Lord Balaji of Tirumala, also known as the lord of seven hills, is set to enter his new abode in the national capital. Yes! pilgrims to Tirupati can forget the trek up the seven hills and the serpentine queues before catching a glimpse of Lord Venkateswara. All they have to do is reach the capital city-state, catch a cab and ask the driver to take them to Gole Market.. For this is the locality in Central Delhi, which is all set to become second home to the Lord.
The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) has firmed up plans for a temple to house Lord Balaji at a one and half acre plot of in Gole Market area, TTD chairman B Karunakar Reddy told Hindustan Times on Wednesday. The TTD was allotted land by the New Delhi Municipal Corporation and a London-based industrial house -- the Sethia Group -- had donated Rs 5 crore towards the construction of the temple. The NDMC had charged the TTD an amount of Rs 30 lakhs for the land in 1994. Today, the land would be worth nearly Rs 100 crore as per the ruling real estate prices.
It will be for the first time that the TTD will be building and managing a Lord Venkateswara temple outside Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh. A group of engineers employed with the TTD have drawn up the plan for a temple complex, which will also house a Kalyana Mandapam, (marriage venue) and Gnyana Mandiram (temple of knowledge), Reddy said.
“Arrangements will be made to educate children in Vedic studies at the temple. The complex will also have a library and electronic data bank on TTD affairs and an online centre.“It will take two years to complete the project,” Reddy said.
The TTD proposes to invite Congress President Sonia Gandhi and prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh for the foundation stone laying ceremony, expected sometime in June or July. “ Shankaracharyas of different mutts are expected to participate in the function,” he said.
This will perhaps be the first temple outside of Tirupati town that the TTD will be managing, although it has extended consultancy and other services to Lord Venkateswara temples in the United States of America.
Till the Lord Venkateswara gets himself installed at Gole Market complex, devotees can make do by paying their obeisance at an idol installed inside Andhra Pradesh Bhavan on Ashok Road. Donations made here reach the Lord’s Hundi in Tirupati. The TTD also runs a very popular and sought after general degree college, Sri Venkateswara College, affiliated to the Delhi University, in Dhaula Kuan.