India’s temples stand witness to the rich cultural heritage of the country. The temples are not only known for their impressive structures and splendid exteriors & interiors, but also the staggering wealth these temple trusts possess. The recent discovery inside the secret vault of the Sri Ananda Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvanathapuram brought back images of wealth of Indian shrines. And their devotion often reflects in the balance sheets of temple trusts. Let’s take a look at some of the richest temples in India.
1. Padmanabhaswamy Temple
What: Padmanabhaswamy Temple
Where: Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
Fast Facts: The temple is credited with the title ‘The richest Temple in India’ and in the world as well. Situated in the heart of the city, the temple has created history with its vast and enormous wealth. The authorities recently discovered five secret cellars of the temple where treasure worth more than Rs 1,00,000 crore was found, that’s around US$22.3 billion in total, without even calculating the antique value of the objects. With this Padmanabhaswamy Temple became the richest temple beating the likes of the Tirupati Balaji temple that was till now touted to be the richest.
Antique gold ornaments
Sack full of Diamonds
Golden idol of Vishnu worth Rs. 500 Crore
17 kg of gold coins(dating back to the East India Company period)
Gold in shape of rice trinkets (Weighing one tone!)
18 feet long golden necklace weighing 2.5 kg
Thousands of pieces of antique jewellery studded with diamonds, emeralds and
2. Tirumala Tirupati Venkateswara Temple
What: Tirumala Tirupati Venkateswara Temple
Where: Andhra Pradesh
Fast Facts: It is the most sacred and second richest temple of India, popularly known as ‘Tirupati Balaji Temple’, is a popular pilgrimage destination. Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachhan is a devotee of the diety and has reportedly donated around Rs 51 lakh to this temple.
The deity is clad with 1000kgs of gold!
Every day around 150,000 laddus are made at the temple to serve the devotess
The revenue from the sale of laddu annually is more than 11 million rupees
It is said that people drop bags of gold and at times even diamonds at the feet of Sri Venkateshwara
Around 50,000 pilgrims visit the temple every day
The temple gets upto Rs 650 crores in donations every year
3. Saibaba Temple
What: Saibaba Temple,
Where: Shirdi (Nashik), Maharashtra
Fast Facts: The temple is among the top pilgrimage sites of the world built in 1922. It is the third wealthiest temple in India where millions of devotees of different religions and castes visit everyday. The temple has gold and silver jewellery worth approximately Rs 32 crore and silver coins worth more than Rs 6 lakh.
There is no authentic record of the Sai Baba’s birth and early life before arriving at Shirdi. And thus, it attracts people of all religion.
On an average there is an inflow of over 40,000 devotees which reaches to a million during festivals.
The temple gets donations worth Rs 350 crore every year.
4. Siddhivinayak Temple
What: Siddhivinayak Temple
Where: Mumbai, Maharashtra
Fast Facts: It was originally built by Laxman Vithu and Deubai Patil in 1801. Well-known celebrities and VIPs visiting this temple is a common sight here. The dome of Lord Ganesha is coated in 3.7 kilos of gold. On an average, the monumental Siddhivinayak Temple sees anywhere between 25,000 to 2 lakh devotees flocking in everyday to just get a glimpse of their beloved Lord.
The devotees on Tuesdays number at a daily five lakh
The total trust income of the temple was Rs 48 crore in the financial year 2010-11 and had Rs 125 crore in fixed deposits
It has received cash donation of two crores,47 lakhs, gold donations up to 727kg, and silver up to 11,538 kg
5. Golden Temple
What: Golden Temple
Where: Amritsar, Punjab
Fast Facts: It is commonly known as Harmindher Sahib and attracts thousands of pilgrims from all over the country and world. The unique and charming place becomes even more beautiful and captivating during night time when it is completely lit up with its striking gold dome illuminated. The holiest shrine in the Sikh religion has its walls decorated with wooden panels and elaborated with gold and silver work. A combination of Muslim, Hindu and European design principles were used in the construction of Golden Temple. You can easily book flight tickets at the lowest price by making use of Cleartrip offers from Couponraja.
The walls within are decorated with carved wooden panels and elaborate inlay work in silver and gold
The palanquin that bears the Adi Granth is set with precious stones and has silver poles and a gold canopy
Cooked food is serviced for 24 hours/ 365 days in the kitchen of the Golden Temple for pilgrims irrespective of religion, caste, creed and nationality. The expenses are met out of the Temple funds
Presently approximately 40,000 visitors share the meals every day.
6. Vaishno Devi Temple, Jammu
Fast Facts: When you enquire of the richest and wealthiest temples in India, Vaishno Devi Temple is one of them to come towards the top of the list. Worshiped by followers all over the country, the Vaishno Devi temple in Jammu is visited by 8 million people every year. The income of this temple reaches to 500 crores every year. One of the oldest temples in India is located in the hills of Jammu & Kashmir at a distance of about 14 km from Katra. The shrine of the Shakti Maa Vaishno Devi is the second most visited temple after the Tirumala Venkateshwara Temple, Tirupati.
The origin of this temple is completely unknown.
Vaishno Devi is known as the holiest of all places, the Shaktipeeth.
