Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Richest Deities In India

India's archeologists started a massive treasure hunt following claims of a seer who dreamt about 1,000 tonnes of gold buried underneath a palace in Daundia Khera village in Uttar Pradesh. The saint claims if the treasure found, it can potentially revive the ailing Indian economy. If his claims come true, then the palace will be yet another addition to the many wealthy historical monuments in the country. India, known as the land of gods and goddesses, sees millions of devotees flocking to various shrines every year. These shrines, revered for their spiritual significance, are showered with precious gifts worth millions of rupees by the devotees. Let's take a look at some of the richest temples in India.

5. Siddhivinayak temple: A temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha, Siddhivinayak temple is located in Prabhadevi, Mumbai in Maharashtra. Frequently visited by commoners and celebrities, the temple rakes in up to Rs 48 crore every year. It is reported that a Kolkata based businessman once donated 3.7 kg of gold that was coated on the dome, perched on the idol.

1. Padmanabhaswamy temple: Located in Thiruvananthapuram in the state of Kerala, Padmanabhaswamy temple is considered to be the richest in the country with treasure worth Rs 1 lakh crore. Reportedly, a treasure worth $4.9 billion was discovered in the secret chambers of Padmanabhaswamy temple in 2011. The temple is one of the 108 Divya Desams of Lord Vishnu, one of the principal centres of worship of the deity in Vaishnavism. The shrine is administered by a trust headed by the royal family of Travancore.

2. Tirupati Balaji: Tirupati Balaji, located in the hill town of Tirumala in Andhra Pradesh, is the second richest after Padmanabhaswamy temple in Kerala with an annual income of Rs 650 crore. Also known as Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, it reportedly receives 80-100 kg gold and 100-120 kg silver as offerings every month. Apart from offerings by devotees, the temple also earns by selling tones of hairs, collected from pilgrims who have their head tonsured as "Mokku" an offering to God. It is reported by BBC that more than 75 tonnes of hair are sold annually worldwide, which adds more than $6 million to the coffers of the temple.

3. Vaishno Devi temple: Vaishno Devi temple is located in Jammu & Kashmir. Despite being situated at an altitude of 5300 feet, every year over 80 lakh pilgrims flock the famous temple. The average estimated annual income of the shrine is believed to be about Rs 500 crore.

4. Golden temple: Golden temple, also known as the Harmandir Sahib or Darbar Sahib, is a prominent Sikh Gurdwara in Amritsar, Punjab. The 16th century shrine has its walls embellished with wooden panels and also intricate gold and silver work. The temple approximately gets 40,000 visitors every day.

6. Shirdi Saibaba temple: Dedicated to Indian guru and yogi, Sai Baba, the Shirdi temple is one of the most popular destinations for Hindu pilgrims. The temple is visited by 20,000 pilgrims during a day. During festive occasions, the number can go up to 100,000. The popularity of Sai Baba, who is revered by both Hindus and Muslims, brings many devotees from around the world to the shrine, donating offerings to the trust. It is reported that an unidentified person in 2012 donated diamonds worth Rs 1.18 crore to the temple\'s trust. The temple has gold and silver jewellery worth approximately Rs 32 crore and silver coins worth more than Rs 6 lakh. It gets annual donations from devotees worth Rs 350 crore.

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