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Devotees pray at Chennai’s Lord Ganesha temple for US, UK visas to come through

Visa applicants flock at Sri Lakshmi Visa Ganapathy Temple in Chennai to get blessings of Lord Ganesha

Faith in divine intervention can bring about both spiritual and material fulfilment. An example of this is the Sri Lakshmi Visa Ganapathy Temple located north of the Chennai airport whose presiding deity Lord Ganesha devotees believe ensures smooth and successful visa interviews.

The crowds thronging outside this small temple daily is proof of this belief.

Arjun Viswanathan, an IT professional who prayed for a United Kingdom visa for his brother and one for his wife for the United States prayed there as now he has applied for an employment visa to America. Talking to the Associated Press he said: “They were both successful. So I have faith.”

The temple is run by Mohanbabu Jagannathan and his wife, Sangeetha was built by Jagannathan’s grandfather in 1987. As the house was outside a cul-de-sac a Ganesh temple was built to ward off evil as is a prevalent belief among people.

In the beginning, only those living close to the temple visited it. According to Jagannathan over a period of time it gained the reputation of blessing visa applicants with success. His father, Jagannathan Radhakrishnan, reconstructed the temple in 2009 and added visa to its name.

For Jagannathan it is a service they offer to the people. “It’s a joy to see how happy people are when they come back and tell us they got their visa.”

People have come from as far off as Delhi to pray here. Recalling an incident his wife said a man came all the way from the Capital and prayed for a visa to visit his grandchild.

There is also a Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Navaneetha Krishnan Temple, located a litte further away from this Lord Ganesha temple, where Lord Hanuman’s deity is believed to possess the power to get visas. He is also called “America Anjaneya” and “Visa Anjaneya”.

It was not until 2016 that this temple became popular with visa seekers. The temple’s secretary G.C. Srinivasan said: “It was around that time that a few people who prayed for a visa spread the word around that they were successful, and it’s continued.”