TIRUPATI: Karnataka tourism minister and Bellary mine baron Gali Janardhan Reddy will probably be better known for something else: with an offering
of a diamond-studded
worth Rs 45 crore, he became the biggest donor to Lord Venkateswara at Tirupati since the Vijayanagara kings 400 years ago.
The 20-kg stunner was a ``thanksgiving'' gesture, the minister said. Sources added that 32kg of `aparanji (pure)' gold went into its making, besides 70,000
weighing 4,000 carats. The 2.5-ft crown has a huge 890-carat emerald from Africa engraved in the centre which alone costs around Rs 10 crore.
The crown will be placed the Lord's idol during Abhishekam seva on Friday morning. It was earlier kept in the Vaibhavotsava Mandapam in Tirumala and special pujas were performed. After a ritual called Sahasra Deepalankara seva, it was taken around on a procession along with the deity, Lord Malayappa Swamy. Around 7pm, the crown was taken inside the sanctum sanctorum.
Keertilal Jewellers of Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu took nine months to
There are no records of more expensive donations to the temple and Gali's donation is considered as the costliest gift offered to the Lord after the Vijayanagara kings in the 16th century. The Vijayanagara kings ruled from Hampi not far from modern day Bellary.
With this offering, the total number of crowns placed with the Lord has gone up to seven. This precious crown has been added to the
treasury of Lord which holds over 11 tonnes of gold ornaments and vessels.
``I am in this position only with the blessings of Lord Venkateswara. This is only a small offering to the Lord. I believe in Madhava seva (service to the Lord),'' said Gali, who owns several iron ore mines.
.-----------------. SUNNY DHANOE .----------------.