Hyderabad: The Tirumala Tirupathi temple is the richest temple in the country but it also receives the maximum number of fake notes in the form of donations everyday.
“God is our father. When a son gives anything to his father he will be happy. The main intention in coming here is to keep him happy,” a devotee says.
If one goes by this devotee, Tirupathi Balaji must be a very pleased God. Not only that devotees also make sure that the temple never falls short of donations. It has been a tradition in this temple to donate jewels, money and even one's hair.
“Many emperors, kings and princes came and donated jewels to the Lord and this tradition is followed even now, the rich and the famous, come, pray and donate,” Principal Secretary, Revenue, Dr I V Subba Rao says.
But these donations are posing the Tirumala Tirupathi Devastanam, which manages the temple, a new problem – fake currencies. Till six months ago, the temple was getting about Rs 3,000 in fake currencies every day. But now, this number has increased to Rs 50,000.
“We generally deposit the earnings in the bank. When we go to the bank to deposit the money we realise that there is fake currency in it. We have collected all such fake notes and preserved in the godown. We are waiting for directions from the RBI or Crime Investigation Department,” Executive Officer, Tirumala Tirupathi Devastanams, APVN Sharma says.
But Tirupathi Balaji's devotees can be rest assured that their God is not feeling the pinch as the temple gets around Rs 1 crore every day in donations.
(With inputs from Aravind Yadav)