Take a walk along any inconspicuous lane of any inconspicuous village or town of this extremely conspicuous country called India. If you chance upon a Peepal tree, chances are you might find threads tied on its myriad branches and maybe a stone figurine strategically placed at the base of the tree. The stone might have a ‘tilak’ on it and if it has, then offerings in the form of money or prasad will be kept in front of it. Deifying of certain trees and stones with particular shapes and markings is accepted in Hinduism – the oldest known religion to mankind as in this great religion divinity exists in every aspect of life. Hinduism is a religion that boasts of having over 300 million gods, although the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva remains the most important and of these Vishnu and Shiva are basically the ones to be worshipped, either as themselves or in the form of their ‘avataars’. Going and paying obeisance to the God closest to your heart is something every Hindu aspires to do in his lifetime. The temples in which the Gods are housed can be popular owing either to their antiquity or to the miracles attributed to visiting the shrine of a particular God. In a country that is home to atleast a billion Hindus, a million at any point of time, would be visiting these temples. And when faith and charity come together then you can imagine the staggering amount of wealth that would be in the treasuries of these temples? Here then is a compilation of the Top Ten Richest Temple of India.
Anantha Padmanabhawamy Temple
Topping the list is the Anantha Padmanabhawamy Temple located in Thiruvanathapuram, the capital city of God’s own country, Kerela. With the discovery of more than one lakh crore rupees worth of treasures found in its underground rooms, it has become the richest temple of India. Dedicated to the worship of Lord Vishnu, the temple is one of the 108 Divya Desams. A Divya Desam, as mentioned in Hindu scriptures, is a temple of Lord Vishnu that is considered holy and sacred. Hence this temple is counted as the top ten richest temple in india
Till very recently the Tirumala Tirupati Venkateswara Swamy Temple at Tirumala in Andhra Pradesh was topping this list but now comes at a close second. Dedicated again to Lord Vishnu, here the reigning deity is Lord Venkateswara, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. On an average 30-40 million devouts visit the Tirupati temple making it the most visited holy place in the world. The Tirupati Balaji temple reportedly has nearly 50,000 crore rupees worth of properties all over the world. Hence this temple is counted as the top ten richest temple in india
The Shrine of Sai Baba of Shirdi in Maharashtra is third in this list. Baba in his message to his devotees had said that anyone with faith who steps onto the sacred ground of Shiridi will become free of his troubles. On any given day and more particularly on Thursday, Shiridi is packed with the devouts. The trust in his name has roughly 30 crore rupees in ornaments and jewellery and investments that are to the tune of over 4000 crores. Hence this temple is counted as the top ten richest temple in india
The next temple in our list is the Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai. Dedicated to the worship of the elephant headed God, Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvati, this temple sees around 50,000 visitors every day. A devout businessman from Kolkata donated the gold coated dome over Lord Ganesha that weighs over 3.7 kilos. The temple receives donations to the tune of 10-15 crore rupees every year. Hence this temple is counted as the top ten richest temple in india.
The Meenakshi Amman Temple located in the temple city of Madurai in the state of Tamil Nadu is fifth in our list. This temple was amongst the 30 nominees for the ‘New Seven Wonders of the World’. The reigning deity of this temple is Goddess Parvati, known here as Meenakshi. The annual ten day festival called the Meenakshi Tirukalyanam attracts almost a million devotees. The temple has two golden sculptured vimanas and more than 30,000 sculptures and has estimated annual revenue of approximately 6 crore rupees. Hence this temple is counted as the top ten richest temple in india.
The Jagannath Puri Temple situated in the coastal city of Puri in Odisha is sixth in the list. Devoted to the worship of the effervescent ruler of hearts, Lord Krishna, his brother Balarama and sister Subhadra, the temple is famous for its annual Rath Yatra that takes place in the month of June. Being one of the Hindu Char dhams, the temple gets a staggering number of pilgrims daily. With its huge collection of gold ornaments, diamonds and other jewels, it is considered to be the richest temple in the north eastern part of the country and the temple trust has properties to the tune of more than a thousand crores. Hence this temple is counted as the top ten richest temple in india.
The Shrine of Vaishno Devi located in the state Jammu and Kashmir is a cave temple and is next in our list. Every year roughly 10 million pilgrims visit the shrine to get the blessing of Mata Vaishno Devi, the incarnation of Goddess Mahalakshmi, the consort of Lord Vishnu. Rich donations and offerings made by her million devotees has made this shrine extremely wealthy and magnificent. The temple receives nearly 500 crores in donations annually. Hence this temple is counted as the top ten richest temple in india.
The Somnath Temple located at Prabhas Patan at Saurashtra in Gujarat is the first among the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of Lord Shiva. If you are planning on visiting Jyotirlinga then five major temples are in Maharashtra. An important pilgrimage site since ancient times, the temple continues to attract devouts in huge numbers. The temple has a tumultuous history and has been plundered and demolished around 17 times for its gold and silver but it still possesses enough to remain in the top ten list. Hence this temple is counted as the top ten richest temple in india.
The Guruvayurappan Temple at Guruvayur in Kerela is the ninth richest temple and Lord Krishna, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, is worshipped here. The temple sees a million devotees every year. It has total assets worth Rs. 2,500 crore and receives donations to the tune of 400 crore rupees in both cash and gold every year. Hence this temple is counted as the top ten richest temple in india.
The Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi is tenth in the list. The temple is dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva and is yet another Jyotirlinga. The temple receives roughly 5 million devotees annually and the annual donations come to around 5 crores. Hence this temple is counted as the top ten richest temple in india.