Ika Ravi and Guthikonda Srinivas, who hail from Andhra Pradesh, donated Rs. 13.5 to the temple ‘Hundi’ and various trusts run by the Tirupati temple authorities. Ravi, Founder CEO of Rx Advance, a pharmaceutical company based in Boston, donated Rs. 10 crore to ‘Hundi’, while Srinivas, CEO of JCG Technologies, a software development and consulting firm based in Florida, donated Rs. 3.50 crore to the trusts.
They met the officials of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), which manages the richest Hindu temple in the world, handed over the cheques in the presence of Andhra Pradesh’s Industry Minister Amarnath Reddy. The Minister lauded the gesture of the NRIs.
Thousands of devotees, who visit the hill shrine every day, make their offerings in ‘Hundi’ while some devotees make their donations online. TTD runs several trusts engaged in social, religious, literary and educational activities. According to TTD officials, the temple’s earnings during 2018-19 are expected to be Rs. 2,894 crore, of which the offerings in temple ‘Hundi’ are likely to be Rs.1,156 crore.
Tirupati Balaji temple or Sri Venkateshwara Swami temple is one of the most famous landmarks of the world on the hills of Tirumala in the Chittoor district of Andha Pradesh, India. This is the richest temple on the earth with overwhelming contributions and donations from the public and the most famous pilgrim destination on the earth attracting the greatest number of people on any given day. It is said that Lord Vishnu manifested himself in this temple in order to guide the people of Kali age towards emancipation. Therefore this temple is also called as Bhuloka Vaikuntam (the abode of Vishnu on the earth) and Lord Balaji is called as Kaliyuga Pratyaksha Daivam (the manifested lord of the Kali age).
The highly sacred and antique nature of the Tirupati Balaji temple is evident through a large number of mentions in several puranas including the Varaha Purana and the Bavishyottara Purana. All the major dynasties that ruled over the Southern peninsula had taken immense interest in paying homage to Lord Balaji as well as make huge contributions and endowments to the temple.
Some such notable dynasties include the Pallavas of Kancheepuram (9th Century), Cholas of Tanjore (10th Century), Pandyas of Madurai (14th Century) and the rulers of the Vijayanagar (14th and 15th Centuries).
Hindu mythology mentions the story of Balaji. Once sage Brighu wanted to find out who is the supreme one among the Hindu triad. Not being satisfied with the hospitality given by Brahma and Shiva, the sage went to Vaikunta and kicked Lord Vishnu on the chest to grab his attention.
Since Vishnu’s consort Lakshmi was residing in the chest of the Lord, she felt insulted and left Vaikunta to the earth. Lord Vishnu came to the earth in search of Lakshmi who had taken birth in the family of a king in the name Padmavati and married her on the Tirupati hills and got enshrined there forever to save the people of the Kali age.
A famous verse from the puranas speak of the greatness of tirupati Balaji temple: —–Venkatadri Samasthanam Brahmande Nasti Kinchana—– Venkatesha Samo Devo Na Bhuto Na Bhavishyati
The construction of Tirupati Balaji temple began in 300 AD with subsequent additions made from time to time. In the history of the temple, much of its wealth and size was gained during the reign of the Vijayanagara rulers who poured gold and diamonds into the treasury of the temple. When the emperor Krishnadevaraya visited the temple in 1517, he ordered for the gilding of the inner roof of the temple.
The rulers of the Kingdom of Mysore and the Gadwal Samsthan visited the temple regularly and contributed so much valuables. During the mid part of the eighteenth century, Maratha general Raghoji I Bhonsle established a permanent body to administer the temple worship. The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) was instituted through the TTD Act in 1932.