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Tirupati Balaji: What is the story behind hair donation at the temple?

It is a popular belief that donating hair helps in getting rid of sins and ego. Every day, thousands of devotees at Tirupati Balaji temple donate their hair to the Lord's service. 

Devasheesh Pandey Written by: Devasheesh Pandey New Delhi Published on: May 31, 2022 17:00 IST
Tirupati Balaji temple

Woman getting her hair shaved at Tirupati Balaji temple


  • Thousands of devotees visiting the Tirupati Balaji temple donate their hair in lord's service
  • The donated hair are auctioned online and sold in international markets
  • It is the belief that shaving off hair helps one get rid one of sins and ego

Devotees crowd the Tirupati Balaji Temple all year round. The holy place has huge significance in various cultures and it is a custom to donate one's hair at the temple as a form of worship. It is believed that devotees donate their hair at the Tirupati Temple once their wish is fulfilled or to get rid of sins and ego. Let us know why the hair is donated at the Tirupati Temple by the lord's devotees and what becomes of them. 

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The spiritual significance of hair donation 

The reason behind hair donation is that Lord Venkateshwara repays his loan taken from Lord Kuber. It is believed that God gives you 10 times more value in the form of money than what the devotees donate hair at the Tirupati Balaji temple. It is said that whoever donates their hair is blessed by Goddess Lakshmi. Here, not only men, but women also donate their hair after the vow is fulfilled. 

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According to another popular belief, once in ancient times, a mountain of ants was formed on the deity of Lord Balaji. A cow used to visit here and go to the mountain of ants to give the milk. Seeing this, the owner of the cow got very angry and he hit the cow's head with an ax. Balaji was wounded by this blow and some of his hair also fell out. Goddess Neela Devi cut her hair and placed it on Balaji's wound. As soon as Neela Devi put her hair on the wound, her wound was healed. Pleased with this, Narayan said that hair is the most important part of the beauty of the body and seeing the Goddess sacrifice her hair really impressed him. It is the belief that whosoever will give their hair, their wishes are fulfilled. As a result of this belief, there is a tradition of donating hair in the temple of Balaji. 

What happens to the donated hair?

Every year, lakhs of kgs of hair are donated at Tirupati Balaji temple. Approximately 500 to 600 tonnes of human hair is donated at the Tirupati temple every year by devotees coming from all around the world. As per the routine procedure, and to make it hygienic, cut hair is boiled, rinsed, dried and stored in special godowns under controlled temperatures. They are then sold off on the website depending on categories. An e-auction of tonsured hair is conducted by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams. Crores of rupees are fetched through e-auction of the donated hair.

How is donated hair used?

The donated hair at Tirupati Balaji temple is sold in international markets. The most popular way of putting them to use is making hair wigs which are in huge demand in markets in Europe, America, China, Africa and elsewhere. 

Hair donation at Tirupati

At the Tirupati Balaji temple, as many as 600 people are employed to help the devotees in shaving off their hair. Every day, as many as 20,000 people vising the Temple, donate their hair out of choice. 





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