Vakulamata Temple may collapse soon; TTD officials must be prosecuted for their neglect; Temple must be restored and renovated
English Version Published in Greatandhra.com and Teluguone.com
Telugu Version published in Andhra Bhumi
Sri Vakulamata Temple is in shambles, and is in dilapidated condition. It is shocking, appalling, horrifying and numbing to witness the Temple in such a dilapidated condition. TTD officials should be charged with dereliction of their duties as the custodians of the sacred Temple. Neglecting to protect and restore the historical Temple by TTD and State government is a crime against the sentiments of all Hindus. This is an unpardonable, unforgivable and reprehensible excuse. All the officers in charge of the Endowment Department and TTD should be personally and professionally liable for prosecution for dereliction of their duties.
Who is Vakulamata? Vakulamata is the mother of Lord Venkateswara. As per the legend that as the mother of Lord Krishna could not see his marriage with Rukmini, Lord Krishna consoled her by promising that she get the opportunity to witness his marriage in Kaliyuga. Vakulamata had the rare opportunity to be the foster mother of Lord Venkateswara, marriage was arranged with Padmavati, the daughter of King Akasa Raja, and finally got the opportunity to witness kalyanam of Lord Venkateswara with Padmavati.
In recognition of her motherly love, Vakulamata Temple was built about 300 years ago on a rocky hill with more than 50 acres of land in Perurbanda village, which is less than ten kilometers from Thirumala. As per the wishes of Vakulamata, this temple was constructed in such a way that it faces the Seven Hills, where her son abides. It is also believed that naivedyam was offered to Lord Venkateswara only the mother was offered first. Then Priests used to ring the bells at Vakulamata to indicate that naivedyam was offered to the mother. Only then the Priests at Seven Hills used to offer Naivedyam to Lord Venkateswara.
Unfortunately, Vakulamata Temple was totally neglected for many years and is in utter dilapidated condition. A number of organizations approached TTD over the years to restore the Vakulamata Temple. In response to the demands of various organizations, when TTD was planning to renovate Vakulamata Temple, and 2 crore rupees was allocated. In the meanwhile, illegal quarrying started slowly stripping away the hill from all sides. It appears that as much as 70 percent of the hill was flattened. It is possible that the Temple may even collapse since the foundation has become weak. However local mining companies got a stay order in 2010 preventing TTD to take up renovation of the Temple.
Why TTD did not counter the stay order? Does it mean TTD officials are also conspiring to demolish the historical Temple?
Are the TTD officials getting benefited from mining companies?
Are the state government officials such as Chief Minister, Endowment Minister, local MLAs and others silencing the TTD officials?
EO should identify the politicians by name as to who is interfering with his responsibilities.
GHHF representative met with EO on March 30 following Lord Venkateswara Abhishekam. He asked the EO “why he is not taking steps against the illegal miners and taking steps to renovate Vakulamata Temple?” EO mentioned that there is political pressure on him against taking any action on illegal miners. The representative said that “you are a Hindu first and are responsible for managing and maintaining the activities of the most sacred Temple for all Hindus. If you feel that you are not able to discharge your duties, why don’t you resign and set an example for the Hindu community? “
EO listened, smiled, and walked away with no response?
We request EO to identify the politicians who are interfering with his duties and also whether he or the politicians have any contacts with these illegal miners.
Why no action is taken to identify the people who did the illegal mining?
Why no case was filed against the Illegal miners?
Why no Security personnel were posted at the hill of Vakulamata Temple during the time of illegal mining?
We demand that the concerned government officials, local politicians and TTD officers should respond to our requests and submit a report to the public in the name of transparency. We demand TTD that the renovation of Vakulamata Temple should be started forthwith and also take legal action against illegal miners.
Prakasarao V Velagapudi, PhD
President, Global Hindu Heritage Foundation (GHHF)
Dr. Ghazal Srinivas, Honorary Ambassador of GHHF