Tirumala: divyakshetram, Rama Setu: setubandha divyades’am

 

Tirumala: divyakshetram, Rama Setu: setubandha divyades’am

 

Tamilnadu State should declare Rama Setu as divyades’am following the lead of Andhra Pradesh which has declared Tirumala a divyakshetram.

 

kalyan

 

State bans propagation of other faiths in Tirumala Deccan Chronicle, 9 June 2007Hyderabad, June 8: The State government has issued orders setting up the Tirumala Divya Kshetram comprising the seven sacred hills, holy theerthams and the central shrine of Lord Venkateswara. The government also issued orders banning propagation of other religions in the precincts of the Tirumala Divya Kshetram and some other temples.These orders were issued in the wake of criticism from several quarters that the Congress government had shrunk the seven sacred hills of Tirumala to two and was encouraging religious conversions in the area. To deflect the criticism, the government had promulgated an ordinance earlier banning propagation of other religions in places of worship of a particular religion.Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy told mediapersons on Friday that holy spots other than temples would also be notified if respective religions gave representations.  “The Constitution has guaranteed freedom of religion but that does not allow propagation in places of worship of other religions,” he said. “It hurts religious sentiments.”Principal Secretary (endowments) I.V. Subba Rao denied that the area of the temple had ever been reduced.  “We issued orders setting up the divya kshetram to put all such speculations at rest,” he added. The department consulted several heads of peethams and members of the self-styled TTD Pariraskhana Samithi before issuing orders, he said.Satellite imageries were also used to demarcate the geographical borders of the seven hills. All the seven hills, Seshadri, Garudadri, Venkatadri, Narayanadri, Vrishabhadri, Vrishadri and Anjanadri, right from  foothills, would form part of the divyakshetram.  In addition to this, 10 holy theerthams, footpaths leading to Tirumala from all directions, motorable ghat roads from Tirupathi to Tirumala and from Tirumala to Papavinasanam will form part of the complex.Following is the list of temples notified by the State government where propogation of other religions is prohibited: Tirumala Divya Kshetram comprising all seven sacred hills, 10 theerthams under TTD limits and all its temples in Tirupati, Sri Varaha Laxmi Narasimha Swamy Devasthanam (Simhachalam), Veera Venkata Satyanarayana Swamy Devasthanam (Annavaram), Sri Venkateswara Swamy Devasthanam (Dwaraka Tirumala), Sri Durga Malleswara Swamy Devasthanam (Vijayawada), Sri Kalahasteeswara Swamy Devasthanam (Srikalahasthi), Sri Bhramarambha Mallikarjunaswamy Devasthanam (Srisailam), Sri Varasidhi Vinayaka Swamy Devasthanam (Kanipakam), Sri Ram temple (Bhadrachalam), Raja Rajeswari temple (Vemulavada), Narasimhaswami temple (Yadagirigutta), Panakala Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple (Mangalagiri), Koormaswamy temple (Srikoormam), Suryanarayana temple (Arasavilli), Lakshminarayanaswamy temple (Dharmapuri), Narasimhaswamy temple (Ahobil Mutt), Mahanandeeswaraswamy temple (Mahanandi) and Veerabhadraswamy temple at Kuruvi.http://deccan.com/home/homedetails.asp#State bans propagation of other faiths in Tirumala Tirumala accorded special status Special Correspondent

Temple town and the surrounding seven hills declared holy place



  `Tirumala Divya Kshetram’ to comprise seven hills and theerthams till main shrine   Roads and footpaths declared part of the `kshetram’





DIVINE GLORY: A view of the dazzling Sri Venkateswara temple at Tirumala. — A file photo
HYDERABAD: The temple town of Tirumala, the abode of Lord Venkateswara, and the seven hills surrounding it have been accorded special status by the State Government by declaring them a holy place. Through an order, the Government said the “Tirumala Divya Kshetram”, the name of the holy place, shall comprise the seven hills of Seshadri, Garudadri, Venkatadri, Narayanadri, Vrishabhadri, Vrishadri and Anjanadri, right from the foothills, the holy theerthams and the main shrine. Roads and footpaths leading up to the temple, including the first and second ghat roads between Tirupati and Tirumala, and the motorable road from Tirumala to Papavinasanam were declared part of the kshetram. Ordinance promulgated An ordinance was promulgated earlier by the Government on May 22 prohibiting the propagation of any religion other than what was traditionally practised in places of worship. As a follow-up, the Government notified the places of worship covered by the ordinance — the kshetram area, 10 theerthams within the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) limits and 20 temples elsewhere in the State. The order designated the TTD Executive Officer as in-charge of the civic administration of the hills area. He will have the authority normally exercised by a sarpanch or the executive authority under the Panchayat Raj Act. No elections or political activity shall be permitted. Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy said at a news conference here on Friday that the objective was to ensure sanctity of the hills in the wake of reports that religions other than Hinduism were being propagated there. The Government did not want conflict of religions while ensuring religious freedom as a fundamental right of people. `False campaign’ TTD Chairman B. Karunakar Reddy said a false campaign had been launched that religions other than Hinduism were being propagated on the hills. Not a single non-Hindu activity had come to light. I.V. Subba Rao, Principal Secretary, Revenue (Endowments), said the Government had effectively dealt with propaganda to play down the significance of the seven hills of Tirumala. Using satellite imagery, it had disproved claims that there were only two hills in the area and not seven. http://www.hindu.com/2007/06/09/stories/2007060920670100.htm Hindu sites ‘only for Hinduism’

