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Temples: history, architecture and distribution
I will check, but I have never heard about this. Possible hoax, Delhi where stove, Pencil ..... devi comes and every jack n Harry knows, I am surprised why this place in not famous like Hanuman Mandir in CP and Chattar pur temple near Qutab.
Even tiny temple(only 11 bricks) on road near Qutab is quiet popular.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Elephanta Caves - A Sixth Century Saivite Site Needing Better Care

MUMBAI, INDIA, June 13, 2005: Ancient sixth century Saivite caves about seven miles from Mumbai on a quiet island have become a focus in India's political arena. The Elephanta Caves boast a main cave that the news release says has a three-headed Sadashiva, a dozen highly detailed sculpture panels, and a Siva Lingam shrine, all patterned in a complex Hindu mandala geometry. Presently the caves have a meagre 320,000 visitors a year. Transportation to the island is via diesel powered boats that provide a rough ride and the subsequent train ride to the caves is less than comfortable. The article explains, "The caves remain only almost a world class tourist complex, while an exhaustive plan for the sustainable development of the entire 1.98-sq km island, prepared in 2003 by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), languishes on official tables. INTACH plans include drawing up a plan to fight seepage in the main cave hall and develop ing more aesthetic modes of transportation for tourists as well as providing shaded walkways, street furniture, memento shops and a better-kept museum."

The news release explains other challenges affecting the progress, "Waste from the JNPT's ships, ship-breaking activities, and oil and chemical industries along the Thane creek have almost killed the mangroves on one side of the caves. The longterm impact on the fragile caves and rock sculptures is anybody's guess. Also, for anybody working on Elephanta's development, logistics is a huge quandary. During the 1998-99 cleaning and restoration of the caves, if anybody forgot a roll of tape or a pack of nails, it meant a day's work lost, until the items could be fetched from Mumbai."<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Temple land auction nets 1.10-crore revenue
Staff Reporter

RAJAHMUNDRY: In a record time, the Endowments Department has auctioned 3,048 acres of temple land in the district, through which it netted a revenue of Rs.
1.10 crores.

The department is likely to get more revenue by auctioning the remaining 2,000
acres, the process of which is in progress.

The Assistant Commissioner of Endowments, B. Venkataswamy, said on Friday that there was 18, 300 acres of endowments land in the district, out of which 11,914 was wetland.

Repeated negotiations with farmers by the department officials and follow-up
action to the eviction notices had resulted in enhancement of lease and also
good result in public auctions.

He, however, said the department was facing problem in convincing some tenants
of Laxinarasimhaswamy Temple in Antarvedi.

The Assistant Commissioner wrote to higher authorities to settle the tangle<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Church on Tirumala Hills

Source: The Hindu

BJP urges Government not to allot land to build a church atop Tirumala
Special Correspondent
Bhishma's Temple - Vishnu Sahasranamam's birth place
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Three priceless panchaloha idols found in TN</b>

Cuddalore, July 22 : Police and revenue officials recovered three priceless ''panchaloha'' idols at Thangavel colony near Kaattumannar Koil in this district today.

Police said the idols, each weighing about 100 kg, were recovered when a house-owner dug a pit for building a septic tank.

The recovered idols included a three ft tall Amman, a 12 ft Nataraja and a three ft Siva-Parvathi-Ganesh, police said.

Police said a team, led by the Kaattumannar Koil Tahsildar, recovered the idols, on being informed by the villagers.

Workers engaged in the septic tank work stumbled upon the Amman idol at a depth of three ft and on being informed, revenue and police officials found the other two idols, police said.

Villagers said the idols could have belonged to the 200-year-old Anantheeswarar temple and could have been buried to hide them from the Mughals. They said the Nataraja idol could be bigger than the famous one at Chidambaram.

All three idols were being kept at the Tahsildar office at Kaattumannar Koil and local people were making a beeline to have ''darshan.'' Police had a tough time controlling the crowds.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> <b>Now Indian help for Pakistan temple complex </b>
Mandira Nayar
AGELESS WONDER: <i>The ancient Katas Raj temple complex was one of the highlights of Bharatiya Janata Party leader L. K. Advani's visit to Pakistan not long ago. -</i>

NEW DELHI: : In a bid to keep alive common heritage, the Archaeological Survey of India is reaching across the border to lend a helping hand to preserve the ancient Katas Raj temple complex in Pakistan.

