Kerala: Travancore board will keep 1200 kg gold in a bank, 28 temples will have online service puja

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Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala), June 11, 2020: The Travancore Devaswom Board, which oversees the management of 1,248 temples in Kerala, is preparing to keep around 1200 kg gold of the temples with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to increase its income. This will give the board an income of about Rs 13.5 crore every year. The gold is currently in the form of jewellery and pottery in temples.


The board will dissolve them into solid gold. It is estimated that the price of this gold is around Rs 540 crore. The Travancore Board has jurisdiction of large temples like Padmanabham Swami, Sabarimala, and Guruvayur.


These temples of Kerala also have very old and historical jewellery, the board will allow the ancient jewellery to remain the same. The worth of these ornaments is estimated to be in crores and they are to be used in festivals. The scheme will use only those ornaments and utensils which have been donated to these temples in the last few years. Along with this, the board is also arranging for online darshan and service in 28 major temples, this will help in increasing the income of temples.


Earlier, the Travancore Board had decided to auction hundreds of tons of copper lamps and utensils kept in the temple to improve its economic condition, although this was later disputed and keeping in mind the sentiments of the people, the board annulled this decision. The Kerala High Court has also sought a response from the board in this matter. People had appealed that the board should not auction the properties of the temple in this way.


Due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown, there has been a drastic shortage of donations in most temples. In such a situation, the temples are struggling a bit on the financial front and are facing problems to meet their daily expenses and to pay the salaries of priests. However, the situation is improving now.


With the opening of temples in many places, the situation is becoming seemingly normal, but it may take a long time to get the first donation and income back in the temples. The Sabarimala temple alone has lost more than Rs 100 crore during the lockdown.


Donation of 7.5 lakh rupees to Padmanabham temple in lockdown

The Padmanabham temple used to donate 3 to 5 crore rupees every month, which reduced to just 7.5 lakh in lockdown. Similarly, in the Guruvayur temple, the income was only 5 to 7 lakh, while earlier it was up to 5 crores. The Travancore board has around 6,500 employees including priests. The board also requires a large amount of money every month for staff management along with the maintenance of temples.


Online worship and darshan in 28 major temples

Many people will not be able to visit the temples yet and because of social distancing norms in the temples, there will be no big festivals. In view of this, the Travancore Devaswom Board has decided to start a virtual worship service in its 28 major temples so that people can visit online even without physically going there. This will also help the temples to regain their lost incomes and donations and will also increase their recovery rate.