State government steps in to revive temple following prolonged agitation
After enough inertia, there was at last a semblance of initiative from the State government's side vis a vis the row raging over the utter neglect of the temple of Vakulamata, said to be the foster-mother of Lord Venkateswara near here.
The ‘Hindu Devalayala Parirakshana Samiti' and the Tirumala-Tirupati Samrakshana Samiti have been leading an agitation for the last three months to exert pressure on the Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) to implement a reported decision it had taken a long time ago to take up renovation of the dilapidated temple, currently perched precariously on the top of a heavily quarried granite mound and to revive the daily rituals as well in the ancient shrine.
As the stone quarry where the dilapidated temple exists comes under her Chandragiri constituency and since she heads the Ministry of Mines and Geology, Galla Arunakumari had to convene a broad-based meeting here on Thursday with all the stakeholders to hammer out a solution for the tangle.
Touch of drama
Important among those who took part in the meeting were the Director General (Safety), Mines and Geology, GoI, Gangopadhyaya, Executive Officer of the TTD L.V. Subramanyam, Chittoor District Collector Solomon Arokiaraj, Director of Archaeology, A.P, G. Chinna Reddy besides the representatives of the two organisations and the villagers.
The meeting received a touch of drama when the activists of the two organisations and the BJP surrounded the DG of the Mines and Geology and held a human chain around him for nearly 15 minutes.
They lifted their blockade only after Ms. Arunakumari intervened and gave her broad consent for all the issues they raised in their memorandum.
Leaders of the HDPS and the TTSS have later told media persons that the meeting agreed to implement all the points they highlighted, such as revival of the temple, augmentation of all amenities at the shrine to make it an important tourist destination on a par with other spots in and around Tirupati.
Vakulamata temple presently perched on heavily quarried granite mound Religious bodies, devotees seeking revival of daily rituals in the shrine
Vakulamata temple presently perched on heavily quarried granite mound
Religious bodies, devotees seeking revival of daily rituals in the shrine