History and Facts 08 Aug 2017
For centuries, Indians have gone far beyond spiritual devotion in terms of godly worship. Festivals and rituals are carried out with great gusto to display the great devotion we have to our gods. But besides delicious food and marigold folders, these events also have another very prominent part: gold donations to temples. World Gold Council estimates that Indian temples hold anything between 2000 to 4000 tonnes of gold, mostly these would be donations. Here’s a look at where this gold is stored and who owns the most of it.
This 16th century Lord Vishnu temple is among the oldest temples of our country and currently the richest one in the world! In 2011, precious metals, stones, ornaments worth Rs 1.2tn was discovered in five secret vaults of this temple.
Better known as Tirupati Balaji, this temple is sees 50,000 to 100,000 devotees every day. It has been reported that the temple receives Rs 6.5bn worth of donations every year. The temple also has 250 to 300 tonnes of gold ornaments and jewellery worth $11 billion. Interestingly, this temple has also deposited its gold with banks in Indian Government’s gold monetization scheme.
Vaishno Devi Temple opens its doors to more than 8 million devotees every year. This temple is Home to Mata Vaishno Devi. Navratri is viewed as the most favourable time to visit the Vaishno Devi Temple because it is believed that Mata Vaishno Devi was the first one to observe 'Navratra' (fasting for nine days). Reportedly, the temple owns atleast 1.2 tonnes of gold.
One of the most popular temples in Maharashtra, the Shirdi Saibaba Temple sees over 60,000 visitors every year and holds more than 376 kilograms of gold.
Frequented by Bollywood celebrities for good fortune before the release of a movie, the temple is believed to hold 160 kilograms of gold.
Built in 1951, this Lord Shiva temple is a popular religious destination for both devotees and tourists. It is believed to the first among 12 jyotirlinga shrines of Lord Shiva. The temple has an estimated 35 kilograms of gold.
The 13th century Lord Krishna temple in Udupi holds at least 15 kilograms of gold, on an average, donated by the devotees annually.
Gold-filled jewellery consists of a solid layer of gold mechanically bonded to a base. The base may be made either of sterling silver or some other metal.
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