JAMMU: The foundation stone for the Lord Venkateswara temple of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) was laid here on Sunday and the ceremony was attended by Union ministers G Kishen Reddy and Jitendra Singh, as well as Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha.
The Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple and its allied infrastructure will be built on a 62.06-acre piece of land at Majeen village near Jammu.
The temple’s administration will under the TTD that also manages the hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala-Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh.
TTD Trust Board chairman Y V Subba Reddy along with other board members, including legislators, attended the ceremony.
Many local political leaders, civil and police officers and heads of urban local bodies and panchayati raj institutions were also part of the event.
The Jammu and Kashmir administrative council, headed by Lt Governor Sinha, on April 1 had approved a proposal to allot land to the TTD for building the temple and its allied infrastructure on lease basis for a period of 40 years.
Subsequently, 62.02 acres of land at Majeen was given to the TTD for building the temple, amenities for pilgrims, a Veda Patashala, a spiritual and meditation centre, an office, residential quarters and parking.
The arrival of the TTD in Jammu and Kashmir will tap the tourism potential, particularly pilgrim tourism in Jammu, besides enhancing economic activities, an official spokesman said.
“Once developed, the TTD infrastructure will be an attraction for pilgrims and tourists in addition to the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine and Amarnathji Shrine,” he said, adding that this development will contribute to the economic growth of the region.
Jammu and Kashmir BJP president Ravinder Raina, who was those who attended the event, said, “Jammu is a city of temples and the addition of the most revered Balaji temple in the city would benefit the people.”
He said the construction of Balaji temple is a blessing for the Union Territory and its adjoining states as people will get an opportunity to pray here instead of travelling to Andhra Pradesh.
Raina said the allied infrastructure, including educational institutions and hospitals, would benefit people and generate economic activities.
“It will be an addition in the circuit of various important religious places, including the Vaishno Devi shrine, Bawe Wali Mata, Raghunath temple and Amarnath shrine,” he said.
National Conference provincial president Devender Singh Rana expressed hope that the local people would be provided jobs and ample opportunities in the construction activities of the temple.
“We are hopeful that it will become a major attraction for the people of northern India and will give a boost to religious tourism,” he said.