TIRUMALA: Call it the effect of demonetisation. Devotees trekking to the seven hills for a darshan of Lord Balaji may have to shell out more for tickets and various temple services.
The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam is mulling raising the rates for various services after a dip was noted in the daily revenue of the temple post-demonetisation.
According to officials, before demonetisation, TTD’s daily income was about Rs 5 crore, including interest on bank deposits. A part from the ‘hundi’ collections, TTD’s coffers are filled by the sale of tickets, ‘prasad’, etc.
“After demonetisation, we observed a dent of Rs 1-2 crore on many days. Now, we are looking at bridging the revenue gap without burdening devotees,” TTD chairman Chadalavada Krishnamurthy told TOI.
Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) chairman C Krishnamurthy said they were looking at a small hike in ticket prices at the Tirupati temple to offset the fall in revenue post-demonetisation.
The proposal must first be cleared by the state government. Some time ago, TTD had proposed to increase the rates of tickets and ‘prasad’, but it was shot down by Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu.
TTD tickets range from Rs 50 to Rs 5,000. Most devotees buy special darshan tickets for Rs 300. At least 2,000 devotees go for VIP darshan every day, shelling out Rs 500. “The revenue gap can be bridged with a mild hike in ticket rates or Rs 5 to Rs 10 raise for various seva,” said officials.