Top 10 Richest Temples in India That will Blow Your Mind
A Hindu temple can be found in every locality in India. They are the most sacred place for a Hindu and you dare not contaminate the place by your thoughts, words or actions. Most temples are managed by trusts formed for that very purpose. Donations are collected from the worshippers with donation boxes strategically placed in front of the god’s idol. Some temples receive more donation than others, and here we’ll tell you about top ten temples that are the richest in India. It may be hard to believe, but some temples have more money than the richest individuals in India. Take for example the Padmanabhaswamy temple which has assets worth $20 billion which is more than Mukesh Ambani’s net worth and is the richest temple in India and the world.
Now let’s take a look at the top 10 richest temples of India in no particular order –
1. Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Thiruvananthapuram
Padmanabhaswamy temple is not only India’s but world’s richest temple. One of the most famous temples in Trivandrum, this temple is built in the Dravidian style architecture which is prevalent in southern India, the temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The vaults inside the temple, which were opened only recently, were found to be flooded with gold, silver and diamonds. Some people estimate the value of the treasure to be worth 1 trillion dollars. This puts the temple way ahead of any other temple in the world. And there is a very slim chance that any temple will ever be able to match the amount of money it has.
2. Venkateswara Temple, Tirupati
Venkateswara temple is visited by 50 thousand to 100 thousand people daily, and the number shoots up to 500 thousand during special festivals and occasions. With so many devotees paying obeisance daily, it must be no surprise that the temple receives donations in large amounts. The Tirumala temple has gold reserves and 52 tonnes of gold ornaments ( including antique gold ornaments and vessels of deity donated by kings and even British rulers for over 1000 years) which are worth over Rs 37,000 crore as per latest estimates. Every year it converts over 3000 kg of gold received in hundi/donation box from pilgrims as gold reserve deposits with nationalized banks.
3. Saibaba Temple Shirdi
Sai Baba, the benevolent monk, who lived in the 18th century, has a universal appeal in India. People from all faiths and walks of life believe in him. He is the only figure in the Hindu religion, which has been photographed, unlike other gods who just feature in the ancient mythology. The idol of the saint, who lived with the common folk as a penniless fakir, wearing a torn kafni, sleeping over a mat while resting his head on a brick, begging for his food, sits on a 94-kg gold throne costing a whopping Rs. 100 million devoted by 2 devotees.
4. Vaishnodevi Temple
Located near Katra in Jammu district, this is the second most visited religious shrine after the Tirupati temple. The temple is at an altitude of 5,200 feet, inside a cave on the Trikuta Bhagwati hill. The temple’s revenue has increased during the last few years, as the number of pilgrims has risen. The temple has an annual income of around 500 cr.
5. Siddhi Vinayak, Mumbai
The temple of the elephant god is the first place many mubaikars will go to before they take a big step forward in their lives. Recently visited by the Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, the temple has devotees all around the world. With such popularity comes a lot of donations and footfall. The dome over the main shrine of Ganesha is coated with 3.7kg gold. With an annual income of more than 100 cr and 125 crores in fixed deposits, it is easily one of the richest temples in India.
6. Meenakshi Temple, Madurai
Meenakshi temple is situated in the temple city of Madurai. Despite being surrounded by many other temples, the temple still gets a whopping 20 thousand visitors a day. The temple which was looted and destroyed by evil mughal leader Malik Kafur in the 14th century stands tall despite its troubled past. The enormous temple receives around 1 million visitors during its annual 10-day Meenakshi Tirukalyanam festival, which is celebrated through April and May, and gets richer by six crores or 60 million rupees every year.
7. Jagganath temple, Puri
The temple dedicated to Lord Jagannath of Puri — also known as Daridra Narayan [god of poor], has a net worth of 250 cr with an annual income of 50 cr. The temple which has been attacked 18 times since the 12th century for its treasure has 7 chambers out of which only 2 have been opened by temple authorities. Although there is no estimate of its gold treasure, it is known that the deities are adorned with 209 kg of gold during the suna besha ceremony itself.
8. Kashi Vishwanatha temple, Varanasi
Vishwanathan, who is temple’s main deity, means ruler of the universe and the temple certainly lives upto its name. With 2 gold-plated domes, annual donations of more than 6 crores, and devotees like Industrialist Ganesh Gupta, the temple firmly places itself into the Richest Temples list.
9. Amarnath Cave, Anantnag
Every year over 2 lac devotees undertake the strenuous trek to pay obeisance at holy ice lingum of Lord Shiva at Amarnath cave shrine in South Kashmir Himalayas. Devoid of any fancy pillars and domes, the pilgrimage proves that it is faith in god’s powers and nothing else that attracts hoards of people every July to August.
10. Sabarimala Temple, Periyar tiger reserve
The Sabarimala temple, located in the Periyar Tiger Reserve of Kerala, is renowned for lakhs of pilgrims thronging it all through the year and bestow crores of rupees on their favorite deity. Donations amounted to 203 crores in the year 2013. Of the aggregate income of Sabarimala, the turnout from the sale of aravana prasadam alone stood at 74.50 crores. Set amidst beautiful and scenic hills of Pathanamthitta District, the temple is visited by 100 million devotees every year. The devotees are expected to follow a 41 day fast before the pilgrimage. During this period, they refrain from non-vegetarian food of any kind (except dairy), alcohol, and tobacco, and even sex. This ensures cleansing of the soul from the core !!
So there you have it – 10 temples that are raking in the moolah not by selling anything but by blessing ordinary folks have a better life. The managing authorities of all these temples are doing a great job at managing thousands of devotees every day and putting the money donated to good use.
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A story Teller. An adventurer. An explorer. This and much more. Traveling is not my passion, it is my life. And when I am not traveling reading and writing about different places keeps me alive.