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Visa Temple Offers 'Raksha Kavach' to Protect Against Hate Crime in US

The murder of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, an engineer from Hyderabad, and rising cases of racial attacks on Indians in the United States have left students, working professionals, and NRI parents worried.

Sakshi Khanna | CNN-News18

Updated:March 6, 2017, 2:55 PM IST
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Visa Temple Offers 'Raksha Kavach' to Protect Against Hate Crime in US
File photo of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams. (representative image)

Hyderabad: The murder of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, an engineer from Hyderabad, and rising cases of racial attacks on Indians in the United States have left students, working professionals, and NRI parents worried. Adding to the tension is the temporary ban on premium H-1B visa for six months.

With rising fear among people in two Telugu states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, at famous "Visa Temple", the priests are working out a solution to ensure that American dream of thousands of Indians remains secured.

At Chilkur Balaji Temple near Hyderabad, popularly known as the temple of "Visa God", devotees are not merely seeking divine intervention to get American Visa, but are now offering prayers for their safety in the United States.

With rising concerns of devotees, the temple authorities are mulling over starting "Raksha Kavach" that will give protection against hate crimes.

Speaking to CNN-News 18, CS Rangarajan, a priest at Chilkur Balaji Temple said, "Everyone is worried about the recent developments in the United States. The parents are coming to temple to pray for the safety of their children. We are working on a way to give devotees Raksha kavach or sutra, something like a thread on the wrist for their safety. The number of devotees has not decreased, but yes, their concerns are rising."

The 500-year-old temple of Lord Balaji became famous as "Visa Temple" in the mid-1990s, after numerous people visited the temple, praying for a US visa stamp on their passport and got their wishes fulfilled.

The tradition continues to this day, and nearly 5000 people visit the temple hoping to get a US visa. As per the rituals, once the wish is fulfilled, people have to return and take 108 rounds.

| Edited by: Mirza Arif Beg
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