A Hyderabad-based businessman donated a golden sword worth more than Rs 1 crore to the Lord Venkateswara deity in Tirumala on Monday, July 19. "Hyderabad-based businessman Moturi Srinivas Prasad has donated a Suryakathari (sword) to Venkateswara Swamy at Tirumala," a Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) official told IANS. The sword, weighing 5 kg, was crafted with 2 kg of gold and 3 kg silver, according to TTD officials. The Tirumala Venkateswara temple is the richest, most popular Hindu temple in the world.
The exact value of the sword is unclear, with reports suggesting that it is estimated to cost anywhere between Rs 1 crore to Rs 1.8 crore. The businessman Prasad visited the temple along with his family, and handed over his offering to TTD Additional Executive Officer AV Dharma Reddy at Ranganayakula Mandapam inside the temple complex. Recently on July 7, another Hyderabad-based businessman Venigalla Anand Prasad, chairman of the Bhavya group, donated Rs 1 crore to the TTD. According to the Times of India, the amount was donated to the Venkateswara Nithya Anna Prasadam Trust, which serves free food to pilgrims.
Earlier in June, Hyderabad-based real estate businessman and My Home Group of Companies chairman Jupally Rameswar Rao reportedly donated food produce worth Rs 1 crore, including rice, ghee, cereals and dry fruits. Rameswar Rao is also a former TTD trust board member. In the same month, the SVBC channel (Sri Venkateswara Bhakti Channel) run by the TTD received Rs 2 crore in donations, the Hindu had reported. While Rs 1 crore was donated by representatives of Indian Minerals and Granite Company, the other half was donated by the Pattabhi Agro Foods Private Ltd.
Before the pandemic, the Tirumala temple would see an average of 50,000 to one lakh devotees visiting the temple on a daily basis, with average daily Hundi collections worth more than Rs 3 crore. The TTD also has nearly Rs 50 crore in the form of demonetised currency, and former TTD Chairman YV Subba Reddy has said that the Union Finance Ministry has refused to help deposit the notes or exchange them. Pilgrims had continued to drop invalid Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in the donation box even after they were demonetised by the Union government in November 2016. Subba Reddy said that the TTD was hesitant to destroy the notes, as they have devotional and sentimental value.
(With IANS inputs)