Saturday, February 11, 2006

Pilgrims Throng

The Hindu reports of the steps the temple authorities at Tirupati plan to take to tackle the huge number of pilgrims who throng the temple. link.

The interesting figure is the number 2 crore or 20 million. Think about it. 20 million people visit Tirupati each year and they all walk in a single file past the idol of Venkateshwara, and get only a few moments in front of the idol. That's equal to the population of Australia and much more than the population of either The Netherlands or Switzerland and almost the size of the population of The United Kingdom, France or Italy.

Imagine the entire population of Australia visiting one single temple or church or mosque each year. It boggles the mind because that's around 50000 people each day. That's more than the population of Monaco, The Vatican put together - every single day.

A story goes that when the West Indian Cricket team toured India in the early 80s, some of the of cricketers remarked that the crowds they saw in the stadium were more than the entire population of some of their home island countries. Needless to say, the Indian cricket team lost all the test matches to the all conquering West Indians. Many say that Cricket is the religion of most Indians though officially its Hinduism. Perhaps, not enough prayers are answered given the shockingly low quantity of Silverware with the Indian Cricket team's name on it.

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