By Omer Farooq
BBC News, Hyderabad


The government of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh has banned the propagation of other religions in the holy places of Hindus across the state.
The authorities say the move is to ensure that Hindu sentiments in holy places are not offended. It follows a row over alleged Christian missionary activity around a shrine in the town of Tirumala. Christian organisations have not reacted, but a Muslim legal expert denounced it as unconstitutional. The ordinance promulgated by the state Governor, Rameshwar Thakuar, came into effect immediately in Tirumala. ‘Vatican for Hindus’ Experts say the move is a major development which will be far reaching. The ordinance also affects seven areas surrounding Tirumala over an area of more than 10,000 acres affecting 20 Hindu religious places. It empowers the state government to prohibit the propagation of religion in places of worship or prayer other than the religion traditionally practiced at such places. In another equally significant move, the state government has accorded special status to the area around Tirumala as a place of religious importance. The Lord Venkateswhara temple on top of the Tirumala Hills is counted among the richest Hindu temples in the country, visited by 50,000 devotees on a normal day and with an income of millions of dollars a year. The decision to accord special status to Tirumala and its surrounding hills is being seen as an effort to meet the demands of Hindu organisations that the area become a “Vatican for Hindus”. The ordinance said that there had recently been a number of instances where worship or prayer by non-Hindu religious groups in or near Hindu places of worship hurt sentiments and disturbed the peace and tranquillity of that area. “While practicing or preaching any religion was a fundamental right of every citizen, propagation of other religion in temple areas could not be allowed,” the state Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy said. The chief minister said that the order will cover the places of worship of all religions. Anyone violating the law will be punished with imprisonment or a fine. Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/south_asia/6735661.stm
 Bar on preaching in shrines Hyderabad, June 8: Amidst a furore over alleged Christian missionary activity in and around the popular Tirumala shrine, the Andhra Pradesh government today promulgated an ordinance prohibiting the propagation of other religions in notified places of worship.“The ordinance empowers the government to prohibit the propagation of religions other than the one that is traditionally practiced at the notified place,” Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy told reporters here. Tirumala shrine is the abode of Lord Venkateshwara and attracts millions of pilgrims each year.The government issued a notification after Governor Rameshwar Thakur promulgated the “AP Propagation of Other Religions in the Places of Worship or Prayer (Prohibition) Ordinance, 2007.” A bill to this effect will be introduced in the next session of the assembly, Reddy said.“Such incidents(propagation of religion) were reported from the world renowned ancient temple like Tirumala and there were strong protests. The government perceives them as unwarranted intrusion into one religious group’s domain which could potentially disturb public order. The ordinance was aimed at ensuring that religious sentiments were not hurt and public order was not disturbed,” an official statement said.A separate Government Order also said all the seven hills and ten Theerthas falling under Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) limits will come under the purview of “Tirumala Divya Kshetram”.“Our government is committed to protecting the religious sentiments of people and sanctity of their shrines,” the Chief Minister said.The state cabinet had on April 27 decided to promulgate the ordinance that contains punitive measures for violators, including prison terms of up to three years and imposition of fines of up to Rs 5,000 or both. With a view to maintain public order, tranquility and serenity at a place of worship, it is prohibited to propagate a religion other than the one “traditionally practiced at such place, by words, either spoken or written, or signs or by visible representation or distribution of any printed material or other forms of religious literature”, the ordinance states.The government will notify such places from time to time where the ban will be made applicable.The recognition of individual freedom and spirit of mutual respect and co-existence among various religious denominations is the bedrock of the country’s ideological framework enshrined in the Constitution, the statement said.Sangh Parivar organisations and Hindu scholars have demanded a ban on the propagation of non-Hindu religions and stringent action against those who resort to conversions through inducements.