The pilgrim rush continues at the world-famous Lord Venkateswara temple even after the demonetisation of high-value currency by the Centre. Offerings too continue to pour into the hundi.
The hill town has recorded over 5.13 lakh footfalls in the last eight days aggregating an average of 64,176 pilgrims per day.
Likewise, the hundi has also registered a whopping income of over Rs. 22.9 crore.
But several other renowned temples in the State have been hit hard.
A report by the Endowments Department suggests that there is a decline by 10-25 per cent in the number of people undertaking pilgrimages to various places of worship. The temple at Sri Kalahasti has reported a drastic decline in the number of devotees performing the ‘Rahu-Kethu’ pooja – to which the devout attach immense significance, and the Srisailam temple has recorded an erosion by over 20 per cent in the number of pilgrims.
Meanwhile, speculation continues to persist that the Tirumala temple which is known for its vast riches, will remain the ultimate beneficiary of the withdrawal of the legal tender status for Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 currency notes.
The hundi, which nets an income of more than Rs. 1,000 crore in the form of offerings in addition to about one tonne of gold and three to four tonnes of silver articles year among other valuables, in all probability is expected to receive voluminous deposits either during the last couple of weeks of December when the deadline for exchange and deposits of the old currency notes expires or by the end of March as specified by the Reserve Bank of India.