Tirupati: The famous hill shrine of Lord
Venkateswara near here netted a whopping Rs 1,700 crore income
in 2011 during which 22 million devotees, including a galaxy
of VVIPs, offered their worship.
While about Rs 1,100 crore of income came from cash
offerings by devotees in the temple hundi and interest on
investments including gold deposits with nationalised banks,
sale of daily tickets for rituals and darshan fetched more
than Rs 200 crore during the year, officials of Tirumala
Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD),which manages the temple, told PTI.
Besides, devotees also offered diamond, gold and silver
jewellery worth several crores of rupees to the presiding
deity of the cash-rich shrine during the year.
Among the VVIPs who visited the temple during 2011 were the
first citizens of India, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
President Pratibha Patil along with husband Devisingh
Ramsingh Shekhawat and other family members visited the temple
on July 7, on her wedding anniversary.
After her worship, she inaugurated a mega free meal complex
constructed by TTD for the benefit of devotees on the hills at
a cost of Rs 33 crore.
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa with his wife
offered their prayers to Lord Venkateswara on April 2, a day
ahead of the ICC World Cup final match between India and the
island nation republic.
The first President of Nepal Ram Baran Yadav, along with
family members and a team of Nepalese officials, offered
prayers at the hill shrine on January 30.
While External Affairs Minister SM Krishna accompanied by
wife Prema worshipped at Tirumala on December 23, RBI Governor
Duvvuri Subba Rao and wife Urmila also offered prayers on the