‘Unofficial’ entry fee rule at Talacauvery Temple 
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‘Unofficial’ entry fee rule at Talacauvery Temple 

April 19, 2022

Kushalnagar: A new entry fee rule has come into force at Talacauvery Temple in Kodagu, the birthplace of River Cauvery where visitors are charged Rs. 20 and a receipt of ‘Vishesha Seve’ (Special Offering) is given after the payment.

Though the ticket is issued for ‘Vishesha Seve’, people who come there do not perform any rituals. They just enter the Temple to pray and leave. The Temple comes under the State Muzrai Department and is governed by its rules and regulations.

Interestingly, the entry fee is levied in a sly manner and whoever questions the new system are let inside without the ticket. Normally, local residents who know that there was no entry fee till now are not ready to pay and are bound to question the person who issues the  ‘Vishesha Seve’ tickets. But tourists and other people who come from outside the district meekly pay up.

Barricade for fee collection

Earlier, one could enter the Temple through the main arch gates and there was no such ticket counter and no one would stop entry. However, now all devotees who come to the Temple are made to enter through a barricaded entry point — to the right of the arch gates — and the security guards force each and everyone to take that particular line.

Moreover, there are no sign boards indicating that an entry fee has to be paid. Rs. 20 ticket is issued to one group. As there are no clear-cut guidelines and rules, many Temple goers are objecting to the practice.

No Government sanction

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The rule has been enforced recently as thousands of tourists are visiting Kodagu for the holiday season. As there are no signboards or any Government Order to indicate the Rs. 20 entry fee, it is an ‘unofficial’ arrangement to collect money.

As generally tourists will be in a hurry, no one questions the rule of entry tickets while no other major temples have  an entry fee. Only the special rituals and prasadam have tickets of various denominations. But if any devotee questions the entry ticket collection, they are told that tickets are not mandatory.

Not mandatory: Temple EO

Krishnappa, Executive Officer of Talacauvery-Bhagamandala Temple Committee said that the collected money is being used to maintain the Temple staff. “We get bare minimum funds from the Government for the maintenance of the staff. Anyway the tickets are not mandatory. Those who have the tickets will get three special mangalarathis at the Brahma Kundike, Agastheshwara and Mahaganapathi Temples,” he said.

On the barricades erected near the arch gate, he said that it is to ensure that the visitors are not skimpily clad. “75 percent of  the visitors who come here are tourists and many of them are scantily dressed. This is a holy place and body showing is unacceptable,” he added.

President of Talacauvery – Bhagamandala Temple Committee Kodi Motaiah said that there are 11 employees including priests at Talacauvery and 16 at Bhagamandala. “The Muzrai Department pays just Rs. 7,500 as salary and that too they are paid once in two or three months. We are paying them from whatever little money collected from the entry ticket,”  he added.

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