"We are sending a senior officer to Pakistan on an exploratory visit next month so that he can talk to his Pakistani counterparts to understand the scope of the project," says the Director-General of ASI, C. Babu Rajeev. "The Ministry of External Affairs had asked us to send someone to Pakistan to study the temple. But we still have to figure out what the Pakistan Government expects from what kind of support we can offer.''

Located some 40 km from the modern city of Chakwal in Pakistan, the Katas Raj temple complex dates back to the Mahabharata era. The focus of many stories about the Pandavas spending time there during their long exile, the lake in the complex -- which is believed to have magical powers -- is where Yudhishtar defeated the Yaksha with his wisdom to bring his brothers back to life. "After our visit to the temple complex we will be in a better position to understand the scope of our involvement in the project. It all depends on what our Pakistani counterparts want. In Cambodia, for example, we are also funding part of the Angkor Vat project apart from looking after its conservation. But in this project, we don't know what we will do or the extent of our involvement,'' the ASI Chief adds.

A perfect example of common bonds of myths and legends that blur boundaries, the Katas Raj complex was also on the itinerary of Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani when he visited Pakistan not long ago.

The temple complex is also on the priority list of the Evacuee Trust Property Board for conservation, and the Board is likely to nominate it for World Heritage Site status.

A rare occasion that the Pakistan and Indian sides are bridging the historic divide to try and collaborate on a monument, it will be a big step if a concrete plan of action is finally drawn up involving experts from both countries.

An important achievement for the conservation movement, it will certainly go a long way in preserving common legacy. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Remains of ancient temple found

T.S. Subramanian

Dating back to the late Sangam period, it was discovered by ASI archaeologists

UNRAVELLED: Dr. T. Satyamurthy, Superintending Archaeologist, Archaeological Survey of India (Chennai Circle), points to the square sanctum sanctorum built of bricks of a temple that belongs to the late Sangam period, near Mamallapuram. — Photo: S. Thanthoni

CHENNAI: The remains of a brick temple, dating back to the late Tamil Sangam period [circa 1st century B.C. to 2nd century A.D.], have been discovered on the seafront near the Tiger Cave at Saluvankuppam, a few km ahead of the world-famous Mamallapuram monuments.

The Archaeological Survey of India (Chennai Circle) during excavations in the area found the brick temple beneath a Pallava temple of circa 8th century A.D. The Hindu had published a report on the discovery of the Pallava temple, built of granite blocks, on July 13, 2005.

2000 years old

"The brick temple is the most ancient temple discovered so far in Tamil Nadu. There is no doubt that it is about 2,000 years old," said T. Satyamurthy, Superintending Archaeologist, ASI, Chennai Circle. Twenty-seven courses of bricks with a square garbha griha (sanctum sanctorum) that made the Sangam age temple form the centrepiece of the discovery. The temple is dedicated to Muruga, the presiding deity of "kurinji" [hill] tracts. The sanctum measures 2 metres by 2.2 metres. The bricks measure 40 cm x 20 cm x 7 cm. They are still sturdy.

The big-sized bricks are typical of the period and are similar to those found at Kaveripoompattinam near Thanjavur; Uraiyur in Tiruchi district — Uraiyur was the capital of the Cholas of the Sangam age; Mangudi near Tirunelveli; and Arikkamedu near Pondicherry. They have been sent to the University of Manipur for thermo-luminescent dating. The results are awaited.

Pre-canonical structure

Dr. Satyamurthy was sure the brick temple was built before the canonical period because it faced north. "Agama" texts, which came into existence in the sixth or seventh century A.D., and "shilpa sastras" had prescribed rules for construction of temples including the directions they should face. Normally, temples faced east or west. But this one did not follow "agama" texts and hence looked north. Tsunami or tidal waves that occurred twice had pulled down the entire temple complex. There is telltale evidence of wave action from the excavation. Deposits of shells and debris of the temple have been found on the eastern side of the complex, towards the shoreline. "What is interesting is not the discovery of the brick temple but that we can record stratigraphically the remains of palaeo-tsunami deposits. The impact of the tidal wave is seen on the eastern side of the temple, close to the sea. Such a feature is absent on the western side," Dr. Satyamurthy said.

