BBC News

Indians pray at visa temples to go abroad

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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 copyrightRobin Singh
image captionThis 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 copyrightRobin singh
image captionMany believe that praying at the Shaheed Baba Nihal Singh gurdwara will improve their chances of securing a visa.
image copyrightRobin Singh
image captionThe 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 copyrightAnil Kumar Patwari
image captionThe 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 copyrightAnil Kumar Patwari
image captionThe temple, dedicated to Lord Balaji, is one of the oldest temples near the city of Hyderabad and attracts a lot of computer professionals.
image copyrightAnil Kumar Patwari
image captionThe temple became popular about two decades ago when some computer software professionals who prayed here got visas to travel to the United States.
image copyrightAnil Kumar Patwari
image captionThe temple is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and on those days, reports say between 70,000 and 100,000 devotees visit the shrine.

Related Topics

  • India
  • Hinduism
  • Sikhism
  • Hyderabad
  • Religion