|sacks of pretyy old gold coins, etc Padmanabha swamy temple, Kerala. happyworldforall.blogspot.com|
The following are some interesting facts:
01. It is believed that about $1 trillion in gold is privately held by temples of India. The vast hidden wealth is in the vaults of temples with maximum security.
|the richest temple in the world. Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple in Kerala. indiatoday.intoday.in|
03. In many temples the gold coins donated by the devotees are put up for auction once in a while after appraisal. Such coins, blessed by the God would get money few times more than its face value. The value being due to divinity the small gold coins carry.
|shree Siddhivinayak Temple, Mumbai www.youtube.com|
04. According to an estimate from the World Gold Council about 22,000 tons of gold are locked up in temples across India. Many of the Indian temples are secretive about their stash and their gold and other precious items are safely stored in subterranean vaults. All of them are collections from devotees, spanning centuries.
05. Amazingly, the Indian governments gold reserve is not more than 550 tons, just a pittance compared to the horde held by the Hindu temples.
06. A surprising aspect is invariably most of this temple gold is not allowed either to trade or to monetize; in the real sense, they are sitting idle on the temple premises.
07. It is so happened that India is one of the largest consumers of gold in the world. As India does not have gold mines of value, its yearly requirement about 1000 tons are met by importation from foreign sources.
08. Incidentally, India ranks first in the production of cutting and polishing of diamonds, in particular, small and medium varieties in the world. The city of Surat, Gujarat occupies an important place next to Antwerp, Belgiam in diamond trade.
09. As far back as in August 2011a vast treasure trove was accidentally discovered at the Padmanabha Swamy temple in the capital city of Kerala in Thiruvanantha Puram. It contained $22 billion worth of gold in the form of old coins, jewelry, vessels, etc safely stored in the underground vault chambers. This value does not include antique value that may put the estimate more than 5 to 10 times its real value. Mind you, one more vault is not yet open because of the fear that it may contain serpents, guarding the treasures, hidden away in locked chamber. On the door of the vault an image of serpent is engraved, giving warning to the people.
10. Once in a while the government has expressed their desire to have the temples deposit their gold collections with the banks so that it will be melted down and sold to the jewelers and the money from the gold will be judiciously utilized. With some exceptions, most temple managements don't agree with the government's proposal because it is God's gold and the board members fear they will earn the ire of the god or face consequence of curses.
11. Next to oil, Indian government imports a huge chunk of gold to satisfy the appetite of the public and this causes lots of strain on the foreign exchange reserve that may lead to trade imbalance. The import of precious metal accounts for 28 % of its trade deficit way back in 2012-13
12. One of the richest Hindu temples in the world the Sri Balaji temple, Tirupati contributed 5.5 tons of gold to the banks under previous monetisation schemes that offer interest of about 1 percent. New schemes offer interest up to 2.5%.
13.The gold monetisation schemes “will help in reducing our gold imports and save foreign exchange and deal with the problem of current account deficit”, according to the finance ministry.
14. However the richest temple in the world Sri. Padmanabha Swamy temple, Kerala has no such plans in the future and sacks of gold, etc will remain stashed in the underground vaults.
The import of precious metal accounts for 28 % of its trade deficit in 2012-13
One of the richest Hindu temples in the world the Balaji temple, Tirupati contributed 5.5 tons of gold to the banks under previous monetisation schemes that offer interest of about 1 percent. New schemes offer interest up to 2.5%.
The gold monetisation schemes “will help in reducing our gold imports and save foreign exchange and deal with the problem of current account deficit”, according to the finance ministry.
The gold monetisation scheme, aimed at persuading individuals, institutions and rich temples to deposit some of their gold stash with banks to recycle, has only attracted about one kg in a month out of a total hoard of over 20,000 tonnes.
But the Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple, popularly known as the Tirupati Temple that is believed to have been the abode of Lord Vekateswara for 5,000 years, may become the biggest contributor with more than 5.5 tonnes of gold.