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Rediff.com  » News » K'taka minister offers Rs 45 cr-worth crown in Tirumala!

K'taka minister offers Rs 45 cr-worth crown in Tirumala!

June 12, 2009 19:01 IST
Lord Venkateshwara, the reigning deity of the Tirumala temple in Tirupati has a new and the most expensive gold crown studded with precious diamonds. The crown, made of 32 kilograms of pure gold and 70,000 diamonds, offered by Karnataka's minister for tourism and industrialist, Galli Janardhan Reddy, and his son Keerti Reddy, was put on the idol in the wee hours of Friday.

The crown, made by a Coimbatore-based jeweller over a period of nine months has cost Rs 45 crores, making it the biggest offering to the Tirumala temple atop the seven hills since the Vijanagara dynasty which used to make expensive offerings to the Lord.

What makes the 2.5 feet long crown even more precious and valuable is the big emerald studded at its forehead. The 890 carot emerald was imported from Africa and has cost almost Rs 2 crore to the donor.

Though the Tirumala Tirupati Devsthanam already has six crowns for Sri Venkateshwara's idol, this is the most expensive by all means. The new crown is the new addition to the legendary riches of the TTD treasury making Tirumala temple, the richest Hindu temple of South India. The treasure of the temple is already overflowing with 11 tonnes of gold, ornaments and other precious valuables.

Like any other addition to the Lord's idol, the huge crown also went through many rituals before it was taken inside the sanctorium where the main diety "Moola Virat" is installed.

Earlier, the crown was taken around the temple street in procession with Galli Janardhan Reddy and other notables carrying it on a palanquin. Sahasra Deepalankara seva was also performed on the crown which was earlier kept in Vaibhavotasama Mandapam for a special pooja.

Galli Janardhan Reddy enjoys enormous clout both in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. If he is a mine baron in Bellary region of Karnataka where his family owns iron ore mines, in Andhra Pradesh, he is the managing director of Brahmini Steels Company with the Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy's son Jaganmohan Reddy as the partner.

Galli Janardhan Reddy is also an important pillar of the Bharatiya Janata Party's government in Karnataka, in which he and his brother are ministers.

Speaking on the occasion of making the offering to the Tirumala temple, Janardhan Reddy said that he believes in both "Madhava Seva" and "Manava Seva" (serving God and humanity).

"It is a small offering to the Lord to thank him", said Janardhan Reddy adding that once Brahmini Steel plant in Kadapa was complete, it will provide employment to 25,000 people. "This is manav seva", he said.

The earlier six crowns offered to the Lord include Akasa Raju crown of 1945, which TTD got made from its own earnings, a diamond crown offered by the state government during the reign of the Chief Minister N T Rama Rao at a cost of Rs 4.85 crore, another corwn donated by Venakteshwara Hatcheries.

Another crown was donated personally by the present Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy and his partner in Kodur Byrates K Goenka.

Tirumala temple, which draws millions of devotees every year, has an annual earning of Rs 800 crore, most of it through donations made to the Hundi of the temple.

Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad