A photograph of a building atop a hill is doing rounds on social media with many suggesting that it is a church on Tirumala Hills – the same place where the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple is situated. A Twitter user @krupashanker was among those who shared the image. This tweet drew over 1,200 likes at the time of writing this article. @krupashanker is followed by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal’s office.

In fact, several others who are followed by Goyal’s office have circulated the same photograph with an identical claim.

From what it seems, the claim has found a place on WhatsApp and Facebook as well.

Not a church but government building

The building atop the hill is not a church but an office of Seshachalam Biosphere Reserve under the government of Andhra Pradesh. A cross visible on top of the building isn’t a Christian cross but a pole with CCTV cameras. A ground report by Telugu media outlet Bharat Today debunks the false social media claims.

The complete broadcast by Bharat Today can be viewed here.

Similarities between the viral photograph and the building featured on Bharat Today broadcast are evident.

A photograph of a building of the forest department on Tirumala Hills, Andhra Pradesh was shared as a church. Alt News had recently debunked another piece of misinformation targeting the southern state – a video of a ruckus at a temple in UP was shared as “Christian police manhandling Hindu devotees at Tirumala.”

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About the Author

Pooja Chaudhuri is a senior editor at Alt News.