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Ceremony held for Rs.150 cr Balaji temple in Amaravati


Press Trust of India Tirupati (AP)
A traditional ceremony was held Thursday in Amaravati, capital city of Andhra Pradesh, for the proposed Rs 150 crore Lord Venkateswara temple, a 'replica' of the famous hill shrine of the deity at nearby Tirumala.
Ahead of the foundation laying for the construction, "Bhukarshanam" (ploughing of the earth) was conducted with religious fervour by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), which administers the cash-rich ancient Lord Venkateswara temple at Tirumala.
Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who took part in the ceremony, told the gathering of the devotees and officials that the construction of the temple, to come up on a 25-acre site, would be completed in two years.
The state government has alloted the site free of cost to the TTD, an official of the temple here said.
The replica temple would be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs.150 crore and the foundation stone for it would be laid on February 10, the official told PTI.
The proposed temple complex would have two layers of giant walls encircling the sanctum sanctorum of the presiding deity, a tall "Raja Gopuram" (tower), a vast rituals hall, a Lord Hanuman temple and a sprawling holy tank, he said.
State Assembly Speaker K Sivaprasad Rao, ministers Pulla Rao, Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy, P Sunitha, TTD Chairman Putta Sudhakar Yadav and TTD Executive Officer A K Singhal were among others who attended the Bhukarshanam ceremony, he added.
Deputy Chief Minister K E Krishnamurthy, who holds the Endowment portfolio, complained that he was not invited for the function.
The CMO officials sought a clarification from the TTD authorities, who, however, said a formal invitation had been sent to him, official sources said in Amaravati.

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First Published: Jan 31 2019 | 7:50 PM IST

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