to this post about another such temple near Chennai; even a US consulate official recommends it!

5 Comments:

  1. neha vish said...

    Ah! Actually I had no idea there was a visa connection. I went over a year ago because Sri (hubby) had prayed on my behalf and had decided that I come and do 108 rapid rounds if it came true.

    Sri wrote a pretty funny mail on how we did our laps (108 of them) which I think is here.

    (Sorry for plugging myself - but I really couldn't help it!)

  2. Kaps said...

    There seems to be a similar temple in Chennai as well:
    http://www.princeroy.org/2004_09_01_princeroy_archive.html#109497216102943069

  3. Abi said...

    Neha: So, was it really for the visa?

    Kaps: Thanks for that link. It's great to know that our deities have a strong faith in division of labour ...

  4. neha vish said...

    Abi: LOL! No, far from it. It was "if we get married after all this bickering" then we go to the temple! :)

  5. Anil Jagalur said...

    Ah! You give me the coordinates correctly. I made a refernce to this phenomenon in my post today and a friend pointed out the error.

    I will link this post in my post.