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Saturday, July 14, 2012

World's Richest Temple Tirupati Venkateswara Balaji

Located only 10 km from the city of Tirupati, the Tirupati Venateswara Balaji is considered a necessary travel destination for every Hindu pilgrim. The ordained deity of the temple is Lord Venkateswara, who also goes by the name Venkatramana. The temple observes the philosophy of love and equality while also forbidding the sacrifice of animals. Everyday thousands of Hindu pilgrims visit the temple and it is estimated that over 5 billion people visit the temple every year. An average of 50,000 pilgrims visit the temple daily with numbers reaching as high as 200,000 on special occasions. As it stands now the Tirupati Venateswara Balaji is the second most visited shrine in the world.

The temple has an extravagantly embellished idol of Sri Venkateswara at the entrance. The inside is decorated with vimana covered in gold and elegantly sculpted columns. There are multiple small shrines inside the temple and a main shrine called the Vimana. The whole temple is made in the Dravidian style, which is characterized by deep carvings both on the inside and outside of the temple. More interesting architecture features of the Tirupati Venateswara Balaji temple is the three enclosed courts called Prakarams and a dome, which is a prominent feature, observed from afar. Other main attractions include a statue of Vijayanagara King Krishnadevaraya and his spouse.

When looking at the history of the Tirupati Venkateswara Balaji it becomes clear as to why the Tirupati Venkateswara Balaji became the world’s richest temple. Though the exact age of the temple is unclear, scholars are certain that it was built before 500 A.D. This became apparent when literature dated around that time was discovered in the temple. Since the construction of this temple, rulers of Andhra Pradesh have donated large amounts of gold to the temple. Even in our times many pilgrims travel to the temple to bring their gifts to honor Lord Venkateswara.

The Tirupati Venkateswara Balaji is considered the world’s richest temple for the large amount of donations it receives on a daily basis. A shocking amount of cash, precious metals, jewels and jewelry are donated in honor of Lord Venkateswara for wishes that were granted or for afflictions that were avoided. On average the daily earnings amount to Rs. 75 Lakhs with the highest average amounting to Rs. 180 Lakh in one day. The Tirupati Venkateswara Balaji has an annual income of Rs. 650 crore earning it its title as the world’s richest temple.

1 comment:

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