Udupi (The Hindu): The former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister was in the temple town for a Chandika Yaga. The former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu J. Jayalalithaa, who passed away on Monday, visited the famous Sri Mookambika Temple at Kollur in Udupi district on July 30, 2004.
Sukumar Shetty, who was then the managing trustee of the temple and is now a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, told The Hindu on Tuesday that Jayalalithaa, who was then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, had come to Kollur to participate in a Chandika Yaga at the temple as advised by her astrologer.
She reached Mangaluru from Chennai by plane. She then boarded a helicopter from Mangaluru to Areshiroor and reached Kollur at around 8.15 a.m. on July 30, 2004.
Before her visit, her associates had come and held discussions about the visit. Jayalalithaa offered prayers at the temple and participated in the Chandika Yaga.
“She spoke to me in Kannada. I told her that a lot of devotees from places such as Salem and Coimbatore visited the temple and requested her to launch a bus service from there to Kollur. She not only agreed but also introduced a Tamil Nadu State Transport bus service from there to Kollur. The bus service is continuing to this day,” Mr. Shetty said.
Late M.G. Rama-chandran, her mentor and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, had offered a golden sword to Goddess Mookambika, and this was displayed during the puja at Kollur on that day. “She expressed her desire to hold that golden sword. We gave it to her and she held it for some time,” Mr. Shetty said.
Ms. Jayalalithaa had also donated Rs. 30,000 for the Annasantharpane (mass feeding) for devotees for a day (Friday) during her visit. It was a short visit and Ms. Jayalalithaa left Kollur for Mangaluru at 1.30 p.m. on that day and from there to Chennai. The visit was marked by tight security.
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