Chilkur Balaji temple chief priest passes away

Hyderabad: CM Srinivasa Raghavachariar, Chilkur Balaji temple head priest (Pradhana archaka), passed away on Monday morning in a private hospital here. He was 104. According to family sources, Srinivasa Raghavacharyulu had been ailing for some time. Last rites will be performed by his son Gopalakrishna Swamy on Tuesday.

The Chilkur temple is popularly known as Visa Balaji temple since it is believed that Lord Venkateshwara will fulfill the wish of those who want to go abroad for study or job, particularly to the US. The rituals surrounding the vow and fulfillment are simple and inexpensive.

Situated on the banks of Osman Sagar in Hyderabad, the temple is said to be one of the oldest in the Hyderabad region and built during the time of Madanna and Akkanna, the uncles of Bhakta Ramadas, according to Wikipedia.

The specialty of the temple is it follows the universal precept that all are equal before God by not giving any special darshan to VIPs. Nor will it accept donations from devotees. That is also the only temple in Telugu States to stay out of government control. Sometime ago, when attempts had been made to bring the Chilkur temple under government control, the temple priests headed by Srinivasa Raghavacharyulu fought a legal battle and won their right to run the shrine without official interference. 

-NSS

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