The Andhra Pradesh state government has proposed a master plan to develop Simhachalam temple in Visakhapatnam. Additionally, 86 other temples will receive a facelift. Reportedly, the state government is chalking out plans to develop these holy shrines on the lines of the TTD temple in Tirupati. In this regard, the government has already directed the officials of the endowments department to come up with plans to develop the temples based on their category.
Under this proposal, there will be eight temples headed by joint commissioner, three headed by deputy commissioner, and 35 temples headed by assistant commissioner cadre in the state. According to the officials, the Simhachalam temple in Visakhapatnam District, holy shrines at Annavaram in East Godavari District, Dwaraka Tirumala in West Godavari District, Vijayawada in Krishna District, Srisailam in Kurnool District, Srikalahasti and Kanipakam in Chittoor District are chosen to be headed by an officer of the rank of joint commissioner.
These temples would have a master plan similar to that of the TTD, protecting the sanctity of the temple and providing amenities to the visiting devotees. The sanctum sanctorum of the temples and the places of offerings should be rebuilt if required so as to provide an improved and secure look. The government has also asked the officials to have ‘Mukhadwaram’, an arch at the main entrance – that should reflect the importance of the temple.
Once the master plan for these temples headed by joint commissioners, deputy commissioners and assistant commissioners is ready, the government also plans to rework the other temples that are also equally important and popular in their respective areas.
It may be recalled that earlier in September, Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple, at Simhachalam in Vizag, received ISO 9001:2005 (International Organisation for Standardisation) certificate. The certification was given by Andhra Pradesh Minister for Tourism, Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao, and Temple Executive Officer (EO), MV Suryakala.