After Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, which had shot to fame some years ago for its priceless assets found kept in secret vaults, another temple in Kerala is now hogging the limelight due to the assets and properties worth crores in its name.
The famed Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple in Thrissur possesses bank deposits to the tune of ₹1,737.04 crore and land of 271.05 acres, according to an RTI reply.
Though the temple also reportedly has an immense collection of gold, silver and precious stones, received as offerings from devotees, the temple management refused to divulge details and the exact value due to security reasons, it said.
The centuries-old temple, where Lord Vishnu is worshipped as Krishna, attracts thousands of people from across the country every year.
Details of the temple’s assets came to light following a RTI query filed by M.K. Haridas, a native of Guruvayur and president of an organisation named Proper Channel.
As per the RTI reply given by the Guruvayur Devaswom, the temple has 271.0506 acres of land, but its value is yet to be assessed by the management. The shrine has an amount of ₹17,37,04,90,961 as deposit in various banks, it said as a reply to another question.
The devaswom informed that it has received no financial assistance till date after the Pinarayi Vijayan government came to power in the State in 2016.
It also made it clear that the temple is yet to receive in return ₹10 crore which had been contributed by the devaswom to the Chief Minister’s distress relief fund following the floods in 2018-19 despite a High Court order in this regard.
Mr. Haridas said constant neglect and inaction of the devaswom in terms of the temple’s development and the welfare of its devotees forced him to seek these details through an RTI query. “The temple has whopping bank deposits and other assets. Still the Guruvayur Devaswom is doing nothing for the temple and its devotees,” he told PTI.
The management had been running a hospital near the temple, but its condition and upkeep were pathetic, he alleged. Mr. Haridas also criticised the devaswom over the distribution of ‘prasadam’ and its reluctance to set up a garden to source flowers for the daily rituals and offerings.
Devaswom authorities are yet to respond to the allegations.
A vast collection of invaluable articles, including rare jewels, stone-studded crowns, heaps of gold and silver coins, idols and gold, silver and brass platters and lamps, had been found in the secret vaults of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple during a Supreme Court-directed inventory a decade ago. Though its exact value was yet to be made public, it was reportedly estimated to be ₹1 lakh crore.