Lord Venkateshwara at Tirumala is regarded as the world’s richest temple with an estimated annual income of over 300 crores. This is not income as we see, this is proof for belif, Trust, Respect and Devotion towards Lord venkateswara of 7 hills. The hill temple, which received a stream of royal benefactions, has a fabulous collection of very rare and precious ornaments whose antique value is beyond anybody’s guess.
It also has crores of rupees worth assets in the form of land and buildings spread across the country. The main source of income is derived from the “hundi” which netted an all time record of Rs.116 crores in the year 1997-98 by way of cash offerings.
During the period the hundi also received 450 Kg of gold, 3,200 Kg of silver articles, diamonds weighing 2.430 Kg besides more than 2 Kg of pearls, loose stones, corals and other precious offerings. There is no dearth of funds for the sacred temple as philanthropists from all over the country and abroad queue up to make fabulous donations in fulfillment of their vows.who according to the mythologies is “self-manifested” (svayambhu) is regarded as the most revered Hindu God today. On any given day the main deity is adorned with not less than a hundred Kg of gold, diamond and pearl ornaments.
Of all the ornaments, which adorn the deity, “Makara Kanti”, “Lakshmi haram”, “Shaligrama haram”, “Suryakatari” (golden sword believed to have been presented to the Lord by the Sun God) are of immense antique value their history being rooted in legends. Aside the recently made diamond crown whose present value is put around Rs.30 Crores the other ornaments such as “Nagabharanams”, “Sankhu-Chakram”, “Kati Hastham” and “Abhaya Hastham” are also made of gold and diamonds.
The “Golden Dhoti” (peethambaram) made of pure gold laces is the heaviest of all his “costumes”, weighing about 40 Kg. This particular vasthram adorns the main deity during Brahmothsavam and on other main festive occasions.