Opening of Balaji temple clear message that Kashmir to Kanyakumari, India is one: Reddy

Union Ministers G K Reddy and Dr Jitendra Singh and LG Manoj Sinha at the inauguration of Balaji temple in Jammu on Thursday. —Excelsior/Rakesh
Union Ministers G K Reddy and Dr Jitendra Singh and LG Manoj Sinha at the inauguration of Balaji temple in Jammu on Thursday. —Excelsior/Rakesh

It’s celebration of the idea of India: Dr Jitendra

*Religious tourism in J&K will touch new heights: Sinha

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, June 8: The Tirupati Balaji temple of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) was opened for devotees this morning at Majeen Sidhra on the outskirts of Jammu City in the presence of Union Minister for Tourism G K Reddy, Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Dr Jitendra Singh, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and TTD Trust Chairman YV Subba Reddy.

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On very first day of the opening, there was huge rush of devotes to pay obeisance at Balaji temple.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah was scheduled to virtually address inaugural function of the temple but couldn’t do so due to preoccupation.
However, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha in his address at the function as well as in a tweet informed that he (Shah) couldn’t join due to some indispensable work.
“Shah has conveyed his best wishes and told me that his future event in Jammu will start only after paying obeisance to Sri Venkateswara Swamy,” Sinha said.
Addressing the gathering after inauguration of the temple, Union Minister for Tourism GK Reddy said the temple at Jammu will send clear message that Kashmir to Kanyakumari, India is one, to the world.
“This will be a centre of spirituality and Sanatan traditions,” he said.
Reddy said the TTD Trust has been constructing temples in SC and ST Bastis to awaken the people and holding many programmes to stop conversions.
The Union Tourism Minister also referred to renovation and modernization of several religious places by Centre and State Governments including Kedarnath shrine, Somnath temple, Char Dham, Ujjain and Kashi Vishwanath temple and said grand Ram temple is coming up at Ayodhya around January which was possible with Supreme Court judgment and efforts of the Government of India.
He said Jammu and Kashmir is looking ahead to a bright future.
“It is our collective responsibility to contribute to the task of socio-economic growth and to ensure participation and empowerment of the common man,” he said.
He congratulated the people, the J&K administration and all the devotees of Sri Venkateswara on opening of the temple here.
Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said the establishment of Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple at Jammu is a celebration of the idea of India and the Tirupati temple in Jammu celebrates India’s ‘Unity in Diversity’.
“The temple being first in Jammu and Kashmir and sixth in India will pave the way for Jammu to become the top religious tourism destination in India,” he said.
Under PM Narendra Modi, Dr. Jitendra Singh emphasized, the 8th June, 2023, the day of the inauguration of Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple at Jammu is a milestone in the journey of development of Jammu.
Dr. Jitendra Singh further said, the whole country is now integrated under PM Narendra Modi from East to West, from North to South and the ‘Kashi Tamil Sangamam’ organised in Varanasi and ‘Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple’ at Jammu is the best examples of it with the objective to celebrate, reaffirm and rediscover the age-old links between Tamil Nadu and Kashi, two of the country’s most important and ancient seats of learning.
In his address, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha described inauguration of Balaji temple as a historic moment in the Sanatan history of Jammu and Kashmir and the country.
“The dedication of Lord Venkateswara temple will strengthen the religious tourism circuit in J&K and give a boost to spiritual tourism and a major fillip to the economic development and employment opportunities in the Union Territory,” Sinha said.
He said Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, Shri Kailash Jyotish and Vedic Sansthan and many other organisations are making immense contributions to promote Vedic culture and traditions.
“I am confident Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams will develop a Ved Pathshala and health Centre on priority,” he said.
The Lt Governor said, along with the unprecedented development, the spiritual aspect of Jammu Kashmir is also scaling new heights.
Asserting that Jammu and Kashmir has been marching towards peace, prosperity and development, Sinha said the shrines of Mata Vaishno Devi Ji, Baba Amarnath Ji, Shiv Khori, Maa Sharda, Adi Shankaracharya temple, Hazaratbal, other prominent religious places and Sufi shrines and now Lord Venkateswara temple will boost religious tourism in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Jammu and Kashmir is witnessing faster economic development and revival of culture in Amrit Kaal. The UT is touching new heights of glory, divinity and development in its eternal journey,” the Lieutenant Governor said.
Along with unprecedented development, the spiritual aspect of Jammu and Kashmir is also scaling new heights, he added.
“The doors of this temple have been opened in Jammu and Kashmir. It has been completed in a period of two years. Now people can pay obeisance in Jammu. Whoever is going to Mata Vaishnodevi can have darshan here”, Chairman of TTD, Y V Subha Reddy said.
After paying their obeisance at the sanctity sanctum, the dignitaries attended the dedication ceremony of Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple, spread across over 62 acres of land in the lower Shivalik forests, to the devotees.
Hundreds of people from various places in Jammu thronged to pay obeisance to the temple dedicated to Lord Venkateswara, a form of Vishnu. The devotees from Andhra Pradesh in large numbers also took part in the inaugural function.
The temple, built on 62-acre land at an estimated cost of Rs 30 crore, is set to become one of the largest temples in the Jammu region and is expected to boost religious and pilgrimage tourism in the Union Territory.
The Jammu temple will be the sixth Balaji Temple constructed outside of Andhra Pradesh, with the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) having previously built temples in Hyderabad, Chennai, Kanyakumari, Delhi and Bhubaneswar.
Reddy, who inspected the temple in Jammu, said, “Whatever system and practice being followed in Tirumala, will be followed here as well.”
The TTD has built the Tirupati Balaji Temple at a holy place. It falls on the route between Jammu and Katra, where Mata Vaishno Devi temple is located, Reddy said.
The temple’s construction is part of a broader initiative by the TTD to establish multiple Balaji temples across the country.
The TTD is building Balaji Temples all over the country. So, those who are unable to visit the Tirupati Balaji Temple in Andhra Pradesh can visit these temples in their cities, he said.