SPECIAL TEMPLE FOR VISA PRAYERS
Praying for a US visa is nothing new. Millions of prospective immigrants, students, and visitors have done it, hoping their prayers will lead them to America and a brighter future.
But a particular temple in India is drawing more than its share of visa-desiring devotees. The 500-year-old Chilkur Balaji temple near Hyderabad, dedicated to Lord Balaji, has earned the nickname “Visa Balaji temple” as worshippers spread word of their visa success after performing wish-making ceremonies at the temple.
These ceremonies include making 11 circumambulations and offering fresh coconut. After the wish is granted, worshippers return to the temple to perform 108 circumambulations.
The temple, which draws 75,000 to 100,000 worshippers each week, has itself been distributing pamphlets that recount visa-related success stories, according to a CNN report. “Our lord is answering the prayers,” one priest said.
Srikanth Padala of Boston is among the many who believe in the visa-granting deities at the temple. “I visited Chilkur Balaji several times after reading about the place in newspapers,” he told the website Emirates 24/7. “Then I sought a U.S. visa and was successful and travelled to the U.S. Now, every time I go to India, I definitely visit ‘Telangana Tirupathi.’”
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