G. Thirumoorthy, Assistant Archaeologist, ASI, said the temple belonged to two periods: the late Sangam age and the Pallava period. After the brick temple collapsed, the Pallava kings of the 8th and 9th century A.D., built another temple over it, using granite slabs. This temple too collapsed.

Artefacts found at the site include broken stucco figurines, obviously under worship; a painted hand portion with a bangle of a stucco figurine, simple-looking terracotta lamps, beads, roofing tiles made of terracotta, spinning whorls, a broken animal terracotta figurine and hop-scotches. A "prakara" (compound) wall of the same period has been excavated.

<img src='http://www.hindu.com/2005/09/21/images/2005092104692001.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />
Why they are with shoes in temple site?

Please check out the following site if you are interested in Indian architecture -- past and present.

<b>Skyscrapercity -- India Forum</b>

It is a vibrant forum, and they have collected some of the largest number (and the best) photos of Indian temples, monuments, etc. on the net. Perhaps some of the archi-gurus here can contribute there as well?

<b>Hindusthan's stolen wealth-A rare black diamond called Black Orlov</b>
A rare black diamond called Black Orlov, or Eye of Brahma, has gone on public display for the first time in Britain.

Removed from an idol in India over two centuries ago, it now ranks among the world's most famous gems. The stone is currently on display, along with a replica of the world-famous Koh-i-Noor, at an exhibition on diamonds at London's Natural History Museum.

The Black Orlov or The Eye of Brahma diamond during a photocall in London.

According to received information, the diamond was discovered in India in the early 1800s. At the time, it weighed an impressive 195 carats.

Interestingly, as with most other famous precious stones, it is believed to bring enormous bad luck to its owner. At least three former holders, including two Russian princesses, apparently killed themselves after it came into their possession.

In an attempt to escape the alleged curse, the diamond was re-cut into three separate stones. The 67.5 carat stone now known as the Black Orlov is set in a 108-diamond brooch suspended from a 124-diamond necklace.

Following the closure of the exhibition next year, the necklace will move to California to be worn by a film star at the 2006 Oscars ceremony. When asked about owning the stone, diamond dealer Dennis Petimezas says, 'In the middle of the 20th century, the media christened it the Evil Death Gem, but I've never felt nervous owning it. I've spent the past year trying to discover everything I can about its melodramatic history and am confident the curse is broken.'
Incidentally, this isn't the first famous diamond to come from India. There's everyone's favourite Koh-I-Noor, for one, the earliest reference to which was made in the first Mughal emperor Babur's memoirs, the Baburnama.

There was also the 45.52 carat steel blue Hope Diamond, found in India by noted French traveller Jean Baptiste Tavernier in the seventeenth century. Apparently, he found the stone when approached by a slave who had 'a very secretive manner about him.' Then, weighing 88.70 carats, there was the Shah diamond, with the names of three monarchs engraved on it, including the Shah of Persia.

The tragedy is, none of these famous diamonds have managed to stay in India.

The Queen Mother's crown bearing the Koh''i''noor diamond lies on the coffin of the Queen Mother April 5, 2002 as her ceremonial procession makes its way down the Mall in London.
Ramnathi Devasthan, A Konkani Temple
On my recent trip to desh i had the good fortune to visit Somnath. This time I got a cool VCD with aarti and puja. One interesting thing I found while watching the VCD is that there is a murti of Brahma-ji. I vaguely remember somebody mentioning that there are no Brahma temples. If not please ignore.
You are right Rajesh about the Brahama temples, they are very very rare. There's a legend about a curse of Brahma that there would be no places devoted to worship him except at few designated places (Pushkar ?) Also attached is a story of some flower name starts with 'P' (forget it at the moment) which is never ever offered to any diety.
<b>Pushkar Brahma Temple </b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Once upon a time, when Brahma was searching for an ideal place to perform a yagna, a lotus fell from his hand onto a spot which came to be called Pushkar. The auspicious hour was selected. Brahma and his wife Savitri were to jointly perform the yagna. But as the time for the ceremony drew near, Savitri was still preoccupied beautifying herself for the event. An enraged Brahma, under the compulsion of performing the rites with a wife, married a local cowherd’s daughter, Gayatri.

