Hyderabad: The competition between 'rival' states Telangana and Andhra Pradesh has gone 'religious', suggests a report in The Times of India.
Following bifurcation last year, Andhra Pradesh had managed to retain several temples at which people turn up in huge numbers for pilgrimage. These included the famous Sri Venkateswara Swamy temple at Tirumala, the Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy temple at Srisailam and Sri Kalahasthi temple in Chittoor.
While Telangana also retained several temples, the state, however, could not boast of a religious place that could attract people in lakhs.
To undo the injustice, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has now issued instructions to build a temple that could match the stature of Tirumala. And the candidate is Yadagirigutta temple, dedicated to Sri Laskhmi Narasimha Swamy.
Tirumala has become one of the country's major pilgrimages over the years and receives a lot of official patronage.
On the other hand, Yadagirigutta started getting attention only after Telangana came into being.
The Telangana CM had last year announced plans to develop Yadagirigutta into a major pilgrimage. And the number of people visiting the temple has gone up ever since that announcement was made.
As per authorities, as many as 50,000 people visit the temple on weekend days. The revenue has also gone up. For example, the temple income has risen to Rs 73 crores in 2014-15 compared to Rs 66 crores in the previous year.
The temple town is just 50 kilometres from Hyderabad and well connected by rail and road.
The plans may be big but it remains to be seen whether KCR will be able to boast one day of having a 'Tirumala' in his state.