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Muslims offer prayers to Lord Venkateswara

Muslims offer prayers to Lord Venkateswara
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Incredible it sounds at a time of growing religious intolerance, but in a rare display of harmony, a large number of Muslim devotees visit the local Lakshmi Venkateswara Swamy Temple in Devuni Kadapa and worship the deity on Ugadi every year. Ironically, they are the first to enter the temple and offer prayers to the Lord.

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Legend has it that Lord Venkateswara had married one of his consorts, Bibi Nanchari, in an inter-religious event, leading to establishment of close relations between the Hindus and Muslims

Kadapa: Incredible it sounds at a time of growing religious intolerance, but in a rare display of harmony, a large number of Muslim devotees visit the local Lakshmi Venkateswara Swamy Temple in Devuni Kadapa and worship the deity on Ugadi every year. Ironically, they are the first to enter the temple and offer prayers to the Lord.

In fact, Muslims look forward to the festival day. They start making a beeline to the place of worship right from 5 am and present offerings (kanukalu) irrespective of their social status. Some fulfil their wows by breaking coconuts. On other days, Hindus throng the temple.

Temple priest blessing a Muslim woman

Legend has it that Lord Venkateswara had married one of his consorts, Bibi Nanchari, in an inter-religious event, leading to establishment of close relations between the Hindus and Muslims. Muslims say they visit the temple and perform pooja because of that relationship

A Muslim devotee, Mahbub Basha said the Muslims treated the Lord as their son-in-law and offered special prayers for the wellbeing of their daughters on the Telugu New Year Day. Vedic pundits said that this practice was being followed for decades. Seshacharyulu, chief priest of the temple, confirmed it.

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