Kashi Vishwanath temple hikes rates for Saawan month rituals

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Lucknow, July 4 (IANS) The famed Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi has hiked its rates for various religious rituals, including the early morning aarti, for the holy month of Saawan, a temple official said on Tuesday.

A decision to increase the rates was taken by the temple Trust and a list of the new rates has been released.

For seeing the ‘mangala aarti’ (morning aarti), considered the most auspicious for all the five Mondays, one will have to shell out Rs 1,000 every time. On ordinary days the price is Rs 300.

Price for other ‘aartis’ has been kept the same as previous years.

On Mondays, a day of Lord Shiva, during the Saawan month, ‘shringaar’ (decoration) of the deity and the sanctum sanctorum will cost Rs 50,000.

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Chief Executive Officer (CEO) S.N. Tripathi said the fees will have to be deposited on the counter in the temple premises. Of the Rs 50,000, he added, Rs 10,000 would be the temple fees and the rest used for flowers, prasad, decoration and other items.

During the Saawan month, the morning aarti would begin at 2.30 a.m. Rudrabhishek and other rituals will also be performed in the wee hours of the day, officials said. There is a huge demand for these as prominent people, including film stars and businessmen, line up to attend them during Saawan.

In the past Bollywood mega star Amitabh Bachchan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, various politicians like Uma Bharti, Lalu Prasad, Amar Singh, Akhilesh Yadav and Rahul Gandhi have visited the temple and held rituals to propitiate Baba Vishwanath, known as the presiding deity of Kashi, said to be the oldest city on earth.

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