Bhubaneswar, September 7 (LocalWire): With the price of gold escalating almost on a daily basis, the inflow of yellow metals in the form of donation into the offertory box, the hundi, at Shree Jagannath temple in Puri has been going down.
If the donation collected from the temple hundi during the past one week is any indication, devotees are shying away from offering gold as a donation.
“During the week of 31 August to 6 September, a meager 8.6 grams of gold was collected from the donation box. The current market price of the gold donation received will be around Rs 35,000, while the cash donated during the period is Rs 13,41,697,” Shree Jagannath Temple Administration public relation officer Laxmidhar Pujapanda informed.
Of late, the amount of gold donation to the temple has come down. However, cash continues to flow into the temple donation box. Sources indicate that compared to other forms of donation, the temple hundi has always received more cash every year.
An estimated Rs one crore cash is collected through the hundi, which is one of the major sources of income for the 12th-century holy shrine.
“The donation is collected on a daily basis and to ensure transparency bankers of a nationalised bank have been assigned the task to count the currency notes and weigh the gold donated in the hundi. Thereafter is remains in the safe custody of treasure locker,” he said.
Reports indicate that the temple gets an average footfall of at 30,000 devotees in a day, and the number swells to more than one lakh during festive season and holidays.
Shree Jagannath Temple, a revered pilgrimage site and one of the four pithas (citadel) of Shankaracharyas, is famous for its annual Ratha Yatra during which lord Jagannath, along with brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra march on the chariots attracting millions of followers of Jagannath cult to catch glimpse of the annual religious heritage.