India is a land of diverse culture and melting point of religious beliefs. Our country have witnessed the rise of many temples which are not only places where one would go seeking solace at the feet of God, but are a treat to the eyes of the believers.
Since time immemorial, the various Kings and dynasties who practised Hinduism have commissioned the construction of temples which are symbols of their inclination towards art and culture and as well as elements that make a statement about their possessions of wealth.
There are several temples which are considered to be places of immense faithand have many miracles associated with them, which draw a large number of devotees from across the globe. Their sacred existence and the rich architecture have definitely earned them unparalleled fame.
All said and done, there are many temples which had to undergo renovations and are preserved only with the help of the donations made by the devotees. The donations are made only to show their gratitude to the deity and not as bribe. The devotees donate sacks of gold, silver and diamonds, which later become the properties of the temple trusts.
Here is look at some of the richest temples and also the most worshipped temples in the country.
. Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple – Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
The richest temple not only in the country but in the world, the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple is a wealth that is worth not millions or billions but trillions of dollars. The wealth was a very recent discovery, after which the shrine found its mark in the map.
The treasure was found after opening a number of secret vaults in the temple premises. Out of which not vaults are opened till date, the treasure reported here included antique gold ornaments, crowns, diamonds, antique jewellery studded with diamonds and emeralds, an 18 ft long gold chain and an idol of lord Vishnu which said to be worth more than 100 Crores in INR.
Tirumala Tirupati Venkateshwara Temple – Andhra Pradesh
Until last decade, Tirupati Venkateshwara temple was said to be the richest temple in India. However, after disclosing the large amount of assets found at Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple, Tirupati holds the second position when it comes to wealth.
A large number of devotees come to visit the abode of Lord Venkateswara. The presiding deity is believed to be covered with 1000s kilograms of precious jewellery and the annual income only by the sale of its much famed laddus is said to be around 11 Million dollars and receives donations around 700 Crores and counting.
Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan – Shirdi
Irrespective of the state one belongs to, people have a very strong belief when it comes to Shirdi Baba. And perhaps this might just be the reason why people donated so much to this shrine, which turns out to be the third richest temple in the country. The shrine is visited by people irrespective of religion, caste, creed etc.
The divine destination is said to possess gold and sliver jewellery worth INR 32 Crores and counting along with silver coins worth more than 10 Lakhs along with the annual donations amounting up to INR 400 Crores and counting.
Vaishno Devi – Katra
One amongst the oldest and richest temples in the country, the shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi is visited by a large number of devotees from across the globe.
The shrine has very deep rooted religious beliefs, contribute to a large extent when it comes to the income of the shrine.
Every year around 8 Million pilgrims visit this shrine and is also claimed to be the second most visited temple in the country after Tirupati.
PC: Raju hardoi
Siddhivinayak Temple – Mumbai
The temple receives a footfall starting from 25,000 to 200,000 every single day. More footfalls more money, the temple has an annual income anywhere between INR 48 Crores to 125 Crores and even more.
The dome of the main shrine is covered in gold which weighs around 3.5 kg, the idol of Ganesha is said to be more than 200 odd years old.
PC: Abhijeet Rane
Golden Temple – Amritsar
The most holiest shrine for the Sikh community, Sri Harmandir Sahib is known as the Golden temple due to its gold plating of the central shrine. The golden colour and its impressive architecture attracts people of all walks of life.
The shrine offers free food to all its visitors which functions 24X7. The altar on which the holy Guru Grant Sahib is placed on, is studded with diamonds and precious stones.
Sabarimala Sree Dharamsastha Temple – Pathanamthitta
Visited by close to 40 to 50 Million devotees every year, Sabarimala temple records the highest number of people who visitthe shrine and also tends to overtake Tirupati temple, when it comes to income.
An interesting fact is that only men are allowed to undertake the pilgrimage which happen every year starting in mid November, and ends in mid January.
During the 2016 - 2017 pilgrimage season, the temple had a total revenue of 245 Crores.
PC: Offical Site
Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple – Thrissur
Dedicated to Lord Krishna, also known as Guruvayurappan, the temple is known as Bhoo Vaikuntam, which translates to the holy abode of Lord Vishnu on earth.
The temple attracts close 10 - 15 million devotees annually and is one of the richest temples in South India. Everyday close to 50,000 odd people visit the temple with numbers increasing on festival days.
The temple receives close to INR 400 Crores as corpus fund along with INR 3 Crores Hundi collections every month.
PC: Official Site
Madurai Meenakshi Temple – Madurai
One amongst the few temples in the country which receives around 20 to 40 thousand people every day, the Meenakshi temple earns an estimated revenue of around 60 Million annually.
The temple is well-known for its tall gopurams, which vary in heights from 45 m to 50 m. The temple is dedicated goddess Meenakshi, who sports a twinkling diamond nose ring.
Somnath Temple – Gujarat
A temple which has been looted and demolished by the many invaders around 17 times for its huge gold and silver repository.
The Somnath temple still has enough of assets to be considered as one of the richest temples in the country.
The temple has its own unique style of architecture along with immense religious significance. The structure displays an involvement of advanced scientific methods in construction which attracts a large number of people to this divine land.