THE famous and rich hill shrine at Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) on Saturday deposited 1,800 kg gold with the State Bank of India (SBI). Taking the total deposit having around 4,335kg of pure gold with the SBI, Corporation Bank and Indian Overseas Bank.
The gold offerings made by devotees of lord Venkateswara in two years. This was the largest single deposit of gold made with the bank in the entire country.
According to M G Gopal, executive officer of TTD the gold was handed over to SBI Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya at the TTD headquarters. The deposited gold will be taken to government mint at Mumbai by SBI by incurring transportation charges, transit insurance, melting and refining charges and pure gold of 0.995 purity is taken as gold deposit.
TTD has not made any gold deposits in the last two years as the banks have stopped accepting gold due to restrictions imposed by the RBI. After negotiating with various banks, SBI has first come forward to accept the gold deposits at one per cent interest rate per annum.
Balaji : most visited place of worship in world
Tirumala Venkateswara Temple is a famous Vedic temple in the hill town of Tirumala, near Tirupati in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. It is around 600 km from Hyderabad, 138 km from Chennai and 291 km from Bangalore. The Tirumala Hill is 853m above sea level and is about 10.33 square miles in area. It comprises seven peaks, representing the seven heads of Adisesha, thus earning the name Seshachalam. The seven peaks are called Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrushabhadri, Narayanadri and Venkatadri. The temple is on Venkatadri (also known as Venkatachala or Venkata Hill), the seventh peak, and is also known as the “Temple of Seven Hills”. The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Venkateswara, an incarnation of lord Vishnu. Venkateswara is known by other names: Balaji, Govinda, and Srinivasa.
The temple is the richest pilgrimage centre, after the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, of any faith (at more than INR500 billion) and the most-visited place of worship in the world.The temple is visited by about 50,000 to 100,000 pilgrims daily (30 to 40 million people annually on average), while on special occasions and festivals, like the annual Brahmotsavam, the number of pilgrims shoots up to 500,000, making it the most-visited holy place in the world.
There are several legends associated with the manifestation of the Lord in Tirumala. According to one legend, the temple has a murti (deity) of Lord Venkateswara, which it is believed shall remain here for the entire duration of the present Kali Yuga.