India

Indians pray at visa temples to go abroad

Millions of Indians regularly visit temples and religious sites to pray and seek divine help in fulfilling their wishes.

Most pray for a child or well being of their loved ones, but in recent years, some unusual temples have come up, including a few that offer divine help in procuring a visa.

Image copyright Robin Singh
Image caption This 150-year-old Sikh gurdwara (temple) in Talhan village in the northern Indian state of Punjab is the go-to place for thousands of Sikhs wanting to travel out of India.
Image copyright Robin singh
Image caption Many believe that praying at the Shaheed Baba Nihal Singh gurdwara will improve their chances of securing a visa.
Image copyright Robin Singh
Image caption The devotees often bring offerings of toy aeroplanes as they believe it will boost their chances of travel and a number of shops outside the gurdwara sell these toys.
Image copyright Anil Kumar Patwari
Image caption The Chilkur Balaji Temple in the southern state of Telangana is another shrine where tens of thousands of people go to pray to the "Visa God".
Image copyright Anil Kumar Patwari
Image caption The temple, dedicated to Lord Balaji, is one of the oldest temples near the city of Hyderabad and attracts a lot of computer professionals.
Image copyright Anil Kumar Patwari
Image caption The temple became popular about two decades ago when some computer software professionals who prayed here got visas to travel to the United States.
Image copyright Anil Kumar Patwari
Image caption The temple is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and on those days, reports say between 70,000 and 100,000 devotees visit the shrine.

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