Hyderabad Chilkur Balaji Temple – the Visa God

Working or moving to the United States, Australia or other Western countries is a dream for many Indians. But enough visas are not issued by these western countries to meet the growing aspirations of the middle class Indians. So many Indians seek divine intervention and head to the Chilkur Balaji Temple – the Visa God. Vauhini Vara writes about this amazing divine intervention in The Wall Street Journal.

Chilkur Balaji Temple is about 25 km from Hyderabad off the Vikarabad road and on the banks of Osmansagar.

Some excerpts from the article titled – Divine Intervention? Indians Seek Help From the 'Visa God'
In the late 1990s, this small temple on the outskirts of Hyderabad -- the
capital of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh -- drew just two or three
visitors a week.
C.S. Gopala Krishna, the 63-year-old head priest of the
Chilkur Balaji Temple, wanted more people to come. So he gave Lord Balaji a new
identity. "I named him the Visa God," he says. Now, Mr. Gopala Krishna's temple
is a hot spot.

Mohanty Dolagobinda is one of the Visa God's believers.
Three years ago, a U.S. consulting company applied for a visa on his behalf. It
was rejected. When the company tried again the following year, Mr. Dolagobinda's
friends told him to visit the Chilkur Balaji temple ahead of his interview at
the U.S. consulate. Weeks later, he sailed through the interview. "I've never
heard of anyone who's gone to the temple whose visa got rejected," says Mr.
Dolagobinda.

Rajendra Vippagunta, a 28-year-old now working for
Amazon.com Inc. in Seattle, visited the temple in 2001 and saw few others. On a
more recent visit, he says, "it was really, really jam-packed." Mr. Vippagunta
didn't know about the Visa God the first time he visited the temple, but it may
have had an effect anyway: The following year, he got a visa to move to the U.S.
Mr. Babu of the Indus Entrepreneurs says the appeal of the Visa God boils
down to the following: "Even if you're not religious, you say, 'Why not? I can
just go and spend a few minutes and get a visa,'" he says.