Pakistani rupee also made its presence in the Hundi collections of the Tirumala temple, the richest temple in the world.
A document of donations received in foreign currency from 2000 to 2020, a copy of which is available with TOI, show that devotees from 157 countries had visited the Tirumala shrine and deposited currencies of their respective countries in the Hundi. Every devotee visiting the temple fulfils his/her vow after the darshan of Lord Balaji by donating generously to the Hundi.
Apart from foreign currencies, the donations include cheques, demand drafts, property documents, gold, silver, platinum and diamonds.
An analysis of the foreign currency notes shows that Malaysian Ringgit accounts for 46%, while 34,659 US dollars make up for 16%. While the TTD has exchanged the currency in good condition, it has a large pile up of 2.44 lakh soiled foreign notes. After a decade, the temple management successfully exchanged the soiled foreign notes earlier this year.
The Parakamani staff, who segregate and count notes and coins on daily basis, are also trained in handling foreign currency and coins. Since the notes are soiled, they are kept in the treasury of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD). Finally, they were exchanged in February for Rs 1.25 crore.
According to the TTD officials, Pakistani rupee is donated on regular basis. They, however, did not divulge information on how much Pakistani rupee have been donated in the last decade.
Donations declined last yr due to Covid, temple closure
Foreign currency donations to the Tirumala Hundi rose sharply during 2019-2020. TTD’s Hundi-Parakamani data shows that the Hundi had received 4.73 lakh foreign currency notes worth Rs 27.49 crore between April 2019 and March 2020.
But, donations in foreign currency declined during the financial year 2020-2021 due to Covid-19 restrictions and closure of the temple as part of Covid-19 control measures. Between April 2020 and March 2021, the Hundi received 30,300 foreign currency notes worth Rs 1.92 crore
And April 2021 just before the Covid-19 second wave took over the country, the Hundi received 4,779 foreign currency worth Rs 37,22,809.
The temple is expected to receive Rs 1131 crore Hundi collection during the current financial year. This includes Indian currency