TG plans 'Jala Harati' on banks of rivers to shore up temple tourism

TG plans Jala Harati on banks of rivers to shore up temple tourism

The endowments department is contemplating to take up the initiative to boost tourism on the lines of Ganga Aarti at Varanasi

Hyderabad: With an aim to boost temple tourism in the State and attract devotees, the Endowments department is contemplating to take up ‘Jala Harati’ on the lines of Ganga Aarti at the river banks at major temple sites in Telangana.

According to the officials, the issue came up during a review meeting of the Endowments Minister Konda Surekha with the department personnel. The Minister wanted the officials to have ‘Jala Harati’ at the major temple sites in the state on the lines of Ganga Aarti at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, which has been a major attraction for the devotees during the evening time when people after having darshan of Shri Kashi Vishwanath visit the place for the Aarti.

There are major temples on the banks of River Godavari, like the famed Basar Saraswati Temple and Lord Shri Ramachandra Swamy Temple in Bhadrachalam, and also ghats at places including Dharmapuri and others. A senior official said that along with the idea of attracting the devotees, a message can also be spread about preserving the rivers by avoiding pollution.

The official further said that the department would involve voluntary organisations and philanthropists to take up the programme in the coming days. The officials are yet to decide on whether the Aarti should be a continuous process or should be taken up only during festivals and on special occasions. In the past, Godavari Aarti was taken up at Dharmapuri during the Karthika Masam by an organisation called Godavari Utsava Harati in 2019, which attracted many. A similar exercise was taken up by the Andhra Pradesh government in collaboration with the voluntary organisation. However, the programme ended because of fund crunch.

The officials said that they were planning to have the Jala Harati and also ‘Shankhanadam’ in temples. The plan is to have the programme during the festival days like Brahmotsavams and other festival days, the official said adding if there is good response then this can be extended on weekends and later on a regular basis. This would not only attract devotees but also help in generating revenue as the people would love to stay back to witness the Aarti, resulting in revenue generation for both temples as well as private players, the official added.

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