Rama Krishna Sangem
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) unveiled his another dream project – historic expansion of Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple – Yadadri – on March 28, Monday. This mega renovation or rejuvenation of the temple town at an estimated budget of around Rs 850 crore will add economic, spiritual and social dynamism to the eight year old Telangana state.
Yadadri is KCR’s fourth mega dream project – after Mission Bhagiratha (drinking water to all households), Mission Kakatiya (restoration of tanks and ponds) and Kaleswaram Lift Irrigation Project. Like all his pet schemes, KCR has taken personal care to see to it that Yadadri expansion would go down as an important milestone in the temple’s centuries old history.
All those associated with this expansion work, commenced six years ago, said that the newly dedicated Yadadri would stand solid for at least another 1,000 years. Around 900 sculptors and thousands of workers had spent their days and nights for the building of this magnificent temple. Locally called Yadagiri Gutta, this pilgrimage is sure to draw crowds from all the country and abroad.
KCR has rightly decided not to invite any other VVIP – PM or President of India – for the grand opening of the temple – that preceded by Maha Samprokshanam. Because, KCR is the visionary, prime mover and executioner of this project. He richly deserves to be the sole chief guest at the reopening of the rebuilt temple.
KCR thought of this massive expansion of Yadagiri Gutta temple – mainly for three reasons – One, after the bifurcation of the combined state, Telangana lost Tirupati to Andhra. Everyday, thousands of devotees go to Tirupati for a Darshan. But, the recommendation letters of Telangana ministers or officials are not given great value by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams board there.
So, Telangana need to have another big temple where large numbers of devotees can go everyday. Yadagiri Gutta of 2014 was not sufficient to meet this pilgrims rush. Second, the pride of Telangana is linked to Yadagiri Gutta – as millions of people are named after Narasimha Swamy since ages. An expansion is essential for it.
Lastly, CM KCR realized the importance of location of Yadadri – just 45 km from Hyderabad city. If the temple is improved and expanded with spiritual, sculptural and logistical facilities, it would become an extended part of the city – if not immediately, it will be in a decade or so. The entire routes that connect Hyderabad to Yadadri, including Bhongiri town – would be a merged into a megapolis soon.
It is not that this Yadadri has happened just like that. KCR has paid dozens of visits to the temple, and spent hundreds of hours there, supervising every stage of its construction. He went round the precincts of the temple site, gave instructions to the chief architects, sculptors, officials and public representatives.
He was frustrated at the slowness of the works, he expressed satisfaction over the progress of the works, he was happy, unhappy with various things at various times. I think, no other minister or official must have understood his passion for Yadadri. But, KCR never expressed his anger over any of them. He is involved in every bit of Yadadri expansion project.
Not BJP brand of Hindutwa
As KCR himself a staunch believer of God, this Yadadri project is naturally closer to his heart. Though he opposes BJP’s brand of Hindutwa, KCR declared himself several times as an ardent Hindu. He meticulously follows Hindu rituals, but never treats Muslims or people from other religions with contempt or discrimination.
KCR has named his brainchild – world’s biggest lift irrigation – project after Kaleswaram, a Shaivite pilgrim center on the banks of Godavari, he accomplished another of his brainchild – Yadadri – a Vaishnavite pilgrim centre now.
Some compare KCR with 16th century’s Sri Krishna Devaraya who is singularly credited for rejuvenation of Sri Venkateswara Swamy temple, atop Tirumala Hills. Others may criticize him for spending the public money on a temple reconstruction. But, KCR knew well he was doing what his people wanted him to do – because, spirituality cannot be separated from development or economic growth.
After all, democracy is all about being alive to people’s aspirations. KCR as CM has done a great job at Yadadri.