The temple town of Basar in Adilabad district is in dire need of development on the lines of other temples in the State such as the famous Sri Lakshminarasimha Swamy temple at Yadagirigutta in Nalgonda district.
This is an opinion held by locals who are feeling the pinch in the wake of dwindling number of devotees arriving in their town which is the abode of Gnana Saraswati, the goddess of learning.
Strange as it may sound, Basar almost resembles a ghost town due to the constantly thinning number of devotees. Its restaurants, lodges, shops specialising in puja material and even the boatmen are in a crisis for the same reason, their business having plunged to abysmal depths during the Ashadam month wherein the turnout of devotees dwindled to only a few score every day.
In anticipation of a heavy turnout of devotees for Godavari Pushkaralu last year, entrepreneurs had opened at least 30 new lodges including one three star facility. While the latter has been closed owing to poor business many others would do so in the coming weeks as there is no business.
July 31 will see the start of the 12-day Godavari Antya Pushkaralu or the valedictory of the pushkaralu but the locals do not expect any improvement in the situation so far as arrival of devotees is concerned.
“Even though water has started flowing in the Godavari after a lapse of two years we do not foresee any turnaround in our fortunes,” observed an evidently crestfallen K. Sadanand who runs cottages in town.
“The government has laid good roads because of which devotees are not halting here overnight.
The journey from Hyderabad to Basar is just three hours by road and devotees can go back home the same evening after darshan of the goddess,” Sadanand points out.
Ummeda Narsaiah, a boatman on Godavari also complained of business not being good in the last two years as there was no water in Godavari for the devotees to go on brief pleasure trips. “The government should do something about it so that the flow of devotees resumes again,” he opined.
Some of the temple committee functionaries want Basar to be developed as a tourist spot.
“Tourism will be an added attraction for devotees to spend some quality time here,” asserted an office bearer in the committee, not wanting to be quoted.