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.
The minister said his Brahmani Steels, once it starts operation,
would employ 25,000 people. ``This I consider as manava seva
(service to mankind),'' he said. Andhra Pradesh chief minister YSR
Reddy's son Jagan has a large stake in Brahmani Steel that is
coming up in the Andhra chief minister's home district.