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India’s ‘temple of wealth’ reveals $30BILLION riches in its first audit 

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India’s ‘temple of wealth’ where up to 100,000 devotees donate cash, gold and jewellery ‘for no rational explanation’ each day reveals $30BILLION riches in its first audit

  • The Venkateswara Temple in India is visited by millions of Hindus every year
  • Devotees donate prized possessions, jewellery and cash to god Venkateswara
  • Trust set up by Britain in 1933 has finally revealed the value of its total assets 

A 1,700-year-old Hindu temple in India has revealed it is sitting on a fortune of £26billion after finally counting its huge fortune.

Every year, around 40million devotees visit the Venkateswara Temple, also known as the Tirupati Balaji, in the hills of the southeastern state of Andhra Pradesh, and donate gold jewellery, bundles of cash and prized possessions, to the god Venkateswara.

Despite being one of the most popular religious sites in the world, the vast riches of the so-called ‘temple of wealth’ were not known and an audit had never been carried out until now.

But now, it has been revealed the holy site has more than ten tonnes of gold, 2.5 tonnes of jewellery, £17billion in bank deposits and 960 properties across India.

Its remarkable total holdings of £26billion put it on the same level as Nestle India, the state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, and major banks.

A secretive 1,700-year-old Hindu temple in India has revealed it is sitting on a fortune of £26billion after finally counting its huge wealth

Millions of devotees visit the Venkateswara Temple, also known as the Tirupati Balaji, in the hills of the southeastern state of Andhra Pradesh

Millions of devotees visit the Venkateswara Temple, also known as the Tirupati Balaji, in the hills of the southeastern state of Andhra Pradesh

The temple is run by a trust set up by Britons in 1933 and many Hindus believe they have to visit it once to achieve spiritual fulfilment.

Venkateswara is a form of Vishnu believed to have appeared on earth to rid mankind from strife.

Parsa Venkateshwar Rao Jnr, named after the temple, told The Times: ‘It attracts worshippers from every corner of the country. 

‘People don’t come once, they come again and again, for every special occasion. It defeats rational explanation but it fulfils a need in Hindus.’

Pilgrims donate gold jewellery, bundles of cash and prized possessions, dedicated to the god Venkateswara

Pilgrims donate gold jewellery, bundles of cash and prized possessions, dedicated to the god Venkateswara

The temple is run by a trust set up by Britons in 1933 and it is believed by many Hindus they have to visit it once to achieve spiritual fulfilment

The temple is run by a trust set up by Britons in 1933 and it is believed by many Hindus they have to visit it once to achieve spiritual fulfilment

The site is also known as the ‘rich man’s temple’ and is very popular with tycoons and entrepreneurs who hope it will bring them fortune.

It is believed it accrued most of its current wealth during the Vijayanagara Empire from 1336 to 1565 when diamonds and gold were donated.

The emperor was a regular visitor and he gilded the roof with his own gold and jewels before installing a statue of himself there.

Later on, neighbouring rulers went on pilgrimages to the temple and offered their own lavish donations. 

The site is also known as the 'rich man's temple' and is very popular with tycoons and entrepreneurs who hope it will bring them fortune

The site is also known as the ‘rich man’s temple’ and is very popular with tycoons and entrepreneurs who hope it will bring them fortune

During colonisation, it passed into the hands of the East India Company who gave it special status and avoided interference.

In 1933, the independent Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams trust was established by the British government to manage the finances of the most visited religious centre in the world.

It is the trust that has now declared the temple’s enormous wealth for the first time.

They own 960 properties across India spread over 7,123 acres, including guest houses, cottages, private hospitals and nearly five dozen other lavish temples. 

But the jewel in the trust’s crown is the iconic Tirumala temple with its halls of riches.

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