Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), the world’s richest temple trust that runs the Sri Venkateswara temple at Tirumala, has been shut down for the first time ever for so long due to COVID-19.
Due to this lockdown the temple has been closed for the past 50 days and has lost a revenue of Rs 400 crore. It now has shortage of cash to pay salaries to its employees and meet daily expenses.
Officials stated the trust has already spent nearly Rs 300 crore towards employee salaries, pensions and other fixed expenses during the lockdown period so far and is considering ways to resolve the crisis without having to touch the pre-existing eight tons of gold reserve or the Rs 14,000 crore fixed deposits.
The temple attracts about 80,000 to 100,000 devotees per day, while the count increases during festival seasons. Though in observation of lockdown due to corona devotees are not allowed, all daily and weekly rituals and festivals are being observed without any deviations as per the prescribed agamas.
The TTD for the financial year 2020-21 had decided on an annual budget of Rs 3,309.89 crore. The average monthly income at Tirumala used to be around Rs 200- 220 Crores.
But from March 20 with the imposition of lockdown it has suffered an estimated loss in hundi collections alone of Rs 150-175 crore. Other revenues in the form of sale of darshan tickets and arjitha sevas, prasadams, accommodation and donations have also dried up.