Karnataka minister donates Rs.450 million gold crown to Tirupati

June 11th, 2009 - 6:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, June 11 (IANS) Karnataka’s minister for tourism and leading industrialist Gali Janardhan Reddy Thursday presented a diamond-studded gold crown, estimated to be worth Rs.450 million (Rs.45 crore), to the famous Lord Venkateswara temple at Tirupati.
Janardhan Reddy, who owns Brahmani steel plant and Obulapuram mines in Andhra Pradesh, made the rich offering on the occasion of his birthday.

He refused to publicly divulge the value of the crown but it is estimated to be Rs.450 million. The crown weighs 30 kg and it took nine months for the diamond workers to make it.

The businessman, a close ally of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, offered prayers along with his family members at the world’s richest temple located over Tirumala Hills and later presented the crown to Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), which manages the affairs of the temple.

TTD sources said the crown would adorn “Mool Virat”, the presiding deity of Lord Venkateswara.

Janardhan Reddy told reporters that it was due to the blessing of the lord of the seven hills that he could set up Brahmani Steel plant, which is providing employment to 20,000 people in Kadapa and surrounding districts.

Tight security arrangements were made at Reliance Guest House, where the minister along with his family members stayed and kept the crown before presenting it to the temple.

This is the eighth and the largest crown to be presented to the temple, whose annual earnings from offerings and other sources are over Rs.20 billion (Rs.2,000 crore).

The minister is a regular visitor to the famous shrine and he has already donated several kilograms of gold for TTD’s project for gold plating of the sanctum sanctorum.

This project is estimated to cost Rs.500 million (Rs.50 crore). TTD requires 195 kg of pure gold for this work. On completion of the project, the temple would be covered with more gold than the Golden Temple at Amritsar.

The Tirumala temple is considered richest in the world. It owns huge contributions of precious ornaments and jewels made by previous dynasties and the present day entrepreneurs.

The temple reportedly owns 11 tonnes of gold ornaments. However, the TTD does not reveal the exact figures due to security reasons.

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