Here are the top 10 Richest Temples of India - in no particular order.
1. Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Kerala - Richest Temple in India
Located on the southwest coast of India, Thiruvananthapuram is filled with British colonial architecture and lined by popular beaches. It also 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. In terms of being the richest temple in India, this doesn't even compare.
Read more about Padmanabhaswamy Temple Treasure
2. Tirupati Balaji, Andhra Pradesh
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. For reference, a Boeing 737 plane has a maximum take-off weight of 60 tonnes. Every year the temple converts over 3000 kg of gold received in donation boxes from pilgrims as gold reserve deposits with nationalized banks.
3. Shri Vaishno Devi Temple, Jammu
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.
4. Siddhi Vinayak Temple, Mumbai
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.
5. Shirdi Sai Baba, Nashik
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.
6. Jagganath Temple, Puri
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.
7. Somnath Temple, Gujarat
Leading diamond merchants donating sacks of gold and diamond jewellery (like its no big deal) is a common sight in Somnath. 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.
8. Meenakshi Temple, Madurai
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.
9. Golden Temple, Amritsar
The Golden Temple hasn't disclosed its wealth as of yet but 750 kg of gold on its dome and gold carved panels indicate its substantial value. The aesthetically beautiful Sikh shrine not only invites passionate devotees but also tourists. The golden and silver detailing reflects its divine aura and looks spectacular when illuminated in the night. It is probably the reason why the temple witnesses over 40,000 visitors every day. Apart from being one of the richest temples in India, it is also one of the most auspicious and the beautiful temples in the country.
10. Sabarimala Temple, Kerala
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. 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.
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.