India’s visa temples attract devotees aspiring to go abroad


              Devotees offer betel leaf garlands to the deity known as Hanuman or Anjaneya at the Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Navaneetha Krishnan Temple in Chennai, India, on Nov. 28, 2022. The deity is popular among U.S. visa seekers as "America Anjaneya" or "Visa Anjaneya" because they believe praying to him will make the process successful and hassle-free. (AP Photo/Deepa Bharath)
            
              U.S. visa seekers gather to pray at the Sri Lakshmi Visa Ganapathy Temple in Chennai, India on Nov. 28, 2022. This small temple, located close to the city's international airport, has grown in popularity over the last 15 years as a "visa temple." Such temples can be found in almost any Indian city with a U.S. consulate. Many believe that offering prayers in these temples will make their visa application process successful and obstacle-free. (AP Photo/Deepa Bharath)
            
              Ramanatha Gurukkal, head priest at the Sri Lakshmi Visa Ganapathy Temple in Chennai, India, performs a special worship for the benefit of U.S. visa seekers on Nov. 28, 2022. These "visa temples" can be found in almost any Indian city with a U.S. consulate. They have surged in popularity because of a belief popularized on social media that those who pray there will not just get their visa, but will enjoy a smooth, stress-free path to getting it. (AP Photo/Deepa Bharath)
            
              Visa seekers gather to pray at the Sri Lakshmi Visa Ganapathy Temple in Chennai, a city on the southern coast of India on Nov. 28, 2022. These "visa temples" can be found in almost any Indian city with a U.S. consulate. They have surged in popularity because of a belief popularized on social media that those who pray there will not just get their visa, but will enjoy a smooth, stress-free path to getting it. (AP Photo/Deepa Bharath)
            
              Arjun Viswanathan places his hands on a basket of flowers to be offered to the Hindu deity Ganesh at the Sri Lakshmi Visa Ganapathy Temple on Nov. 28, 2022, in Chennai, a city on the southern coast of India. These "visa temples" can be found in almost any Indian city with a U.S. consulate. They have surged in popularity because of a belief popularized on social media that those who pray there will not just get their visa, but will enjoy a smooth, stress-free path to getting it. (AP Photo/Deepa Bharath)
India’s visa temples attract devotees aspiring to go abroad