Hyderabad: The Sri Muktheswaraswamy Temple at Kaleshwaram will be developed as a pilgrimage centre at a cost of Rs 100 crore with various facilities for pilgrims and conducting of religious rituals to be built in an extent of 600 acres around the temple, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao has announced.
Speaking after offering prayers at the temple along with members of his family on Sunday morning, the Chief Minister also said plans to conduct a maha yagam at the temple were also under consideration to coincide with the completion and launch of the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project works.
The Chief Minister went around the nearby Medigadda barrage, the lynch pin of the Kaleswharam project along with officials from irrigation and other departments and inspected in detail the ongoing works and the schedule of work completion.
Chandrashekhar Rao said with the Kaleshwaram project nearing completion, the temple will also be developed for it to emerge as a major pilgrim centre in the State as well as a tourist attraction with the project site nearby.
Lakhs of people will visit the temple because of its significance and importance once it is developed and facilities for pilgrims are put in place, he said. The Chief Minister instructed the district collector to begin the process of acquiring 600 acres of land including that belonging to government, forest department and private persons. The facilities to be created should include a Kalayana Mandapam, andresidential quarters for the archakas at the temple. There will also be a Veda Pathashala and Kalashala while the Pushkar Ghats by the river will be developed to ensure safety and comfort of pilgrims seeking to take a holy dip in the river, he added.
For the proposed foundation laying ceremony of the temple development, an invitation has been extended to the Sringeri Peetham head Bharati Theertha Swamy. “Once the barrages of the Kaleshwaram project are completed, water from River Godavari will be available till the Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy Temple at Dharmapuri, a distance of 170 km. The project will provide irrigation to 45 lakh acres for two crops every year,” he said.
“There was a time when our eyes would swell with tears looking at the dry Godavari river bed at Ramagundam and during the movement for the State, I would leave coins in the river praying that the day should come when Godavari will flow through Telangana round the year. Those prayers are now being answered with the Kaleshwaram project nearning completion,” he said.
Accompanying the Chief Minister, his wife Shobha Rao during the temple visit were Ministers Errabelli Dayakar Rao, Koppula Easwar, Rajya Sabha member J Santosh Kumar, Chief Advisor to the Government Rajiv Sharma, Advisor to the Government Anurag Sharma, Chief Secretary SK Joshi, Smita Sabharwal from the CMO, MLAs Gandra Venkataramana Reddy, Dasari Manohar Reddy, MLCs N Lakshman Rao, Bhanu Prakahs, former MLA Putta Madhu, District collectors Devesena, Venkateswarulu and several others.