As Dussehra festivities gather momentum, the goddess at Sri Kanyaka Parameswari temple was decorated with gold ornaments and currency worth crores on Sunday. The goddess was gifted 8 Kg jewellery worth Rs 2 crore and another Rs 2.5 crore as currency notes was used to decorate the temple interiors, said the organizing committee in Visakhapatnam.
Traditionally every year, on the occasion of Devi Navaratri Ustavalu, the idol is wrapped with gold jewellery and decorated with new currency notes of every possible denomination. Both Indian and foreign currency notes were used to decorate the walls behind the goddess and floor of the inner temple room where the idol is kept.
"People believe that it is lucky for them to place the currency and the gold before the Ammavaru (goddess) for the puja. It is all public contribution. We make a note of who has given what amount and return it to them once the puja is over. It does not go to the temple trust,'' Kolluru Venkateswara Rao, chairperson of the temple committee told NDTV.
The offerings to decorate the goddess were made by over 200 devotees.
In the 140-year-old temple, the idol is worshiped as different avatars of Sri Mahalakshmi during the 10-day Navratri festival. Yesterday, over 50,000 devotees visited the temple for a darshan of the gold and currency-decorated goddess.
It is a tradition at this temple to use gold and currency notes to decorate the deity on the day she takes the avatar of Mahalakshmi. People believe placing their money at the goddess' feet, brings good fortune in business and fetches good returns. The gold contributed remains with the goddess at the temple.
Across Andhra Pradesh, traditionally offerings in cash or gold are made to the deities, to fulfill vows or seek blessings. Tirumala Tirupati's Balaji temple, is in fact, richest in the world because of the contributions from devotees who believe his blessings help them prosper. Many even put Balaji's name on registration papers while starting a business or buying property and many even make him a partner in their business. The yearly share of profit is also given to the Balaji temple.