Srikalahasthi - also known as Dakshina Kailasa, the very abode of Lord Siva has been hallowed by sages from time immemorial. The darshan of the self manifested vayulinga is a veritable nectar to his devotees, who throng to this place in ever increasing numbers. Devotees perform Rahu-Ketu pooja here, to get themselves relieved of the ill effects of Sarpa dosha and be bestowed with spiritual and material wealth.
The task of administration of such a devasthanam is being successfully executed by the Executive Officer, Mr. Rama Rao, a man equipped with foresight and an accomplishing will. In an exclusive conversation, the EO spoke about the various plans he has, in order to put the pilgrims to greater convenience.
A few excerpts from the interview :
SRS: Other than Sivarathri festival, what are the other festivals gaining importance?
EO: Dharmaraja festival, Kumaraswamy festival and Navarathri festival are the ones which attract large numbers of pilgrims.
SRS: Oflate Rahu-Ketu pooja is gaining lot of importance. Kindly tell us about the same.
EO: Well, Rahu-Ketu pooja has become very popular. The temple is gaining importance and drawing pilgrims in large numbers. On an average 1200 poojas are performed in a week. In this context I would like to add that there is another puja called Sarpa Dosha Nivarana pooja, by performing which many pilgrims are being benefited. Since, Srikalahasthi happens to be a Vayulinga Kshetra, the efficacy of performing these poojas is multifold.
SRS: Can you throw some light on the other sevas performed here.
EO: Well, as Lord Shiva is an Abhiseka Priya - the regular 4 abhishekha's per day, Rudrabhishekam, Palabhishekam, Panchamrita abhishekam and Saneeshwara abhishekam are performed. The special sevas like Nityakalyana utsavam, Unjal seva and Nandi seva are also gaining equal importance. Gopuja (cow pooja) and Nijaroopa darshanam have been introduced recently.
SRS: What are the facilities available?
EO: We have a master plan which will be executed shortly, which will cover cottages on par with Shirdi. This will be especially reachable for a common man at an affordable price.
SRS: Anything else you would like to express here as far as the future plans are concerned?
EO: There is going to be an all-round development here after. Regarding the cultural aspect, Srikalahastheeswara Sahitya Kalapeetam is going to come up shortly. There would be a magazine called Srikalahasthi prabha, which will consist of the importance of the kshetra and an update of the devasthanam. As a recreation spot, there is a park coming up for which 50 acres of land is acquired. We would be inviting the private investors to develop that area. We intend airconditioning the Mukha dwara of Ammavaru. We invite funds for the same and for the proposed diamond crown, which is estimated to cost 80 lakhs approximately.
SRS: What are your plans to streamline the amenities to pilgrims?
EO: We would be adopting a master plan which would cater to the needs of the pilgrims for the next 100 years. However, it will take 4-5 years to materialize. For instance, the streets are going to be widened and whoever steps into Srikalahasti will find it to be a different place altogether.
SRS: The other service activities of the devasthanam in the field of education, annadanam, etc.,
EO: At present nearly 200 people are being fed under the Nitya Annadana scheme. Donations are invited under this scheme. Srikalahastheeswara Institute of Technology (SKIT) came into existence under the sponsorship of Srikalahastheeswara Swami Devasthanam Educational Society, under the initiative of Hon'ble Minister and Local MLA Sri B Gopalakrishna Reddy, along with the active support of the then Trust Board members. SKIT is affiliated to JNTU, Hyderabad and offers courses in the fields of Computer Science, Electronics & Communication, Electrical & Electronics and Mechanical Engineering.
SRS: Thank you sir for giving your valuable time.