First News
Volume:7, Number:44
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Around The World 4
THIS WEEK

Indians Throng ‘Visa Temple’ to Crack Trump’s Curbs

Hundreds of Indians gather daily at a 500-year-old Hindu temple in southern India where they pray for a single wish — an increasingly elusive US visa. The Chilkur Balaji temple dedicated to Lord Balaji — a re-incarnation of Hindu deity Vishnu — on the outskirts of Hyderabad city, has long been a one-stop solution for prospective Indian immigrants seeking US visas, earning it the sobriquet of ‘visa temple’. But temple officials say the place has seen an increase in visitors since the election of US President Donald Trump, who this month signed an order seeking to reform the “H-1B” work visa system. More than 100,000 devotees visit the temple every week, for visas and other reasons. They proffer their passports and a flower before the deity as they circum - ambulate the inner sanctum of the temple 11 times while chanting Hindu hymns. Once the wish is granted, worshippers must return to make 108 rounds of the sanctum.

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