Jammu: The the much-awaited Bhoomi Pujan ceremony for construction of Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) was held on Sunday at Majeen near here and the ceremony was attended by high profile guests, including union ministers, from across India.
Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha took part in Bhoomi Pujan and unveiled the plaque to mark the laying of foundation stone in presence of Union Minister of State PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State Home, G Kishan Reddy, Chairman TTD Board, Y V Subba Reddy, V Ram Madhav, Member, National Executive, RSS, and several other dignitaries.
Speaking on the occasion, the Lt Governor said that the magnificent divine temple when completed will be a centre of faith as well as destination of spirituality.
The Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple and its allied infrastructure will be built on a 62.06-acre piece of land at Majeen village near Jammu. The temple’s administration will be under the TTD that also manages the hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala-Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh.
TTD Trust Board chairman Y V Subba Reddy along with other board members attended the ceremony. Many local political leaders, civil and police officers and heads of urban local bodies and panchayati raj institutions were also part of the event.
The Jammu and Kashmir administrative council, headed by Lt Governor Sinha, on April 1 had approved a proposal to allot land to the TTD for building the temple and its allied infrastructure on lease basis for a period of 40 years.
Subsequently, 62.02 acres of land at Majeen was given to the TTD for building the temple, amenities for pilgrims, a Veda Patashala, a spiritual and meditation centre, an office, residential quarters and parking.
He further informed that the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams Board will establish a Gurukul/Veda Pathshala to promote the Sanskrit language and ancient culture of Vedic teachings and learning. The board has also agreed to set up centres of excellence in the field of healthcare on the lines of its excellence centres in Andhra Pradesh.
Terming the occasion as a historic and proud day for J&K, the Lt Governor expressed gratitude towards Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams Board and the Union Government for fulfilling the long pending wish of people of J&K and North India for establishing the temple of Lord Balaji on the land of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi.
“Lord Balaji’s divine blessing is a state of inner celebration. Ved Pathshala in the second phase will strengthen the foundation of Indian culture. The construction of the temple will also open up opportunities across sectors and it will certainly change the economy of the region”, observed the Lt Governor.
The temple will become a major religious and pilgrimage destination attracting lot more tourists, which will ultimately give boost to the religious and pilgrimage tourism, besides providing ample livelihood opportunities, and socio-economic upliftment of the people of the region, added the Lt Governor.
The Lt Governor said that except for the main pujaris of the temple and the core supervision team, it will also have a large number of local people for the management, thus providing direct and indirect opportunities to the people of the region.
Jugal Kishore Sharma, Member of Parliament; Chander Mohan Gupta, Mayor JMC; Bharat Bhushan, Chairman, DDC Jammu; members of various political and social organisations were also present during the ceremony.
BVR Subrahmanayam, OSD in the Ministry of Commerce & Industry; Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary; Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to the Lt Governor, besides Administrative Secretaries, Divisional Commissioner Jammu, and Deputy Commissioner Jammu attended the Bhoomi Pujan ceremony.
The main Venkateswara Temple is situated in the hill town of Tirumala at Tirupati in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. The temple is dedicated to Venkateswara, a form of Vishnu.
The arrival of the TTD in Jammu and Kashmir will tap the tourism potential, particularly pilgrim tourism in Jammu, besides enhancing economic activities, an official spokesman said.
Once developed, the TTD infrastructure will be an attraction for pilgrims and tourists in addition to the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine and Amarnathji Shrine -J&K Govt spokesman
“Once developed, the TTD infrastructure will be an attraction for pilgrims and tourists in addition to the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine and Amarnathji Shrine,” he said, adding that this development will contribute to the economic growth of the region.
Jammu and Kashmir BJP president Ravinder Raina, who was those who attended the event, said, “Jammu is a city of temples and the addition of the most revered Balaji temple in the city would benefit the people.”
He said the construction of Balaji temple is a blessing for the Union Territory and its adjoining states as people will get an opportunity to pray here instead of travelling to Andhra Pradesh.
Raina said the allied infrastructure, including educational institutions and hospitals, would benefit people and generate economic activities.
“It will be an addition in the circuit of various important religious places, including the Vaishno Devi shrine, Bawe Wali Mata, Raghunath temple and Amarnath shrine,” he said.
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