TIRUPATI: Sri Venkateswara temple at Tirumala, the world's richest Hindu temple, owns assets of over Rs 2.5 lakh crore including 10.25 tonnes of gold.
The assets of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), which governs the affairs of the ancient hill shrine, includes land parcels, buildings, cash and gold deposits given as offerings by the devotees.
The temple body owns land parcels and buildings in different parts of the country. According to officials, TTD revenues are increasing thanks to the rise in cash and gold offerings made by devotees.
Due to increase in interest rates, the temple body is earning more on fixed deposits in the banks.
The TTD declared the list of its assets including fixed deposits and gold deposits in a white paper.
The TTD trust board denied social media reports that it has decided to invest surplus funds in the securities of the Andhra Pradesh government and Government of India bonds. The trust says the surplus amounts are invested in scheduled banks.
The board also claimed that it has strengthened its investment guidelines since 2019.
The temple's gold deposits in banks have increased from 7.3 tonnes in 2019 to 10.25 tonnes in 2022.
It is also earning a good sum on the gold deposited with the State Bank of India (SBI) and the Indian Overseas Bank. It has gold deposits of 9.8 tonnes with the SBI and the remaining with the Indian Overseas Bank.
"As per TTD guidelines, quotations were invited from scheduled banks with the highest credit ratings for gold deposits and banks facing PCA (Prompt Corrective Action process) of RBI were not invited at all," the TTD said.
As on September 30, 2022, the TTD had fixed deposits of more than Rs 15,938 crore with 24 public sector and private banks. The fixed deposits grew by Rs.2,913 crore in three years
The TTD has over 900 immovable properties measuring well over 7,000 acres across the country. It also a large number of temples in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Haryana, Maharashtra and New Delhi.
The assets of the Tirumala temple, also known as Balaji temple, do not include priceless antiques, jewellery, cottages and guest houses built for devotees on the seven hills.
For 2022-23, the TTD had presented a Rs 3,100 crore budget. It projected over Rs 668 crore as income in the form of interests from cash deposits in banks. The temple body also expects Rs 1,000 crore income in the form of cash offerings alone in the hundi.