Once Savitri learnt of this, she cursed Brahma that he would not be worshipped anywhere on earth except at Pushkar. She deserted him and sat on the nearby Ratnagiri hill. There, today, is a Savitri temple. From there, anyone with a good eyesight can see the crimson Brahma temple where The Creator still sits with the cowherd’s daughter. Nothing happened on this matter till 1984.
Another legend.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->According to another legend in the Shiva Purana, once Brahma and Vishnu were fighting over who was the superior of the two. Horrified at the intensity of the battle, the other gods asked Shiva to intervene. To make them realise the futility of their fight, Shiva assumed the form of a huge column of fire in between Brahma and Vishnu. Awestruck by its magnitude, they decided to find one end each to establish supremacy over the other. Brahma assumed the form of a swan and went upwards and Vishnu as Varaha went into the earth. But light has no limit and though they searched for thousands of miles, neither could find the end.

On his journey upwards, Brahma came across a Ketaki flower wafting down slowly. When asked where she had come from, the Ketaki replied that she had been placed at the top of the fiery column as an offering. Unable to find the uppermost limit, Brahma decided to end his search and take the flower as a witness. At this, the angry Shiva revealed his true form. <b>He punished Brahma for telling a lie, and cursed him that no one would ever pray to him</b>. <b>The Ketaki flower too was banned from being used as an offering for any worship</b>, as she had testified falsely. Since it was on the 14th day in the dark half of the month of Phalguna that Shiva first manifested himself in the form of a linga, the day is specially auspicious and is celebrated as Mahashivaratri.

Brahma Temple, the only temple where Lord Brahma is worshipped, is one of the main attractions of Pushkar. The temple holds special importance for the followers of Hinduism. The temple houses a life size four-armed idol of Lord Brahma-the creator-in the antralaya (vestibule). The temple is also characterised by its white marble floor and stairs. The walls of the temple are studded with silver coins. The coins are put by the devotees to mark the births or deaths of the loved ones of the devotees who came here to offer prayers. This place, full of natural beauty, holds a special place in the hearts of Indians for it is believed that Lord Brahma, together with all the gods and goddesses, performed a Yagya here.
<b>Afghanistan's Historic Hindu Temples Busy For Navaratri</b>

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN, October 5, 2005: With the onset of the nine-day festival period of Navaratri, Kabul's ancient Hindu temples are buzzing with a record number of devotees of all faiths. The focal attraction is Asamai temple. Hundreds of Afghanistan's Hindus and Sikhs as well as Indians employed in reconstruction projects pay their obeisance there every day. The hill is named Asamai after Asha, the Goddess of hope said to be residing on the hilltop since time immemorial.<b> Legend goes that the Akhand Jyoti or continuous fire there has been burning uninterrupted for over 4,000 years. Amazingly, both the temple and the jyoti have survived numerous bloody wars for supremacy over Kabul, says this article. </b>Two large halls with a capacity of about 1,000 persons form part of the Asamai complex, commonly used for religious congregations on festivals like Navaratri and Diwali. <b>Kabul boasts another ancient temple complex--Harshri Nath--with temples devoted to Hindu deities Siva, Saraswati and Ganesha</b>. The Harshri Nath temple attracts several Hindu families who returned to Kabul over the past four years. Several Sikh families also visit the temple every week to pray alongside Hindus. Kabul's third temple is located in the Shor Bazaar area once the hub of the trade in clothes, currency and dry fruits that is dominated by Hindus and Sikhs.<b> Dedicated to God Siva, the small temple miraculously survived severe shelling during the Civil War, even as the entire Shor Bazaar was reduced to rubble.</b> Though the local Hindu and Sikh population has dropped to about 5,000 from close to 20,000, the temple is a favorite with scores of Indians currently engaged in reconstruction work.

About Afghan Hindus
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Idols stolen 20 yrs ago returned </b>
Vijay Upadhyay/ Firozabad -Pioneer
Call it blind faith or a series of fateful incidents, that is making the people of Darapur and Mehri villages in Firozabad district ecstatic with joy this Navratra festival.

The reason for this is the reappearance of Kul Devi idols in the village temple after 20 years and the discovery of a note from the thieves claiming that stealing these idols had destroyed them and they were returning the idols to their original place.

