Money-spinning rich Hindu temples - India

Most of the Hindu temples of India, in particular the old ones  in South India  have lots of cultivable lands, groves, buildings, choultries ( in Tamil Chatram), besides,  gold, silver ,etc.  The were mostly grants given  by the past Maharajahs or local rulers as they were the patrons of local temples. The common people on their part also gave donations to the temples in the form of lands, gold, silver jewelry, etc. Such donations are made by the common people as part of their prayer or in fulfilment of their vow. This age old tradition continues even to-day. In all Hindu temples in many places on the premises there are big safes (cash box or in local parlance Hundi) for this purposes. Such collections constitute ''Hundi Collections''. Depending on the volume of collections, such Hundies (Donation boxes) are opened daily or periodically and the counting is done by a group of authorized people in the presence of security guards.

Based on daily collections of cash, valuables - gold, silver ornaments, vessels, etc and lands held by them, the following are the richest temples in India. The ranks   are  not  based on their worth of properties, jewelry collections, etc.
The Jagannath Temple, in Puri
Puri jagannath Temple  is one of the most popular and richest temples of India located in Puri, Orissa. Thousands of  devotees give donation and and make offerings  in money and  valuables - gold, silver, etc. The collections are  used for temple’s maintenance and other social work.

The Ratna Bhandar is the temple treasury  and stores  precious gold jewelery, gems, pearls and rare diamonds, apart from silver and other decorative items of the three presiding temple deities — Lord Jagannath, Goddess Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra  temple treasury has seven chambers. Of these, the temple management uses only two — the Bahar Bhandar (outer treasury) and the Bheetar Bhandar (inner treasury). The remaining five are yet to be opened. No one knows the exact amount of gold and other ornaments stashed away in the bhandar. he Bheetar Bhandar contains 180 items of jewelery, which include 74 items of pure gold ornaments, silver articles, pearls, diamonds and corals. Every day more than 30,000 to 50000  devotees come to the temple.           
Siddhivinayak Temple,

 Siddhivinayak Temple  in Mumbai, Maharashtra is yet another richest and very popular temple. Dedicated to Vinayaka,  this temple is visited by thousands of people each day.  Built by  Laxman Vithu Patil in November 1801,  the 2550 sq m temple complex has two 3.6 m Deepamalas, a rest house and living quarters for the caretaker. This temple has hundreds of crore of treasures and is guarded by 65 security officers. The vaults have valuable jewelery,  including 158 kg of gold offering. The Siddhivinayak temple receives donations of around ₹100 million –₹150 million  every year, which makes it Mumbai city's richest temple trust.

Shirdi Sai Baba's
Shirdi Sai Baba Temple is located in the state of Maharashtra, and it is the third richest temple in  India. The property value of this magnificent temple is worth crores of rupees.  

Sai Baba is being worshiped by people around the world. He taught a moral code of love, forgiveness, helping others, charity, contentment, inner peace, and devotion to God and guru. He gave no distinction based on religion or caste. Sai Baba's teaching combined elements of Hinduism and Islam.

The famous Sai Baba shrine in Shirdi, receives largest donations from the devotees  perhaps after the Balaji temple in Tirupati, trustees said on Friday. Daily income: Rs 60 lakh. Annual income: Rs 210 crore 
During 2008 the temple collected Rs 81 crore in cash, 920 kg of gold and 440 kg of silver in the form of donations, creating a record,  Ashok Khambekar, a trustee of Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, told PTI in Kopargaon.  The temple also collected a record amount of close to Rs 4 crore and 15 lakh in its cash donation box between December 29, 2008, and January 6, 2009, Khambekar said.
Sri Padmanabha Swamy
Sri Padmanabha Swamy temple  in the capital city of Thiruvananthapuarm, Kerala has the unique distinction of being the richest temple in the world. Until 2010, it was just a rich temple; only in 2011 it grabbed the limelight on account of a chance discovery of fabulous treasures in the six subterranean strong vaults five feet below the temple. It was simply El Dorado, it drew the attention of the entire world. The inventory of the temple ornaments was taken up on orders from the Supreme court of India, Delhi.  The treasures are worth roughly  $24 billion at the market value. If you take the antique value, rate of inflations  and other parameters, the value will be eight times the present value. Mind you Vault B is not yet opened because of its connection with divinity. When inventory was taken in 1931 as per certain ritual it's worth was fixed at 12,000.00 crores. 

This temple  has  vast gold reserve, estimated at about 3,000 tonnes, more than two thirds of the gold held in the US bullion depository at Fort Knox, Kentucky, USA!!
The world famous Balaji Temple,
 Sri Balaji / Venkateswara Swami Temple, Tirumala- Tirupati (300 AD), in Andhra state has been a busiest temple for several decades.  It is the second richest temple in the world in terms of donations received and wealth, and the most-visited place of worship in the world. The temple is  being visited by about   50,000 to 100,000 pilgrims daily (30 to 40 million people annually on average), while on special occasions and festival days , like the annual Brahmotsavam, the number of pilgrims goes up to 500,000.  Till recently it was the richest Hindu temple in the world. This temple is also dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

This temple is next to Sri Padmanabha swamy temple, Kerala on the list and is being visited by more than  50,000  devotees everyday. On festival days and holidays the head count will be much higher than the average counts.  This temple is located in Andhra Pradesh and it possesses treasures  worth 50,000 crores. The temple has vast collection of jewelry of great antiquity- some were,it is believed, donated by Maharajahs like Sri Krishnadeva Rayar, Pallava kings, including rulers from the Mogul empire. Sri Krishnadeva Raya made many offerings, including a diamond-studded crown. All the offerings were recorded through inscriptions. He had visited the temple seven times between 1509 and1539.

 The daily collections some times run into  rupees one crore plus  in the form of cash, jewelry, etc . In April , 2012 the collection of Hundi (offering box) amounted to Rs 5.73 crores/1. million USD. Temple’s yearly revenue is some where around Rs 2000 crores plus  per year.  The jewelery of Lord Venkateswara  alone is valued at around Rs 52,000 crore plus. The temple owns about 20 tonnes of gold and diamond  jewelry  and some of them date back to the 12th century.

Viashno Devi Mandir (Temple)
Viashno Devi Mandir (Temple),  located near Katra, Jammu & Kashmir, is considered as one of the richest temples among the others in the country. Daily income: Rs 40 crore Annual income: Rs 500 crore. 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 five years, as the number of pilgrims has gone up." says R K Geol, CEO of the shrine board. 


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