Devotees seek whereabouts of Lord’s gold in Bhadradri
Even as a huge controversy is brewing up over the alleged ‘missing diamond’ at the famed Tirumala Temple, closer home in Bhadradri, many an eyebrows are being raised over the gold donations poured in a couple of years ago for gold-coating of the idols of presiding deities at the historical Sri Sita Ramachandra Swamy Temple here.
Bhadrachalam: Even as a huge controversy is brewing up over the alleged ‘missing diamond’ at the famed Tirumala Temple, closer home in Bhadradri, many an eyebrows are being raised over the gold donations poured in a couple of years ago for gold-coating of the idols of presiding deities at the historical Sri Sita Ramachandra Swamy Temple here.
It may be recalled that since the ancient idols of Lord Rama, Goddess Sita and Lord Lakshman needed a makeover, it was proposed to make ready ‘golden idols’ in place of the present once two years ago.
Following the proposal, several devotees generously donated gold for remaking the idols, but even after two years, there is no trace gold meant for recoating the idols.
It is only recently Tirumala Tirupati Devastanam (TTD) former head priest Ramana Deekshithulu made sensational allegations over the jewels of Lord Venkateswara. In the temple town of Bhadradri, a similar sort of allegation is doing rounds among the devotees of Lord Rama.
In the renowned shrine Sri Sita Rama Chandraswamy Temple, also known as the Dakshina Ayodhya, the priests decided to gold-coat the exissting idols in gold on March 16, 2016. The Endowment department gave permission for coating of the idols of Lord Rama, Sita and Laxman in pure gold. Following the decision, the temple authorities and some of the devotees gathered the gold required for the purpose.
On that day, the temple priests conducted a special Panchangabhishekam (inauguration) for remaking the idols under the supervsion of spiritual leader Chinna Jeeyar Swamy. He conducted a special puja to the new idols in the temple premises. During that programme, the Jeeyar announced that for the protection of the idols, the second layer of gold was required. He urged the devotees to donate gold for the second layer of the idols. He himself donated some gold and said the donations from devotees would be submitted to the temple. On that day, 300 grams of gold and Rs 2 lakh in cash was donated by devotees for the additional layer of gold to the new idols.
However, even after two years, the temple authorities and the department officials have not said any word about the additional gold layer. According sources, the Endowment department had not given permission for coating additional layer of the gold on the idols.
The quiestion being raised is about the whereabouts of the gold and the money collected for the purpose. Devotees say that if the temple did not get permission for the second coating, the gold and money should be returned to the devotees. “If the gold and the cash are kept in banks, the authorities should make it public and provide clarity,” said K Rama Krishna, a devotee of Lord Rama.
The temple Executive Officer K Prabhakar Srinivas said the Endowments Commissioner had not given permission to coat the second layer on the idols. He said the Executive Officer who worked before him did not submit any file about the programme. However, he said the gold was safe and they were waiting for the approval of the Commissioner of Endowments to go ahead with the proposal.