India, a country reigned by faith and religion, is the home to many richest temples in the world. One among them is the Tirupati temple, a most illustrious and second richest temple of India. The temple lies on the southern banks of Swami Pushkarini, a holy water tank. Everyday around 50,000 devotees throng at the Sri Venkateswara Temple in Tirupati to get a glimpse of their favourite deity. While on festivals and special events, like the annual Brahmotsavam, the number of visitor’s increases up to 500,000, making it the most frequently visited holy place in the world.
Temples across India accrue a huge sum of money every year, which is donated by the devotees in faith. Till last decade, Tirupati temple was believed to be the richest temple in India. But after the reports disclosing the incredible amount of assets possessed by Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Tirupati has gone down to the second spot in terms of possessing wealth.
When it comes to donations, Tirupati temple leaves behind every other temples of India. As per the legends, Balaji sought a loan of 1 crore and 11.4 million gold coins from Kubera, for his marriage with Padmavathi. To pay back the loan, pilgrims from all over world visit this temple and donate money. In a single day, the temple receives approximately Rs 22.5 million as donation. People also donate gold as a token of love for the god. In April 2010, the TTD deposited 3,000 kg of gold with State Bank of India. The presiding deity of the Tirupati temple, Lord Balaji is clad with 1000kgs of Gold.
Another exciting part of visiting the Tirupati temple is the Prasadam. A Geographical indication tag will be affixed to Tirupati Laddus which entitles that only the organisation of the temple is allowed to make or sell the Laddus. The annual income out of selling Laddus is around 11million dollars. It is also said that people drop bags of gold at the feet of Lord Balaji. The offerings at Tirupati temple range from cash, gems, jewellery, demat share transfers, property deeds, bullions of gold, silver and other precious metal.
Though revenues from the sale of tickets, Prasadam and others, add further income to the Temple, the proceeds from auctioning of the hair tonsured my both men and women, as a form of bidding to their adored deity, attracts another whopping Rs. 140 crore. The trust’s interest receipts amount to Rs. 800 crore, highlighting that the Tirupati temple’s biggest outgo is Rs. 500 crore per annum. It is estimated that the temple gets donation of about 650 crore every year. Generous donations are made to the temple by many renowned celebrities every time when they visit. The total assets of the temple are supposed to be somewhere around INR 50000 crore which makes it a richest temple in India.