Finally, the Endowments Department has initiated steps for the developmental activities in the historic Arasavalli temple by approving the master plan which was prepared a couple of years back.
The department, in association with the temple authorities, is expected to spend around Rs. 10 crore for the creation of facilities for the pilgrims.
The temple attracts almost three lakh people on the day of Ratha Saptami and around 20,000 devotees every Sunday to have darshan of Lord Suryanarayana Swamy.
It gets an annual income of Rs. 4 crore and has more than Rs. 18 crore worth in fixed deposits. Though the finances of the temple looked bright, the Endowments Department failed to take up developmental activities all these years. The ills that plague the temple include congestion created by vendors or hawkers at the temple’s entrance and increased traffic movement through the temple’s vicinity into residential areas — both making it difficult for pilgrims visiting the temple, especially on Sundays. Utter chaos prevails on festival days such as on Ratha Saptami.
The district administration has proposed removing the shops on either side of the road leading up to the temple and widening the road up to 60 feet.
Recently, Endowments Department Principal Secretary J.S.V. Prasad visited Arasavalli temple and expressed dissatisfaction over the functioning of the temple. He asked officials to begin road widening, creation of parking area, shifting of shops to identified place as part of the implementation of the master plan.
The works are likely to begin by the end of this year, according to higher officials. Road widening from Arasavalli arch to the main premises will be taken up very shortly.
A massive building, which is located in front of the main temple, is expected to be demolished so that the Sun’s rays fall directly into the premises of temple.
The implementation of master plan helps to construct more toilets, cloak rooms and accommodation facility. Indra Pushkarani will also get a makeover and it can be seen directly from the temple. The temple has no ‘Mada Veedhi’ as houses and commercial establishments had been built around the Sun temple.
Chief Priest of the temple Ippili Shankara Sarma told The Hindu that the temple would get all the facilities on a par with major ones such as Simhachalam Temple near Vishakapatnam, the Kanaka Durga Temple at Vijayawada and the Annavaram Temple of East Godavari district.
Endowments Department approves master plan; to spend Rs. 10 crore for creating amenities for pilgrims.