In India, 21.9% of the population lives below the national poverty line, according to Asian Development Bank 2011 data. However, it doesn't stop rich Indians from splurging money, when it comes to rituals and festivals.
Recently, devotees were surprised to see the Bala Vinaynagar Temple in Chennai, the capital of the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, decorated with currency notes totaling to approximately Rs 4 lakh ($6134).
The notes, ranging from Rs 1 to Rs 200, covered the shrine from wall to wall, from ceiling to floor. The decoration was made on the occasion of Tamil New Year Puthandu. NDTV reported that it is not yet known if the notes are real but every year the temple is decorated with money on this day.
The pedestal on which the idol is kept was also decorated with notes and the room had a chandelier made of Rs 200 and Rs 50 notes. Even the column and pillars were made of notes.
However, this is nothing compared to the enormous wealth other Indian temples have. Padmanabhaswamy Temple in the south Indian state of Kerala is considered the richest temple in the country. It is assumed that it has a wealth of around $20 billion in six vaults. Even the idol is made of a precious material.
Tirupati temple, the second richest in India, is situated in the state of Andra Pradesh. The presiding deity is clad in 1000kgs of gold. Moreover, it is estimated that the temple gets a donation of around Rs 650 crore ($99684715) every year, according to tourmyindia.com.
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