According to the village pradhan, Triloki Nath, these idols, known as Darapur Mehri Devi had been discovered about 70 years back in the fields outside the village, where the temple today stands. The idols were stolen from the temple in 1984 and two brothers Anantram & Gangaram from a nearby village Laturra were accused of theft, though they could not be arrested due to lack of evidence.

According to Nath, the brothers did not live long after they were accused of stealing the idols and while Gangaram was knocked down by a moving train, the second one died a few years back in Delhi. Though the idols remained missing and when all efforts to relocate the Kul Devi idols were wasted, the villagers installed a modern Durga idol in the temple and continued to worship despite facing hardships.

On Wednesday, the idols suddenly appeared on a platform built around the temple and along with them the villagers found a handwritten letter from the thieves who had stolen these idols 20 years back, in which, they have confessed their crime. Pleading guilty in the note, the thieves had claimed that ever since they stole the idols, they had faced several disasters in their lives. One of them had gone insane, while the other had been blinded. Even when they tried to sell off the idols to smugglers, they always returned to them and fearing that they had committed an unforgivable crime by stealing these idols, they were returning them back to their original place, pleading for forgiveness.

When The Pioneer visited Darapur village on Saturday, the atmosphere was filled with religious chanting and bhajans with the idols being formally reinstalled in the temple amidst a huge ceremony with almost 3000 villagers participating.

According to Tundla Police Station in-charge<b> Baldhari Singh, the reappearance of these idols was a mischief of some local villager, who had been hiding these idols in his home and when his attempts to sell these idols failed,</b> he returned them to the temple along with the letter.

<b>An Archaeological Survey of India official in Agra said that the artifact that had appeared in the temple was apparently a piece of a large ornamental plaque that had probably been a part of a temple pillar during the Chandela dynasty in the 9the - 11the century AD. </b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Devi temple stopped runaway train in its tracks </b>
Vijay Upadhyay / Agra - Pioneer
A major disaster was averted in Agra on Friday through "divine" intervention, when a fully loaded goods train ran past the track and neared a densely populated area of the town, stopping only at the doors of a "Devi" temple.   

Though the engine and four bogies of this train were badly damaged in the incident, no one received even a scratch, partly due to the alertness of the engine driver and for the most part, because the temple stopped the train from entering the Dalit colony that lay behind it.

On Saturday, the railway crew and its disaster relief train were still trying to pull back the engine on a hastily laid track but the engine refused to be dislodged from the temple gate.

According to eye-witness accounts, the goods train was scheduled to deliver 20 bogies loaded with foodgrains to the Food Corporation of India (FCI) godown located at the farthest end of the Agra Cantonment railway station. Instead of stopping at the godown, the train shot past it and went hurtling down the track for several hundred meters before reaching dead-end.

Apparently, the engine driver Ramesh Chandra had applied brakes on the train before the godown but the vacuum brakes failed to work and went hurtling towards the dead-end beyond which lay the dense Barah Khambha locality of the town, mostly populated by Dalits.

The driver hurriedly sounded the horn as the train began to slide off the track through the mud towards Barakh Khambha road, that runs past the railway track to the Agra airport.

The frenzied sound of the horn and the train hurtling off the tracks into the locality was enough to get most of the area vacated in seconds. Only more than two dozen people praying at the temple appeared blissfully oblivious of the peril of being crushed between the temple and the train.

Strangely enough, the speeding engine stopped with a big bang at the gate of the temple, throwing it open for the devotees who scrambled to safety.

Had the engine gone past the temple, it could have resulted in a disaster of a magnitude larger than the recent Bundelkhand Express derailment, when the train had gone off the track similarly, hitting a railway cabin, killing 16 people, due to the very same reasons that caused Friday's incident

Talking to The Pioneer on Saturday, M Suresh, Divisional Railway Manager Agra, North Central Railways said that the incident was being investigated but prima facie, it appeared that the railway crew that attached the engine to the goods bogies had not linked the vacuum hose pipes, which resulted in brakes failure.

The train had been going at a very low speed, being a fully loaded goods train, had it been running at a higher speed, it could have caused a major disaster.

