By: Vanam Jwala Narasimha Rao
[The writer is CPRO to Telangana CM]
Integrated Development of Yadadri earlier known as Yadagirigutta in Nalgonda District of Telangana State is expeditiously in progress. In few months from now, the famous Lakshmi Narasimha Swami Devasthanam there would become the most sought after tourist and pilgrimage centre attracting Lakhs of devotees from all corners of state and country every day. There are already indications of increase in the pilgrims. The temple had started receiving over 50,000 pilgrims on weekends. The number of pilgrims visiting the temple had touched 70,000 on Sundays in May and June this year. There was a spurt in income of Temple. This may be attributed to various measures initiated by State government to develop the temple. In tune with this for the first time in its history, the administration of Temple has introduced break Darshanam for visiting VIP devotees on weekends. Top industrial companies like Tatas, Ambanis, GENCO and BHEL had evinced keen interest in investing up to Rs. 500 Crore in creation of infrastructure in the temple town Yadagirigutta.
Yadagirigutta is about 70 Kilometers from Hyderabad on the Hyderabad-Warangal Highway.
In this ancient holy shrine known as Pancha Narasimha Kshetram, Lord Narasimha had come into existence in Five Avatars, namely, Jwala Narasimha, Yogananda Narasimha, Ugra Narasimha, Gandaberunda Narasimha and Lakshmi Narasimha. Daily thousands of devotees visit this divine temple, offer prayers and perform rituals and ceremonies like Annaprasanna, Puttu Ventrukalu, Aksharabhyasam, Marriages etc. There is a mention about the origin of this temple in the Skanda Purana besides a Pouranic and traditional background.
Brahmothsavams during the months of February-March (Phalguna), Narasimha Jayanthi in the month of May (Vaishakha) and many more festivals are celebrated in the temple every year. On Every Swati Nakshatra which is also the Birth Star of Lord Lakshmi Narasimha Swami, Satha Ghatabhishekam is performed. For all these celebrations, devotees in large numbers visit the temple and have a Darshanam of Lord Laxmi Narasimha Swami. According to China Jeeyar Swami, it was here in this temple premises, many years ago, a leading Agama Conference was held in which several pundits of Agama Sastra from southern India participated and deliberated on temple procedures.
Realizing the historical importance of pilgrim center Yadagirigutta, Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao directed the concerned officials to prepare master plans for developing the temple on the lines of Vatican City. CM also hinted at some changes like gold plating the entire temple, elevating the height of the Gopura, acquisition of adequate land around Yadagirigutta for creating amenities and facilities like Kalyana Mandapam, Vedic School, and a reserve forest on Lord’s name as well as formation of an autonomous body for the temple town on the lines of Tirupati.
During his maiden visit to Yadagirigutta after becoming CM he offered prayers at the shrine preceded by an aerial survey around Yadagirigutta to personally acquaint with the surroundings for putting forth his ideas for development. Later CM suggested creating amenities like construction of cottages, development of spiritual centers and expansion of temple Mandapam etc. CM further suggested extending the Sanctum Sanctorum to the north side to make the presiding deity visible to devotees from distance, in consultation with Agama Sastra Pundits. CM also wanted to find a suitable place on the hill shrine to install the highest Anjaneya Swami Idol and Lord Garuda Idol besides preparing a plan to lay proper way around Yadagirigutta hill to provide a safer way for Giripradakshanam for devotees.
Yadagirigutta Temple Development Authority (YTDA) with 13 members headed by Chief Minister as Chairman was constituted. Special Officer Yadagirigutta G. Kishan Rao has been nominated as Vice-Chairman of the authority with Local MP, MLAs of Alair and Bhongir, District Collector and SP and others as members. As the surroundings of the Yadagirigutta temple require a special planning and development control, six villages abutting the temple have been included in the development authority for its orderly development. CM also wanted the temple authority to include beautification of tank at Rayagiri and four-laning of Bhongir-Yadagirigutta stretch in the development plan. A special grant of Rs 100 crores was credited initially to the Account of YTDA to meet the expenditure on land acquisition and other connected activities. Art Director Anand Sai has been appointed to prepare designs strictly in accordance with Agama Sastra and Vaastu in consultation with Stahapathis of Endowments department.
Chief Minister visited the temple once with spiritual leader Tridandi Srimannarayana Ramanuja China Jeeyar Swami with whom he undertook an aerial survey. In addition to Yadagirigutta, CM had also shown him the adjoining hills and also the roadway leading to Yadagirigutta namely Rayagiri, Vangapalli, Turkapalli and Rajupeta as well as the plans of proposed works there. They together inspected the temple where government planned major changes. Tentative designs prepared with expert suggestions from pundits were shown to the Jeeyar swami who praised the proposals as they were in line with Agama Sastras, Vedic traditions and conventions. It was only during this visit China Jeeyar Swami renamed Yadagirigutta as Yadadri on the request of CM. Jeeyar Swami also said that the remaining eight adjoining hills will be renamed later. Together, all these nine hills would be developed as spiritual centres. Jeeyar Swami was all praise for CM for his keen interest to develop Yadagirigutta and said that he is spearheading a spiritual movement in Telangana State.
Against this background and in accordance with the instructions of Chief Minister, development works of Yadadri and Yadagirigutta surroundings are being expedited in a big way. 943 acres of land has already been identified for works and in successive budgets of 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 financial years, Rs. 200 Crores has been allocated to the development authority. In addition another 100 acres is being acquired and together these 1000+ acres would be developed. The Yadagirigutta area which comprises of about 180 acres is being effectively and judiciously utilized. A road round the hill is being developed for Giripradakshanam. As per the instructions of CM there would be four lanes around the hill and each road will have dividers, islands and footpath. The area would be abounding with trees. Sound system would be developed to promote religious fervor. About 1,000 acres around the hill would be converted into zones and layout to be prepared. The nearby tank at Basavapur will be converted into a reservoir with water games and boating facilities.
Out of the 15 acres of land available on the hill about 5 acres would come under the main temple area. In these five acres compound wall and Mada streets would be built. The 32 forms of the presiding deity Laxmi Narasimha swami should be reflected in the form of models in the temple precincts. A kitchen and glasshouse would be constructed. Pushkarini, Kalyanakatta, residences for priests, Rathamantapam, queue complex, Gardens, cottages, VIP Guesthouse, parking places, cowshed, dining hall etc would come up. At the foot of the hill bus stands, Kalyana Mandapam, Shopping Complex, flower garden for prayers, lodging facilities, cottages etc. are expected to come. The existing Punnami guest house will be modernized and three more Guest Houses in the eleven acres available near Yadadri will be constructed. Facilities will also be created to visit the old Yadagirigutta also.
Ultimately Yadadri or Yadagirigutta will become one of the famous shrines of India.