After an over 80-day COVID-19 lockdown, the sacred Hundi (offering box) at the famous hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala here fetched about Rs 43 lakh in cash on the reopening day on June 11, a temple official said. Only 7,000 devotees were permitted when the shrine
reopened on Thursday and this ceiling would be continued in future also, keeping in mind the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.
The Hundi was emptied on Friday for counting of the collections on June 11, the official told PTI, adding that cash offerings by devotees amounted to Rs 43 lakh, besides gold and silver offerings.
Meanwhile, Rs 300 entry tickets for worship for the day bought by devotees online from across the country, mostly from Andhra Pradesh, accounted for about Rs nine lakh, he said.
Before the lockdown, the Hundi used to draw a daily collection of between Rs 2.5 crore to Rs 3.5 crore, he said.
The TTD Board, in its February special meeting, had approved the temple budget proposals, envisaging a total revenue of about Rs 3,310 crore during the fiscal year, of which cash offerings to be made by devotees were also projected at Rs 1,351 crore, the official said.
Due to unprecedented impact created by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent nationwide lockdown, the hill temple, the richest in the world had to incur a loss of Rs 500 crore, he said.