VISA GOD: Did You Know That There is a VISA Temple in Hyderabad?

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To bewilder you all a little more let me introduce this amazing temple in Hyderabad, yes you heard it right there is a Visa Temple in Hyderabad. Chilkur Balaji Temple popularly known as Visa Balaji Temple or Visa God is an ancient Hindu temple of Lord Balaji on the banks of Osman Sagar Lake near Hyderabad, India. It is 17 km from Mehedipatnam. It is one of the oldest temples in Hyderabad built during the time of Madanna and Akkanna, the uncles of Bhakta Ramadas.

Chilkur Balaji Temple Hyderabad

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The shrine is instrumental for the temple’s popularity as Visa God.

This temple does not accept any money, does not have a hundi, from the devotees, no green channel or privileges for VVIPs. The only fee it charges is for parking from which the entire temple is run. The temple is very well connected to the rest of the Hyderabad city as well because of the Outer Ring Road which links all the major entry and exit of Hyderabad. Weekends are generally very busy and crowded, so if you are planning to pay a visit then target an early morning weekday.

Hindu devotees visit the Chilkur Balaji temple to pray to Lord Balaji, popularly known as the "Visa God", in Moinabad mandal in Rangareddy district, some 30 kms from Hyderabad, on September 26, 2010. The temple is popularly called the "visa temple" as devotees wishing to travel abroad pray at the temple with the hopes of getting their visa applications approved. The temple draws some one hundred thousand visitors a week, many of them praying for visa approvals to travel to the US and other western countries. AFP PHOTO/Noah SEELAM (Photo credit should read NOAH SEELAM/AFP/Getty Images)

When President Bush went to Hyderabad to inaugurate a new US consulate I wonder if someone told him the story of Andhra Pradesh’s American visa temple.

In the past few years a Balaji temple in Chilkur village outside Hyderabad has become the pilgrimage destination for US visa-seekers. It has acquired a reputation among the dollar-driven, that the deity here is particularly powerful in granting an American visa.

This temple is entirely different from the rest of temples. Before the Venkateswara Swamy idol there is written “DO NOT CLOSE YOUR EYES WHILE PRAYING”. 

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During the first visit the devotees take 11 Circumambulation (Pradakshanas) and make their wish and once the wish is fulfilled/visa is granted the devotees are suppose to come back and take 108 Circumambulation (Pradakshanas). Don’t worry about forgetting the count, you get tally charts there which help you in keeping track of your Circumambulation count. More than 12000 devotees visit this temple every day, you can imagine how highly it is celebrated in Hyderabad.

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