Tirupati: A Chennai-based Muslim devotee of Lord Venkateshwara has made a donation of Rs.1.02 crore in cash and kind to the famous hill shrine in Tirumala near here.
Abdul Ghani, who has been making different kinds of offerings including vehicles, furniture and cash for over three decades visited the temple with his family members on Tuesday and offered furniture and utensils total worth about Rs.87 lakh and a demand draft for Rs.15 lakh to Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) that governs the over two-millennia old hill shrine, a temple official said on Wednesday.
The offering of furniture and utensils would be utilized for the VIP guest house on the hills, the official told PTI adding that the cash donation would be used for the TTD-run Sri Venkateswara Annaprasada Trust meant for free meal for visiting pilgrims.
In 1984, a Hyderabad-based Muslim devotee donated a princely offering of 108 tiny golden lotus flowers and requested TTD to utilise the flowers for the main deity of Lord Venkateswara at the inner sanctum.
Upon receiving the unique offering from the Muslim devotee, the TTD introduced a special payment ritual called ‘Ashtadala Paada Padmarathana’ at the shrine.
From then onwards the ritual is conducted by the high priests on every Tuesday by chanting 108 celestial names of Lord Venkateswara amid placing each flower at the divine feet of the Lord on the Hills, the official said. Several VIPs besides cash-rich devotees have evinced interest in taking part in the ritual, he added.