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The Devasthan Temples that are rich & real money spinners

The Devasthan department, which is responsible as the custodians of various temples earned a revenue of Rs10.68 crores in 2016-17 through offerings made by the devotees.

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The Devasthan Temples that are rich & real money spinners
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    The various temples and religious places under the state government’s possession and run by the Devasthan department are no more a liability, but have become a revenue earner. The Devasthan department, which is responsible as the custodians of various temples earned a revenue of Rs10.68 crores in 2016-17 through offerings made by  the devotees.

    In all. there are 593 temples and religious places that are administered by the Devasthan department. There are 390 temples that are run by the state’s grant and the state government spent Rs 1.80 crore for performing the daily Puja in these temples in the year 2016-17. There are 203 temples under the department which are self sufficient and runs its show with the offering the temples receive from the devotees. Yet, there is a provision of Rs1 crore from the department to meet out the expenses of Puja in case the temples do not receive adequate offerings from devotees,

    Majority of the temples were built during the princely days and the rulers would spend large amount of the princely state’s revenue in running the show. These temples, Mutts and other places were part of the royals estates and the funds for maintaining these temples were provided from the state’s revenue and the temples properties were listed as the state’s properties.

    Thus, in the year 1949 following the mergers of the 22 small and big states,these temples  became the properties of the state and the ownership transferred from the princes of the various states to the state. The various temples which came as a liability to the newly formed government  became a real estate asset off the state government.

    These temples are not only confined in the state, but in some other states also. The Devasthan department controls the temples in Uttar Pradesh’s Vrindavan, Mathura Soro, Goverdhan, Radhakund Barsana and Varanasi. In Uttrakhand, the Devasthan department own temples at Haridwar, Bhuwali (Nainital), Uttar Kashi,Dharali and at Gangotri. These temples outside the state were built by the rulers of Jaipur, Bikaner, Kota and Bharatpur and they transferred these temples after the abolition of the principalities.

    According to one estimate, the real estate worth of these temples are over Rs 50,000 crores and there are temples which have shops from which  the department earns rent. A valuations done by the state government recorded that there are 52 temples that have jewellries worth over  Rs 10 lakh each.The number of jewellery pieces in these temples are 17,077.

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