Sri Venkateswara, presiding deity of Tirumala, has emerged as one of the richest deities on the planet if one goes by the declaration of assets by other major religious institutions across the world.
According to sources, the fixed deposits being held by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, sole custodian of the hill temple, with various nationalised banks are pegged at Rs. 8,513 crore. The institution also has deposits of about Rs. 1,978 crore received in the form of donations to various trusts as on March 31, 2016.
The TTD is also converting the interest earned on gold deposits into gold reserves and reinvesting them in the form of deposits. During 2015-16, the gold reserves went up by an estimated 190 kg.
According to statistics, the TTD holds gold deposits of about 5,796 kg with various public sector banks in addition to another 32 kg earned at the time of maturity till December 31, 2016.
In May 2016, the temple handed over about 1,400 kg gold to the government mint in Mumbai urging it to deposit the same under the short term bank deposit for three years.
The temple is all set to register an income of Rs. 740 crore in the form of interest on fixed deposits for the current financial year, and budget estimates for 2017-18 project it at Rs. 790 crore.