Whatever may be the reason for the train to stop at the gates of the temple, the incident has suddenly increased the importance of this "Devi" temple in the eyes of the local people, who attribute the stopping of the train to the divine intervention of "Devi Maa".
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--> <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Please help us to return the Hindu places of worship to the Hindu Community in India. India is the largest secular democracy in the world, yet in India the majority religion of Hinduism is not allowed to have any control over the management, property, assets, contributions, and funding of their own Temples, as it is being given over to the control of the Government. This would be the same as if here, in America, all Christian denomintations had to relinquish the management, property, assets, contributions, and funding of their Churches to politicians of the U.S. Governemnt.

Read the petition below and go to http://www.petitiononline.com/41207/petition.html to sign the petition.

To:  The President of India


To: THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA Rashtrapathi Bhavan, New Delhi Your Excellency,

This is to bring to your kind attention a grave aberration in the governance of the Democratic, Secular, Republic of India in its practice of Secularism enshrined in the Constitution. The Constitution guarantees that the government will not interfere with the religious institutions of the people since India is a Secular Country.

While this is followed in letter and spirit in the case of the minority religions this is being violated in the case of Hinduism. From colonial times the Hindu temples are being run by the state and central governments in many places and the revenue from these places are being routed for non-religious purposes of the state. There is also rampant corruption in the handling of these funds as those delegated to the management of these are not chosen for their faith or commitment to the cause. <b>While the incomes from the Churches of the Christian community or the Mosques of the Muslim community get utilized for their own community and religious purposes this is not the case with the Hindu community.</b>

Thus the places of worship of the Hindu segment are in turmoil. As there are not enough funds from the Secular governments available to the Hindus for religious purposes they are at a double disadvantage. This money donated by the Hindu pilgrims ought to have been used exclusively for the places of worship and the community needs but this is not possible now. <b>There have been reports that these funds also get used for the benefit of other religions, like giving subsidies for Haj pilgrims, from the Muslim community. Since the Hindu community has negligible international support unlike other religions this leads to a major handicap.</b>

Our enquiries reveal that the Tirupati Thirumala Devasthanam (TTD) in Andhra Pradesh generates nearly Rs. 500 crores annually and 90% of this money is reportedly going for non-Hindu purposes. There are also allegations about the non-Hindu administrators appointed to run the temple. This is a clear discrimination against the Hindu population. In Kerala the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala and the Guruvayoor temples, to take two instances, also generates huge incomes which presently gets diverted to other sectors of state apart from getting misused. <b>Large number of Hindu temples are in need of repairs and renovation but these funds are presently not available for that purpose. Neither is this available for the pressing community purposes.</b>

<b>From the funds of the Guruvayoor temple a major part was recently committed to the state administration for building public sewerage systems by the state government designated officials.</b> The Poonkavanam area of the Sabarimala forest temple comprising of several hills and worshipped and conserved by the devotees was taken over during the British times and presently the Govt. of India is asking that the temple pay Rs. 6 crores as compensation for 50 ha of land given for pilgrim facilities. <b>This is as against the thousands of hectares taken over by illegal encroachers, predominantly of the Christian community, in nearby areas with no compensation, with state support. This also has to be seen in the backdrop of the temple revenues worth crores going to the government for the last several decades.</b>

As your kind self is aware there is enormous inflow of international aid to the non-Hindu religions mainly from the Christian organizations and these are being used to lure the poor Hindu populations in to their faith. Since the donations make the people loyal to the donors there is every possibility that they act later on behalf of them. It is a clear case of bribing in the name of religion. <b>There is no way for the Hindu population to arrest this marauding activity through redoubtable international aid as the temple revenues are being diverted to other needs by the government. Lapses in temple administration are frequently reported.</b>

Since the rich countries of the world are predominantly Christian in the post-colonial world and they have used faith and trade as tools for subjugation in the past it is quite likely that this situation will clearly jeopardize the faith of the majority people in India very soon and also, we are afraid, compromise the country's sovereignty. It is also a clear violation of the rights of the individual when the money donated to a temple by a devote is used for purposes other than what is intended. <b>There are also reports of non-Hindus and atheists appointed by various governments to administer temples which can be ritually damaging and is a violation of the principles of justice.</b>

