India! Just how much can we say about this country? Perhaps not enough. This country is the home to the longest unbroken civilization from ancient times. It is the land of the Vedas, it is the land of scientific achievements, it is the land of religious harmony and above all, it is the land of Hinduism – the oldest religion (if at all we call it a religion) in world, which is the mother of every other known religion in this world. Funny part, all other religions out there are always busy demeaning the glory and scientific accuracy of Sanatana Dharma (which is the correct term for Hinduism). Those doctrine-based religions, especially Islam and Christianity are incorrect at their very base. Well, that’s a topic of debate that we will love to keep for some other day.
Now Hinduism, which is actually the most scientific religion in world and in reality is more of a set of rules which act as a guiding principle for as to how a person should live his or her life, has given this world some of the most incredible temples. They are not only architecturally superior but also come adorned with highly accurate science that wowed people across the globe. What else? There are several temples of India, which are incredibly rich. In this article, we are going to round up 5 temples of India that are very rich. You may be taken by surprise! Let’s start.
Padmnabhaswamy Temple in Kerala
Of all the temples of India that are very rich, the Padmnabhaswamy Temple located in Kerala is the richest one. However, this temple attained the first position only after dethroning Tirupati Temple of Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh. After Supreme Court of India ordered the opening of the secret vaults of the temple to get an assessment of the treasures hidden in it, it turned out that the temple had treasures worth USD 22 Billion (INR 1,32,000 Crores). And that amount was revealed only from Vault A of the temple.
There are in total 6 vaults marked A to E. All vaults have been opened except for Vault B. It is assumed that this Vault B contains even more treasures and once that’s revealed, the total wealth of the temple will stand at an estimated USD 1 trillion. Unfortunately, there’s quite some heat around the plausibility of opening Vault B. Attempts were made to open this vault and the first two doors were opened only to face a third door which was made of iron and simply jammed shut. The iron door is said to have imprints of two snakes and it is a popular belief that the doors are closed using a Naga Paasam or Naga Bandham mantra.
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It is said that any attempts to open the door using man made technologies will only lead to disaster for India and the rest of the world. The only way (according to popular belief) is that the door can be opened only by Garuda Mantras being chanted by highly sacred sadhus. In addition to the six vaults (A to F), two more vaults have been identified, which have been named as G and H. Even G and H have not been opened and even they are considered to have treasures hidden in them.
The gold treasures found in the Padmanabhaswamy Temple are the largest ever found in history of mankind anywhere in the world. This made Padmanabhaswamy Temple the richest temple not only in India but also in world. You may often hear about the mysterious 7th door. It actually refers to the iron door of the Vault B. There are total 8 vaults that have been found (A to H) and Vault B is considered as the 7th vault and hence, the 7th mysterious door.
Wondering what treasure has been found from Vault A? Here is the list:
- Mahavishnu idol made of pure gold. The idol is 3.5 feet tall and is studded with hundreds of rubies, diamonds and various other precious stones.
- A throne made of pure gold, which too is studded with hundreds of precious stones including diamonds. This throne is meant for the main idol of the deity, which is 18 feet long.
- A chain made of pure gold, which is also 18-foot long.
- There is a golden veil weighing 36 kilograms.
- Sarappalli coin-chains made of pure gold and studded with various precious stones – 1,200 of those chains have been found.
- Many sacks stuffed with gemstones, emeralds, sapphires, rubies, diamonds, diadems, necklaces, golden artifacts and various objects carved out of various other precious metals.
- The 16-part gold anki – the ceremonial attire of the presiding deity. This gold attire is made of 30 kilos of gold.
- Coconut shells made of pure gold and of course emeralds and rubies studded on them.
- Coins of Napoleonic era from 18th century.
- Gold coins – hundreds of thousands of them – from the ancient Roman Empire.
- A gold coins’ hoard dating back to 200 BCE. The total weight of the hoard? Only 800 kilograms.
- Minimum 3 gold crowns (pure gold) and of course, studded with various precious stones including diamonds.
- Hundreds of chains made of pure gold.