(Agencies).http://www.chennaionline.com/colnews/newsitem.asp?NEWSID=%7BE676C0BC-0F94-416D-B51E-E61EE28A1566%7D&CATEGORYNAME=NATL  http://www.ibnlive.com/news/india/06_2007/only-hindus-can-preach-at-tirupati-42509.html  AP bars propagating other faiths near shrinesSyed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad | PTI | June 08, 2007 | 19:50 ISTThe Andhra Pradesh government has constituted the Tirumala Hills area comprising all the seven hills, the holy theerthams and the central shrine of Lord Venkateswara into “Tirumala Divya Kshetram.”Against the backdrop of a long history of cherished cultural legacy and sanctified Hindu tradition, the government of Andhra Pradesh has decided that the sanctity of the Seven hills and the Temple of Lord Venkateswara needs to be preserved as a unique religious area where the Hindu traditions shall be preserved and allowed to be nurtured as they have continuously been over the last two millennium.In order to achieve this objective, it has been felt appropriate to accord to all the Seven Hills and the temple town of Tirumala a special status as a place of religious importance by giving it a special dispensation and nomenclature,” Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy said in Hyderabad on Friday, citing a government order issued in this regard on June 2.“The Tirumala Hills area comprising all the seven hills, the holy theerthams and the central shrine of Lord Venkateswara will henceforth be called Tirumala Divya Kshetram,” Dr Reddy added.Tirumala Hills area has already been notified as a place of religious importance under Section 5(i) of the Andhra Pradesh Panchayat Raj Act, 1994 read with Section 114 of AP Charitable and Hindu Religious Institutions and Endowments Act, 1987. This effectively places the civic administration of the Tirumala Hills area in the hands of the Executive Officer of Tirumala-Tirupathi Devasthanams who shall have the authority normally exercised by a gram panchayat, the Sarpanch, Executive Officer or Executive Authority thereof under the AP Panchayat Raj Act 1994. “This special dispensation ensures that only spiritual and religious activity goes on in the seven hills area. No elections or political activity is permitted,” the chief minister explained.“It shall be the primary duty of the Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanams management to continue uninterruptedly with utmost devotion the traditional rituals and practices and no other religion shall be allowed to be propagated in Tirumala Divya Kshetram area by words, either spoken or written or by signs or visible representation or by distributing any printed material or other forms of religious literature in terms of Section 2(1) of AP Propagation of Other Religions in the Places of Worship or Prayer (Prohibition) Ordinance 2007 promulgated on May 22, 2007,” the government order pointed out.“The Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanams Board and the Executive Officer shall take all necessary steps to see that the spirit of this order is translated into practice and the sanctity of the seven hills area is fully preserved. The civic administration of the Divya Kshetram shall be carried out by the Executive Officer in such a way that public order, tranquility and security at this ancient place of worship is maintained and the timeless artifact of cultural heritage is preserved,” Principal Secretary to Government I V Subba Rao said.“The Tirumala Divya Kshetram shall comprise all the seven hills called Seshadri, Garudadri, Venkatadri, Narayanadri,Vrishabhadri, Vrishadri and Anjanadri right from foothills on all sides including the foothill starting from Alipiri and covering all the roads, footpaths leading to the temple of Lord Venkateswara more specifically the pathways leading to the Tirumala village from Chandragiri side beginning with the Devasthanams near Chandragiri mettu known as Srivari mettu, from Balapalli beginning with ChittoorDistrict border, the motorable road leading from Tirupathi to Tirumala i.e, first ghat road; motorable road leading from Tirupathi to Tirumala i.e, second ghat road; and motorable Road froth Tirumala to Papavinasanam. It shall include all the sacred theerthams on the seven hills,” the GO specifically stated.“The Government believes that a visit to the shrine should be a rare unalloyed devotional experience and the entire seven hills area should exude a unique spiritual, religious and ethical fervour. In order to create and maintain this ambience, the Executive Officer of Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanams has been empowered under Section 114 of the AP Charitable and Hindu Religious Institutions and Endowments Act, 1987 to take action to prevent begging, consumption of intoxicating liquor, drugs or cigarettes, meat or meat products. Slaughter of animals or birds, gaming and gambling are expressly prohibited under this Act. All these provisions are intended to ensure that the entire Tirumala Hills area continues to be a spiritual sanctuary that it has been all through,” the GO added.http://www.rediff.com//news/2007/jun/08ap.htm

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