Syed Jilani belonging to Muslim community is an ardent fan of Goddess Durga. He built the deity a temple and for 24 years has been in her service doing every priestly duty. He stands as an example of a secular citizen in a country dominated by fanaticism.
Syed Jilani is the sixth child of Guntur-based couple Syed Badesha and Hussein Bi. He had a disagreement with his father and left home working in small businesses. He along with his wife reached Kandukur in Prakasam district and took residence in a small room at Ankamma Temple.
He took the Bhavani diksha for six months decided to build a temple to Goddess Durga. He bought 4 cents of land for Rs 10,000 beside Kovuru road in Janardhan colony. He collected contributions from the colony people and built the temple at an expense of Rs 20 lakh.
He spent another Rs 14 lakh for the idols of Siva lingam, nine planets and Nagabandham and installed them in the temple. He conducts the ten days of Dasara celebrations with pomp and gaiety.
Jilani’s wife Begum along with his three daughters Ankamma, Sivanagamma and Renuka Durga dedicated themselves to the service of Durga. He got his elder daughter married to a youngster working as an imam in the Masjid.