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Lord Balaji was a locally popular Hindu god in Hyderabad, India, until a few years ago when a priest noticed that more of his worshippers were complaining that valuable U.S. professional "H-1B" visas were harder to get. Overnight, Balaji was transformed from a purveyor of general prosperity to the "visa god," specializing in lucky H-1Bs, and the temple now draws 100,000 visitors a week. Said one, to a Wall Street Journal reporter in December, "I've never heard of anyone who's gone to the temple whose visa (application) got rejected" (even though typical advice from priest C.S. Gopala Krishna is simply to walk around the temple "11 times").

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