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Virtual darshan renders distance irrelevant to worship

Virtual darshan renders distance irrelevant to worship

Author: Ajitha Karthikeyan
Publication: The Times of India
Date: November 20, 2009
URL: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/Virtual-darshan-renders-distance-irrelevant-to-worship/articleshow/5248730.cms

For Abhishek, a software engineer, this year's birthday was very special. Sitting in his drawing room at his apartment in Texas, he felt quite at home as he watched a special archana' being performed in his name at the city's famous Vadapalani Murugan temple, which he has frequented as a boy.

It was a "virtual" divine experience for him as he watched live his parents, settled in Chennai, pulling the golden chariot carrying the procession deity to fulfil a vow on his behalf. "Though our son is living thousands of miles away, we felt together as he was watching the rituals live on his birthday. It gave us an immense sense of satisfaction and happiness," his father, Lakshmanan, said.

E-darshan, a facility to watch live webcast of special poojas and rituals perfomed on auspicious occasions in famous temples across the state through a portal, has come as a major boon to devotees living abroad and also in other parts of the country. E-pooja, a facility for online booking for poojas and archanas, is already available in select temples.

"It has been a long-standing quest of NRI devotees to watch the rituals and observances at their favourite temples and hence, we came out with this e-darshan facility. The live telecast can be watched on www.e-darshan.org and also on the websites of respective temples," an official said.

The facility is also available for city's other famous temples like Sri Kapaleeswarar temple at Mylapore, Parthasarathy temple at Triplicane, Vadivudaiamman temple at Thiruvottiyur, besides Sankaranarayanan Swamy temple at Sankarankovil in Tirunelveli, Bannari Amman temple in Erode and Kallazhagar temple at Azhagarkovil in Madurai. Videos of temple functions and rituals held in the recent past are also available on demand on the websites.

"We began telecasting on a trial basis big events like Vaikunda Ekadesi' and Brahmorsavam', which evoked tremendous response from devotees. Now, we have taken efforts for daily telecast of poojas and special rituals like the golden chariot procession. The events will be pictured through cameras installed on the temple premises. However, the main deity will not be shown as it will be against the sasthras'," the official added.

The HR&CE department, which is managing 38,465 temples across the state, is planning to introduce e-darshan in at least 100 temples. As many as 41 temples have their own websites. Subramaniasamy temple at Maruthamalai, Jambukeswarar temples at Tiruvanaikovil and Laksmi Narasimha Swamy temple at Sholingur will also get e-darshan facility soon.


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