KURNOOL, INDIA, June 9, 2018 (Deccan Chronicle): The fight for control over Ahobilam temple in Kurnool district continues as tourism minister Bhuma Akhila Priya is determined to leave her stamp on this ancient shrine. The Union government has sanctioned US$2.5 million to renovate the dilapidated structures and improve amenities for pilgrims. But politicians allegedly are trying to grab the contracts for the work. The Ahobilam temple is under the trusteeship of the 625-year-old Ahobilam Mutt. It has never seen such intense activity to dislodge the hereditary archakas and make it into a tourist attraction. The tourism minister, on a recent visit to the temple, said she would build a shopping complex and develop road infrastructure.
"If resorts are allowed to come up near Sri Ahobilam, it may spoil the sanctity of the sacred region as any entity with commercial interests will try to promote itself at the cost of others," said a temple employee. Rangarajan, a descendant of the archakas who also run the Chilkur Balaji temple, says the government is trying to vitiate the religious atmosphere of the temple. Mr. Rangarajan says he is hopeful that a petition pending before the Supreme Court, filed by Swami Dayananda Saraswathi, will come up for hearing in July and bring clarity on the issue of maintaining the pristine purity of temples.