Hence we request that your excellency kindly intervene that : - The Hindu places of worship be left to the Hindu community just as the Christian and Muslim places are being managed by the respective communities. - That appropriate systems be evolved to manage the temples where the Hindu saints and scholars have the final say - Stipulate that the revenues generated at the temples be used only for the purposes of the places of worship or the Hindu community needs by statutory provisions - Help evolve a uniform country wide management policy with regard to the administration and upkeep of temples with the guidance of competent Hindu saints This plea on behalf of the affected Hindu community is to ensure that India remains a true secular democratic country. That the sense of resentment does not lead to break down in communal amity. Also that India’s sovereignty is safe guarded. Else the places of worship of all other communities including their international aid be brought under the scrutiny and management of the various governments. Also enquiries be constituted as to where the funds arrive and to what use they are put to through time. This anomaly has been existing since long and our appeal to your excellency is to help us get justice atleast at this late hour.. Thanking you

Contact Email: In association with Shree Vidyadhiraja Vikasa Kendram, Thiruvananthapuram
Contact Email: gsvvk@yahoo.co.in


The Undersigned

Go to http://www.petitiononline.com/41207/petition.html to sign the petition.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Anti-Hindu Communists want
Distribution of temple lands in Tamil Nadu

Organiser, October 9, 2005
By Dr Jagan Kaul

The Tamil Nadu CPM’s demand for confiscating and distributing the Hindu mutt endowment lands to the poor is outrageous, anti-Hindu and anti-secular. It deeply violates the religious sentiments of the majority Hindu community. These lands donated by the devotees were historically meant for the purpose of use and sustenance of the religious places in perpetuity. <b>The government in its capacity as a “trustee” and not an “owner” has no power to alter that course.</b> Doing so will be prejudicial to greatly sacred Hindu tradition and it will violate the “trusteeship covenant”.

That the irreligious <b>CPM in a calculated strategy is focusing upon the temple lands in its national campaign shows its utter disregard towards the Constitution and the Hindus’ religious rights</b>. The central purpose for unleashing this venomous strategy against the Hindus religious properties is to cultivate electoral dividends to be harvested during the forthcoming elections. On the broader side, it once again opens up the question of illegal government control of temples and mutts in Tamil Nadu seriously violating the religious rights and sentiments of over 80 per cent of the national population.

To extend the government jurisdiction exclusively upon Hindu places of worship and their estates while leaving similar entities of other religious formations outside the draconian control speaks volumes about the hypocrisy exercised by the administration.

<b> Furthermore, if distributing temple properties amongst the poor is a worthwhile and noble cause, then how many church and mosque properties has the government distributed amongst the poor? Or do they not subscribe to that philosophy and, therefore, are out of bounds to such generosity?</b>

<b>Government control over Hindu religious places is a deliberate policy of radically altering India’s cultural complexion.</b>

It is a sad yet lawless story of unconstitutional usurpation of Hindu temples and their estates by the government and becoming their self-appointed trustee and then violating the trusteeship covenant by diverting their resources for other than Hindu religious purposes. Since Hinduism, like other religions in India, is not a state controlled or managed religion therefore, it is far beyond its competence to divert temple revenues, change physical structures and/or sell/transfer their lands or estates for non-Hindu religious purposes.

<b>By controlling Hindu temples and their estates, the government is depriving Hindus of their fundamental “religious rights” guaranteed under Articles 25 and 26 of the Indian Constitution.</b> According to Article 25 of the Constitution, all persons are equally entitled to the right to profess, practice and propagate religion. <b>While Article 26 provides that every religious denomination “shall have the right (a) to establish and maintain institutions for religious and charitable purposes; (b) to manage its own affairs in matters of religion; © to own/acquire movable and immovable property; and, (d) to administer such property in accordance with law”.</b>

The Indian Parliament through an Act in 1991 legislated that “the status of religious places, as on August 15, 1947 shall be retained”. The faithful implementation of this law itself will require the authorities to revert the control of places of worship of Hindus to the community governance.

The term “secular” was incorporated in the Constitution of India by the 42nd Amendment in 1976. A secular government cannot legitimately be involved in the operation and management of religious places since secularism firmly stands for the separation of state and religion. With unjustifiable exception of Hindu religious entities this principle is held high in Tamil Nadu. <b>In the case of Hindus, the State Government has chosen to act above and beyond the limitations imposed upon it by the Constitution.</b>

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