Image credits – maavaishnodevi.org
7. Meenakshi Temple, Madurai
Fast Facts: This temple is one of its kinds that symbolically signifies the Tamil people and is located in the heart of Madurai the Temple city. The deity of Meenakshi Temple is visited by 20k-30k followers every day which is a very strong factor about this most famous temple in India. Meenakshi, the wife of Sundareshwar is the main deity of the temple. The total wealth of Meenakshi Temple counts to 60 crores with the turning of 10 lakh devotees every year.
The temple is on the list of top 30 nominees for the new Seven Wonders of the World.
The deity of this temple is triple-breasted, Fish-Eyed Goddess Meenakshi Amman.
The temple has an estimated 33,000 sculptures in the temple.
Image credits – wikipedia.org
8. Jagannath Temple, Puri
Fast Facts: The deity of the Jagannath temple, Sri Jagannath is considered to be the richest lord having in his possession 30,000 acres of land. As donations, the temple receives not less than 10kg of gold from its devotees. A massive crowd makes sure to experience the rare view of the deity donned in 208 Kg gold jewelry during the Suna Besha ritual every year. According to a report in 2010, the bank deposits of Sri Jagannath Dham was counted to reach 150 crores. A foreigner devotee has also been reported to deposit 1.72 crores to the temple through State Bank of India.
It is observed that the flag at the top of the dome of the temple always waves in the opposite direction of the wind.
The installation technique of the colossal chakra is still unknown.
It’s an engineering marvel and nothing could fly above the temple.
Image credits – maadurgawallpaper.com
9. Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi
Fast Facts: The fact that the total property of this temple is not yet disclosed is a mark in itself about it being one of the richest and wealthiest temples in India. Kashi Vishwanath Temple, one of the oldest and holiest Hindu temples of India has its domes and spirals covered with gold that gives a golden look to the temple. It is also reported that around 200,000 foreign tourists and 3 million nationals hit the holy grounds of Kashi to pay homage to Lord Shiva every year. The annual donations of Kashi Vishwanath Temple figure to around 4-5 crores.
The temple of Kashi Vishwanath have been destroyed and rebuilt time and again by different rulers in different periods.
The golden Chatra on the top of the temple is believed to fulfill wishes of devotees.
It is believed to attain Moksha on the view of the Shiva Linga.
Image credits – onlineprasad.com
10. Somnath Temple, Gujrat
With a count of around 109 Kg gold, the Somnath Temple in Gujrat ranks in the list of the richest and wealthiest temples in India today. It is also regarded as the first temple ever to deposit gold to the PMs Gold Monetisation Scheme. Land worth ₹1639 crores is possessed by the temple trust today. A diamond merchant is reported to donate about 40Kg of gold making the property of this temple rise to 109 kg. The temple is also reported to be demolished and looted by invaders 17 times for its brimming wealth of gold and silver repository.
Only Non-Hindus need special permission to enter the premises of the Somnath Temple.
The sculptures on the walls of the temple also include Shiva, Lord Brahma, and Vishnu.
Image credits – historicaltimeofindia.blogspot.com
11. Guruvayurappan Temple, Kerala
Fast Facts: Including all gold, silver and cash, the total property of this temple ranges to above 50 crores as a whole. The holy abode of Lord Vishnu on earth is believed to be the Guruvayurappan Temple in Kerala India. Out of the 600Kgs of the gold property of the temple 500 kgs is deposited In State Bank of India. The temple stores its wealth in the secret inner chambers safely. With a footfall of 40,000-50,000 devotees per day, the temple is denoted as a very busy place for the pilgrims. The land property of 230 acres is also a huge amount in terms of temple property.
The most auspicious darshan of the deity starts at 3 am with the famous nirmaladarsanam of the Lord decked in vestments and garlands of the previous day.
The temple is most famous for its myriad pujas.
The ritual Thulabharam is conducted in which the devotees offer the Lord various commodities equal to the body weight of the Lord.
12. Amarnath Temple, Jammu
Every year thousands of devotees from all over the country and also from the globe visit this famous abode of Lord Shiva overcoming all the extremes of climatic conditions. This is a place which every devotee aims to visit once in their life time. It is estimated a benefit of ₹24,000 crore to the J&K government if the devotees are allowed to visit throughout the year.
Buta Malik, a Muslim shepherd holds the credit of discovering the Amarnath Caves
A natural lingam made of ice is the main deity of this highly famous temple.
Image credits – Youtube
13. Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple, Kerala
Fast Facts: A very famous site of pilgrimage for pilgrims from and out of the country is the Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple in Kerala. Visited by more than millions of devotees every year the property of this temple reaches to ₹105 crores. The richness of the temple can be estimated from the arrangements of the temple authority to employ robots for its services. It’s gold possession ranges to above 15kgs and the revenue earned from this temple during the pilgrimage sessions counts to 230 crores in total.
The Sabarimala pilgrimage stands as the largest pilgrimage in the world reaching to 50 million devotees visiting every year.
Women aged between 10 & 50 are not allowed entering the temple.
Aravane Payasam and Appam is the prasadam of this temple which is made from rice, sugar, Ghee, Jaggery etc.
There is no wonder that India is known as the ‘Land of Temples’. There are innumerable Gods and Goddesses and hence there are various options for pilgrims in India. On top of that, this article is a proof in itself about the wealth these temples hold makes them the richest places of pilgrimage all over the world.
There is no wonder that India is known as the ‘Land of Temples’. There are innumerable Gods and Goddesses and hence there are various options for pilgrims in India.