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Mini Shirdi in steel city to open gates on Sunday
- Sri Sainath Devasthanam in Ghorabandha promises to promote tourism, generate employment

Thousands of faithful in Jamshedpur will soon have a new address to pray. Sri Sainath Devasthanam will throw open doors to devotees in Telco’s Ghorabandha from June 1.

Built on two acres, the temple will house a 5.5ft marble idol of Shirdi Sai Baba — the saint who is regarded as an incarnation of Krishna by some and a peer baba by others.

Members of Sai Parivar Vishwa Seva Sansthan, the Trust that will look after the temple after its inauguration, said a three-day religious programme would be organised from May 31.

“A six-member team of priests, headed by Chandrashekhar Kulkarni, from Shirdi will carry out the prana pratistha ceremony (a ritual by which a deity is infused into a murti or idol) during this three-day programme. Another eight-member team of senior priests from Allahabad will also grace the occasion. The marble idol has been brought all the way from Makrana in Rajasthan,” said Shikha Roy Choudhary, a member of the Trust.

According to Choudhary, the construction work of the temple began two years ago. “The temple is modelled on the famous Shirdi Sai Temple in Maharashtra,” she added.

Apart from a sprawling 3,500sqft meditation hall, which can accommodate around 1,500 people at a time, the sanctum sanctorum of the temple boasts an aread 6,000sqft. The temple complex also has a manicured garden and parking area.

“We hope this centre gives the devout a feel of Shirdi, the temple town of Maharashtra,” said Anup Ranjan, a senior functionary of the managing committee of the temple.

Though the Trust members are tight-lipped on the cost incurred to construct the temple, an insider said around Rs 3.5 crore had been spent.

After Jubilee Park and Dimna Lake, this temple will be the new landmark and tourist hot spot in the city.

“The temple has immense potential to attract tourists from across Jharkhand and also neighbouring states. Much attention has been given to ensure the safety and security of devotees visiting the religious site,” said Ranjan.

Another senior member of the Trust said that besides promoting tourism, they would also generate employment opportunities for local youths and work towards women empowerment.

“A knitting centre will be set up in the backyard of the temple that will offer training and jobs to local women,” the senior member added.

Residents, particularly those from Ghorabandha where former chief minister Arjun Munda lives, are upbeat and hopeful of some development in their locality once the temple comes up.

Resident of Saira Apartments S.K. Sen said: “Once the temple is inaugurated, the area will attract lot of people, many of them tourists. We hope for civic facelift too.”

K.K. Singh, who stays in another residential colony, Apna Aangan, in Ghorabandha said: “We are hopeful that the road from Telco to Ghorabandha will get streetlights after the temple makes debut. Currently, there are no streetlights along the artery, which causes inconvenience to commuters after sundown.”


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