Thiruvananthapuram houses the famed Padmanabhaswamy Temple. Its decadence would leave you awe-struck. After all, this gold-plated glory is the richest temple not only in India but also in the whole wide world. After estimations, Padmanabhaswamy Temple is said to contain over one trillion hidden in its hidden chambers (good luck figuring out the number of zeroes in that figure!). The temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu receives donations including priceless gold ornaments, idols (the Golden Idol of Mahavishnu itself is worth INR 500 Crore), crowns and jewellery.
Built in the 10th century, Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple in Tirupati is one of the world's largest religious pilgrimage destinations. According to a government website, an average of 30,000 visitors donates USD 6 million to the temple every day. That rounds up to 180 million every month, which then rounds up to - a figure which can't fit in the calculator - every year! Currently, it stands at a worth of over 900 crores (as of last year) and has 52 tonnes of gold ornaments. Every year the temple converts over 3000 kg of gold received in donation boxes from pilgrims as gold reserve deposits with nationalized banks.
Situated at an altitude of 5,200 feet inside a million-year-old cave, and just 14km away from Katra, the gorgeous Vaishno Devi Temple in Jammu witnesses more than 10 million pilgrims annually making it the second most visited temple after Tirupati. Dedicated to Goddess Vaishnavi. The temple has 1.2 tonnes of gold and received hundreds of kgs of gold as donations over a period of 5 years. The temple is estimated to collect INR 500 crores worth of donations every year and also being added to the list of richest temples in India.
Shirdi's Sai Baba has millions of followers all over the world and is known for helping the needy. Reportedly, there has been a collection of over Rs 2,000 Crores by the temple. According to reports, the bank account of the temple has about Rs 1,800 crores along with 380 Kg of Gold, 4,428 Kg Silver, and a large amount of money in the form of dollars and pounds is also present. The unbelievable numbers mentioned above makes this temples a worthy contender in the list of the richest temples in India.
The main entrance to the shrine is through the eastern Nada. You will witness a 33.5 m high gold plated flag post or Dwajasthambam in the outer enclosure or Chuttambalam. However, the most striking feature of the temple is the idol of the main deity, in the square Sreekovil of the temple is made of a rare mixture called Padala Anjanam instead of stone or metal.
One of the most spiritual places in India, Golden Temple, also known as Sri Harmandir Sahib, is the holiest shrines in Sikhism and is alive with religious fervour and sacredness. Its divinity is a thing that can only be experienced and not described. After going through a tumultuous period of demolitions, it was rebuilt by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1830 purely with marble and gold. It is the view of the resplendent shrine, glistening in the centre of the tank that brings an infinite calmness.
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Religiosity is in the air here at Sabarimala. People say the Sabarimala temple is so rich that it is going to appoint robots for service. This might actually be true looking at its estimates. The gorgeous pillars of lamps or 7 m high Deepsthambam with thirteen circular receptacles are a sight to behold when lit. More than a million visitors walk in this temple devoted to Lord Ayappa. It has collected over 15 kgs of gold and its annual income calculates over Rs 105 crores.
No wild guesses of yours could make you guess this temple's worth. Visitors flock here in numbers ranging from 25 thousand to 2 lakhs daily. Lord Ganesha sits under a gold roof and the temple has amassed 158 kg of gold offerings worth USD 67 million until now, making the temple richest of Mumbai collecting around 125 hundred crores annually. The heavily guarded vaults here are strictly off limits. The temple is also frequented by celebrities from all around the world. Apple's CEO Tim Cook is the latest addition to the list.
Located in Madurai, the Meenakshi temple hosts a whopping amount of more than 20,000 visitors every day and around 1 million visitors during its annual Meenakshi Tirukalyanam festival which lasts for 10 days in Aprill. The temple collects over 60 crores worth of cash, gold, and diamond which is steadily increasing annually.
Located in Puri, Odisha, the Jagganath temple is dedicated to Lord Jagganath, a form of Lord Vishnu. Interesting fact: 30,000 acres of land is registered under the name of Lord Jagannath, making him the richest landlord! Although there is no actual estimate of its gold treasure, it is known that the deities are adorned with 209 kg of gold during the Suna Besha ceremony itself.
Known For : Amarnath Cave Amarnath Yatra Baltal
Amarnath is one of the most important pilgrimages in India for the worshippers of Lord Shiva. The Amarnath cave is a haven to an enshrined image of ice called the Shivaling formed naturally, which resembles Lord Shiva. The destination is visited by millions of tourists every year from all across the world in what is famously known as the 'Amarnath Yatra'. The Amarnath cave situated in this town is considered to be a devout location for the pilgrims, most notably Hindus. Legend has it that, this place is regarded to be the same cave where Lord Shiva revealed the secret of life and eternity to Goddess Parvati. How about you visit the place, and end up finding your very own formula to eternity?
Best Time: May to September
Situated on the western bank of holy River Ganga, Kashi Vishwanath Temple is regarded as one of the most popular Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. Structure of the temple is composed of three parts. The first is a spire on the temple of Lord Vishwanath, the second a gold dome and the third is the gold spire atop the Vishwanath carrying a flag and a trident.
