Hyderabad: The chief priest of Yadadri temple Lakshminarasimha Charyulu said that he along with other prominent priests of the temple, removed a 15 inch thick vermillion paste (‘sinduram’) that had accumulated over the years on the idol, some 12 months ago.
“We took the decision to remove the paste as we were worried that the ongoing works and the dust in the air due to incessant construction works of the temple might result in some chemical reaction on the centuries old idol,” he explained.
All precautions as per the ‘Agama Sastra’ have been taken. “We undergo a severe penance before and after touching the deity. We don’t let anyone else touch the idol, leave alone a ‘Sthapathi’,” the chief priest said, adding that the original features which were hitherto hidden under the vermillion paste might have baffled some, but it was the real face of the Lord.
The Yadadri temple chief priest also denied that he was unhappy with the government’s decision to follow the guidelines set out by Seer Tridandi Chinna Jeeyyar Swamy. “He is Guru for our sect, the construction of the temple is going on under his guidance. It is like a family here and I might differ with the government or the planners on certain issues like the height of the main entrance of the temple, but we are one when it comes to the development of the temple, which was neglected by earlier governments,” he said.
Temple Executive officer Geetha Reddy also countered allegations that devotees will be made to climb additional steps to have ‘darshan’ as per the new plan. “Lifts have been provided for the elderly to get down to the level of the sanctum sanctorum (‘Garbhalaya’) and to reach the main level,” she said, explaining that the temple would now have roads like the Mada street in Tirumala.
She said that works at the main temple, and the outer ‘Prakara’ had been completed. “Only electrical fitting work and a small portion of work on the ‘Brahmotsava’ area is pending. The works will be over by January 2020,” she said.
YTDA Special Officer G Kishen Rao, allaying fears of devotees, said that each decision regarding the temple works had been taken after consulting ‘Agama’ experts. He urged the people not to believe propaganda at a time when the temple was getting ready for the most auspicious step of ‘Kumbhabhisheka’.