- In Uttarakhand, more than 100 temples on the mountains including Chardham were opened, but the devotees were absent
- In view of the poor condition of temples in Tamil Nadu, the government has given a relief amount of Rs 1000 each to about 65 thousand rural priests.
Nitin R. Upadhyay
May 21, 2020, 05:56 AM IST
The economy of temples and religious cities has started to collapse due to the lockdown in the country. There is now a time worship in 8000 small and medium temples in Tamil Nadu. Due to the lack of donations in temples, the government is demanding that their electricity bills be forgiven.
In Uttarakhand, more than 100 temples on the mountains including Chardham have opened, but the gathering of devotees here every year is absent. The Uttarakhand government is seeking suggestions from people to boost tourism.
Due to lack of donations, the financial condition of temples deteriorates
Similar situation is there in almost every temple and city in the country whose economy is the basis of tourism. Services in thousands of temples in Tamil Nadu, which used to be 2 to 5 times a day, are now being done only once. The financial condition of these temples has deteriorated due to lack of donations.
Temples are not even expected to improve quickly after the lockdown increases until 31 May. It is estimated that it will take a long time for the situation to become normal in the entire country, only then the tourism sector can improve. Many religious cities have been affected due to the lockdown. These include Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, Nashik in Maharashtra, Gaya in Bihar.
In view of the poor condition of temples in Tamil Nadu, the government has given a relief amount of Rs 1000 each to about 65 thousand rural priests. Arrangements are going on normally due to more donations in large temples, but the situation in smaller temples is not the same. According to P. Vasu, president of the priestly organization, the relief amount has been given to the rural priests. But the temple is not just a place of worship, it houses many people. The amount of relief given is also less. It should be increased.
- Uttarakhand: Temples opened, but devotees could not come
The time from April to June is generally very important for Uttarakhand. During this time the doors of the Chardham temples open and 8 to 10 lakh people come here every year for darshan. This year, Uttarakhand tourism has completely collapsed due to the lockdown.
Uttarakhand government asked for suggestions to increase tourism
400 km ahead of Haridwar, Uttarakhand has big pilgrimages like Kedarnath and Badrinath. Here travel, rafting, hotels and tour guides are closed. Recently, Uttarakhand Tourism has also proposed to increase the health sector related works like Yoga, Ayurveda, Panchakarma etc. to promote tourism here. There is a plan to promote health tourism as well as religious tourism. The Ganga Aarti on Har Ka Pauri in Haridwar has not been done in that form for a long time. This is happening for the first time in the history of 104 years, when Ganga Aarti is not crowded.
Pindadan and Tarpan have importance in Gaya (Bihar). It is said that one who has a pinddaan in Gaya gets salvation. The demon Gayaasura was killed here by Lord Vishnu, Gaya is the name of this city after the same Gaiasur. Here it is believed that if there is no pinddaan and tarpan daily, then Gaiasur will wake up. At the moment, people are not coming, so the pandey priests are offering pindadan on behalf of their priests every day. The main task of hundreds of families here is to make pinddaan at Gaya Tirtha on the banks of river Phalgu. But, at this time there is silence from Gaya Kund to Vishnu temple.
- Ujjain: Temple closed, ghats listened, the voices of ritualistic chants are quiet
Jyotirlinga Mahakaleshwar in Ujjain, which is called the religious capital of Madhya Pradesh, attracts people from all over the country for rituals like Mangal Dosh in Mangalnath and Kalsarp, peace of Pitridosh. Shipra river ghats have been heard here for the last two months. More than 5000 pandas and priests and other people associated with rituals have to sit at home. However, the economic situation is not as bad here at the moment. But, there are definitely lines of worry on the forehead of the people. Because, even after the lockdown opens, the situation has to remain the same for a long time.
There are many big temples in Andhra Pradesh including Kalahasti, Tirupati. The temples are closed until 31 May after the announcement of Lockdown 4.0. Tirupati has lost more than 400 crore donations due to the lockdown. The temple is managing expenses from its second fund. There are about 21 thousand employees here.
Preparations begin only after the lockdown opens in Tirupati temple
The temple is preparing for the opening of the fourth lockdown on May 31 in the hope of opening. Preparations are also being made to rehearse the darshan here with the temple staff. According to YS Subbareddy, chairman of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam Trust, social distancing and hygiene will be taken care of whenever the darshan in the temple is operational. Arrangements will be made not to visit the temple with more devotees.
The temple of Godavari in Nashik, Maharashtra, the temple of Trimbakeshwar is considered to be the best place for the peace of Kalsarp Dosh. Thousands of people come here everyday from the country and the world. The basis of the income of hundreds of families is to worship in the ghats and temples of Godavari. There is still silence in the lockdown. People are not coming
The financial condition of able priest families is fine but there are many families who are going through a financial crisis. These include especially those families who sell worship and other essential materials around the temple.