Just a week after the inauguration of the renovated Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple atop Yadagirigutta, the initial enthusiasm among swarming devotees from near and far has already disappeared.
Devotees were already left grappling with inconveniences and new set of rules, demanding urgent attention of the authorities.
On Ugadi (Saturday), the temple witnessed around 10,000 devotees. But, the day was marred with chaos owing to poor amenities. People were made to wait for long for a darshan in the sweltering heat with only a few working fans and non-functional air conditioners. This resulted in heated arguments between devotees and temple officials and guards.
Added to this was the lack of drinking water anywhere on the hillock and poor water supply to toilets. Angry devotees jumped lines, removed barricades and nearly broke a door.
While no official reasons were given, theories over the conspicuous absence of temple executive officer N. Geeta and District Collector Pamela Satpathy when Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan along with her husband visited the temple for the first time, attracted attention.
Dr. Soundararajan was received by the temple chairman, Additional Collector and the assistant EO. Surprisingly, Ms. Geeta was present at the temple during an evening ritual.
This apart, according to some 250 auto drivers, they have lost their livelihood after the temple reopened.
Ever since the inauguration, the Yadadri police have acted tough on them by not allowing private vehicles and autos on to the top. Devotees are left with only the choice of the daily mini bus service.
On Sunday, Yadadri police had to deal with angry protests by locals and auto drivers for not allowing them to ply their vehicles to the top of the hill. Several alleged the high-handedness of temple officials for treating them as outsiders in their own place.
Amidst all this, the nomenclature of the temple has become a recent bone of contention.
Popular as Gutta or Yadagirigutta for ages, the new name of ‘Yadadri’ when the temple re-development plan was conceived in 2015, is less favourite now. The name was reportedly given by Sri Vaishnava pontiff and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s go-to consultant on the temple, Chinna Jeeyar Swamy.
While officially, some referred to the YTDA as Yadadri Temple Development Authority, the ‘Yadadri Master Plan’ or as the Telangana Tourism describes ‘Yadadri, the website and recent speeches of CM KCR use the name ‘Yadagirigutta’. An official order on this, is however, pending.