Modi offers prayers at Padmanabhaswamy temple in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram: Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered prayers at the centuries-old Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Kerala on Tuesday and spent 20 minutes there.

Modi while taking part in a public rally at Kollam district said he would seek blessings of Lord Padmanabhaswamy, which is known as one of the 108 divyadesams of Lord Vishnu, for the welfare of people of Kerala and the country.

As part of the union government’s Swadesh Darshan Scheme, Modi inaugurated a multi-crore developmental works carried out at the temple. The initiative aims at developing the basic facilities in and around religious institutions across India.

A plaque on the project ‘Development of Spiritual Circuit: Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple-Aranmula-Sabarimala,’  was unveiled by the Prime Minister. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Minister of State for Tourism, Alphons Kannanthanam and Shashi Tharoor, MP, were among those present during the occasion.

Under the Swadesh Darshan project, the Tourism Ministry had allotted Rs 92.22 crores for 2016-17, and a majority of the work under this project was carried out at the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple.

A heritage walk footpath, bio toilets and bathrooms, renovation of the temple tank, electrification and security systems have been completed at the temple.

Seven projects in Kerala under the Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD schemes for about Rs 550 crore have been sanctioned. In 2011, four underground cellars of the centuries-old temple, built by the Travancore Royal family, revealed gold ornaments, vessels, jewels and precious stones worth thousands of crores of money.

NT Bureau