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It will give major push to religious & pilgrimage tourism: LG

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Foundation stone laid for Lord Venkateswara temple in Jammu

Jammu: Describing the ‘Bhoomi Pujan’ ceremony of Sri Venkateswara Swamy temple here as a “historic and proud day” for Jammu and Kashmir, Lt Governor Manoj Sinha on Sunday said the temple is expected to be constructed in 18 months in two phases at a cost of Rs 33.22 crore.

Sinha said the construction of the temple would open up opportunities across sectors and certainly change the economy of the region.

In a major push to religious and pilgrimage tourism in Jammu and Kashmir, the much-awaited ‘Bhoomi Pujan’ ceremony for construction of Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) was held at Majeen village here.

Sinha took part in the ceremony unveiled the plaque to mark the laying of foundation stone in the presence of Union Minister of State (MoS) in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh, Union MoS Home G Kishan Reddy, Chairman TTD Board Y V Subba Reddy, Member of the National Executive, RSS, V Ram Madhav and others.

“The magnificent divine temple when completed will be a centre of faith as well as destination of spirituality,” the LG said addressing the gathering.

He said the TTD board will establish a Gurukul/Ved Patashala 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.

“It is a historic and proud day for Jammu and Kashmir. Lord Balaji’s divine blessing is a state of inner celebration. Ved Patashala in the second phase will strengthen the foundation of Indian culture,” the LG said.

Sinha expressed gratitude to the TTD board and Union government for fulfilling the “long-pending wish” of people of Jammu and Kashmir and north India for establishing the temple of Lord Balaji on the land of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi.

He said the temple would become a major religious and pilgrimage destination attracting a 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.

“Except for the main pujaris (priests) 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,” he said.

Spread over 62 acres, the temple is expected to be completed in 18 months in two phases, costing Rs 33.22 crore, he said.

The LG said the prestigious project would include a host of pilgrimage facilities and other educational and developmental infrastructure like Veda Pathshala, classrooms, hostel building and staff quarters; pilgrims’ amenities complex, Kalyanamandapam, Vahanamandapam, etc.

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