The renowned temple's great treasury was looted and plundered several times, first by Mohammed Gazi then by Aurangzeb and even later by the Portuguese. But surprisingly, it was reconstructed each time just to be more splendid than the previous one. Currently, the wealth of the temple is undisclosed but it possesses enough of assets (including 1700 acres of land) to be called one of the richest temples in India.
The Mahalakshmi temple was built in the 7th century by Chalukya rulers and is one of the six abodes of 'Shakti' (Goddess of Power) from where one can attain fulfillment and salvation of desires. Mahalakshmi is also known as Goddess Ambabai and is a revered Goddess among Hindus. The temple enjoys a status of one of the most important pilgrim sites in India. The temple is situated about 5km from the Railway station and Central Bus depot of the city. Near the temple, there is a temple in honor of Goddess Bhavani.
An epitome of Indian culture, spirituality, and architecture, Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple is an abode of God built in 2005. Sitting deftly near the banks of River Yamuna, the temple showcases Hinduism and its age old culture. Dedicated to Lord Swaminarayan, the temple is undoubtedly a work of miracle. Akshardham has made its way to the Guinness Book of World Records as the World's Largest Comprehensive Hindu Temple. Over 8000 volunteers from all around the world were involved in the construction of intricately carved marble and sandstone structure of the temple. Timeless Hindu teachings and flamboyant devotional traditions find their place on the temple's incredible walls.
Located on the Nilanchal Hill in the western part of Guwahati in Assam, Kamakhya Temple is one of the most revered shrines of Goddess Shakti in India. According to the Hindu scriptures, there are four important Shakti Peethas (Temples with highest powers of divinity) in the country and Kamakhya Temple is one of them. Kamakhya Temple celebrates the power of the woman to give birth and is regarded as extremely auspicious among the followers of the Tantrik sect of Hinduism. It was built and reconstructed multiple times between the 8th and 17th Centuries and is a spectacle in itself.
The Lingaraj Temple is an ancient temple situated in the city of Bhubaneswar and is the largest one situated in the city. Dedicated to Lord Shiva as the name suggests, the temple was built in the 7th century by the King Jajati Keshari. It is highly revered because of the fact that the Linga here, which is the phallic form of Lord Shiva, is believed to have appeared naturally. It rises to a massive height of 8 inches above the floor level and is about 8 feet in diameter as well. Lingaraj Temple is located in the old part of Bhubaneswar Town and can be easily reached using local transport.
The Kukke Subrahmanya Temple is a famous Hindu temple that is located in Karnataka, India. Lord Kartikeya, who is the lord of all serpents, is worshipped here as Lord Subrahmanya; and the temple provides tranquillity and peace like no other. It is located in the heart of the village of Subrahmanya, in the Sullia Taluk of Dakshina Kannada, and is surrounded by the beauty and glories of nature on all sides. The mountain Kumara Parvatha overlooks the temple adding seven stars to its charm. If seen geographically, Shesha Parvatha, a mountain shaped like a six-headed cobra, adjacent to Kumara Parvatha seems to protect the temple.
The Mahabodhi temple, also called the "Great Awakening Temple", is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Bodhgaya, Bihar. It is a Buddhist temple that marks the location where the Lord Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment. Lord Buddha holds a very significant place in the religious history of India as he is believed to be the 9th and the most recent incarnation of Lord Vishnu to have walked the earth. The temple spreads over an area of a whopping 4.8 hectares and is 55 meters tall. The Bodhi Tree is situated to the left of the temple and is believed to be the direct descendant of the actual tree under which Lord Gautam Buddha meditated and attained enlightenment and laid down his philosophy for life.
The biggest attraction of Thanjavur - The Brahadeshwara Temple, also known as the Big Temple. Built during the reign of the Great Chola emperor, Raja Raja Chola, this temple is an architectural marvel. Protected by deep trenches on either sides and the Grand Anaicut River running through another, this temple is a favorite among the pilgrims. The shrine itself is a 216 feet structure. The sanctum is dotted with paintings from the Chola and Nayak periods. The statue of Nandi the Bull welcomes at the entrance.
Located in the national capital of New Delhi, the Lotus Temple is an edifice dedicated to the Baha'i faith. The magnificent structure of this building unfolds in the form of a stupendous white petal lotus and is one of the most visited establishments in the world. The design of this shrine was conceptualized by Canadian architect Fariborz Sahba and was completed in the year 1986. This temple seeks to propagate the oneness of the Almighty and is open to all regardless of their nationality, religion, race or gender. The Lotus temple it is one of the seven Baha'i House of Worship present around the world.
There you go. These were the top 10 richest temples in India. The temple's sacred entities and their affluent architecture have earned them unparalleled fame. When you think of it, the temples listed here are earning more than the top businessmen in the country! Eager to know why these temples earn in crores every year? Plan a trip and find out for yourself.