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Sunday, 9 August 2015

Tirumala has 4.5 tonnes of gold in banks, gets 80kg as yearly interest

 
Tirumala has 4.5 tonnes of gold in banks, gets 80kg as yearly interest
Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) officials indicated on Friday that 4.5 tonnes of gold have been deposited in banks and that the temple administration is in the process of depositing one more ton of the yellow metal in the State Bank of India soon. (TOI photo)
HYDERABAD: The veil has been lifted, albeit partially, on one of the best kept secrets in the country: How rich is Tirumala Temple's Lord Venkateswara?

Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) officials indicated on Friday that 4.5 tonnes of gold have been deposited in banks and that the temple administration is in the process of depositing one more ton of the yellow metal in the State Bank of India soon. Calculated at today's rates, the total cost of the 5,500 kg 'disclosed' gold with the TTD stands at Rs 1,320 crore.


 Temple insiders say that this could just be a partial estimate of the total wealth of what is regarded as the richest temple of the country. However, in July 2014 a contender emerged in the form of the Padmanabha Swami Temple in Thiruvananthapuram where an inventory revealed that its total wealth stood at Rs 1 lakh crore. But those championing the cause of the Tirumala temple contend that the total wealth with Lord Balaji has not been made public, and, therefore, could be more than that of the Kerala temple.

Addressing the media in Tirumala on Friday about offering Arjitha Sevas online, TTD Executive Officer D Sambasiva Rao said one ton gold will be deposited with the banks soon under the gold scheme. When quizzed further, the EO told TOI over phone from Tirumala: "Till date, 4.5 tonne of gold has been deposited in various banks including the State Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank and Corporation Bank. We plan to deposit another tonne gold in SBI shortly."



The gold that the Tirumala temple has been depositing in banks are offering by devotees in the hundi as well as big individual donations. They come in the form of various gold ornaments as well as biscuits. TTD began depositing gold in 2010. Since then, on maturity of the gold deposits, the temple administration converts the interest amount too into gold which is then added to the pile already there with the banks.


According to the temple authorities, the 4.5 tonnes of gold already in the banks fetch an interest of 80kg of pure gold every year. The three gold deposits made earlier in 2010, 2011 and 2014 total 4.5 tonnes. The largest single deposit made so far by the temple administration was 1,800kg in August 2014 with the SBI.


 "This time, we are working out the modalities to deposit the gold with SBI. The TTD will get gold as interest instead of cash," said Rao.
 
 

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