- Thousands of jars and pots made of pure gold.
- One gold sheaf (pure gold again) with total weight of 500 kilograms.
That’s wealth of unimaginable proportions and there’s possibly more in Vaults B, G and H.
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Tirupati Venkateswara Temple in Andhra Pradesh
People in India and in the world used to think that Tirumala Tirupati Venkateswara Temple in Andhra Pradesh, India was the richest temple in India. This myth was dispelled by Padmanabhaswamy Temple. However, there is no reason to think that Tirupati Temple is no longer in the race. It currently holds the second spot when it comes to summing down the richest temples in India. While Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple beats the Vatican by a handsome USD 7 billion mark, the Tirupati Temple falls short of Vatican by a mere USD 4 billion. This means that Tirupati Temple’s total property stands at USD 11 billion while Vatican boasts property worth USD 15 billion.
The annual revenue generated by Tirupati Temple stands at a staggering USD 120 million. The temple makes gold deposits with State Bank of India. In 2010, the deposited amount was 1,075 kilograms and in 2011, the volume shot up to 1,175 kilograms. You will be surprised to know that of the yearly revenue that the temple generates, USD 11 million comes from laddu sale! That’s surprising. Talk of the primary deity of the temple – Lord Venkateswara – he is clad with gold weighing 1,000 kilograms.
Shirdi Sai Baba Shrine in Mumbai
For some of you, this may come as a surprise because Sai Baba isn’t really a God. He was just a Guru who is known for miracles and people do believe him and hold high regards and respect. No wonder, his shrine will get some generous donations from all over India. But, to what extent? Here is the simple answer: the donations made to Shirdi Sai Baba Shrine has made it so rich that it is today, India’s 3rd richest temple!
Though the shrine is nowhere even close to Padmanabhaswamy Temple and Tirupati Venkateswara Temple in terms of total value of gold and silver possessed, still, the shrine has gold jewelry and silver jewelry that is valued at INR 32 Crores. Honestly, these are very old estimates (2009-2010). By now, the property of the shrine must have increased significantly. No new records are available as of now.
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Here are some more figures (all belonging to 2009-2010 fiscal) that you might find interesting:
- Investments: INR 420.17 crores.
- Kisan Vikas Patra worth INR 51.71 crores.
- Savings Bonds of Government of India (at 8% interest) worth INR 48.16 crores.
- Non-redeemable Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran bonds worth INR 8 crores.
- Deposits in several nationalized banks worth INR 319.30 crores.
- Holds Trust Corpus Fund worth INR 47.82 crores.
- Has gold pendants worth INR 1.123 crores.
- Has gold coins worth INR 1.288 crores.
- Has silver coins worth INR 6.12 lakhs.
Vaishno Devi Temple in Jammu
Mata Vaishno Devi Temple located in Jammu is one of the ancient temples in India. Home to one of 51 Shakti Peeths, Mata Vaishno Devi Temple also happens to be one of the richest. While not much is disclosed about the amount of money the temple holds or the total value of gold, silver and precious stones the temple has, some estimates put the yearly income of INR 500 crores. That’s quite a lot to put this temple as one of the richest temples in India. Most of the income earned by this temple comes from donations both in cash as well as in kind.
Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai
Taking the fifth spot among the richest temples in India, the Siddhivinayak Temple located in Mumbai is pretty rich (though dwarfed by the first two by a humongous margin). The annual income of this temple is reported to be INR 48 crores and another INR 125 crores are available in form of fixed deposits. The dome sitting over Lord Ganesha’s shrine has a gold coating. The weight of gold is 3.7 kilograms.
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Now the big question: “Do you really think India is poor?” Wake up people! India isn’t poor. Despite thousands of years of looting and pillaging, India, even today, holds enormous amounts of wealth. We just donate that much amount of money out of mere faith. While most of the money of these temples are sitting ducks and doing nothing, a part definitely goes into maintenance of temple complexes, and even offering free food to poor. The money is also used to pay the salaries of hundreds of thousands of people who work at these temples to maintain the long heritage that India is proud of.