Lord Venkateswara temple in Tirupati city of Andhra Pradesh has assets worth ₹2.5 lakh crore, which includes gold deposits in banks, gold jewellery, bank deposits and land parcels spread across India. The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), the trust board which oversees and manages the operations of world famous Tirumala Venkateswara Temple in the southern state, has released a white paper in which it has declared a list of its assets.

The TTD document, seen by Fortune India, shows TTD's bank deposits at ₹15,938.68 crore as on September 30, 2022, as compared to ₹13,025.09 crore as of June 30, 2019, an increase of ₹2,913.59 crore.

Its gold deposits, which are in the State of India and Indian Overseas Bank, stood at 10,258.37kg as on September 30, 2022, as compared to 7,339.74 kg as on June 30, 2019, the data showed. Also, the trust's gold jewellery deposits in banks stand at 2,500kg.

All of these deposits, coupled with the value of the trust's 960 immovable properties spread across India, amount to around ₹2.5 lakh crore (about $30 billion), as reported by a news agency. This makes TTD's net worth more than some of the biggest enterprises in India, including tech giant Wipro, cement major Ultratech, FMCG major Nestle and even state-owned oil behemoths ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation) and NTPC.

Bengaluru-based Wipro had a market cap of ₹2.14 lakh crore as of Friday. Ultratech's m-cap stood at ₹1.9 lakh crore; Nestle's ₹1.96 lakh crore; Adani Ports' ₹1.81 lakh crore; ONGC's ₹1.73 lakh cr and NTPC's ₹1.71 lakh crore.

Companies like Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Mahindra and Mahindra, Tata Motors, the world's largest coal producer Coal India Ltd, Vedanta, and DLF also have lower market valuation than the temple trust. Only a handful of firms, including RIL (₹17.5 lakh crore), TCS (₹11.7 lakh crore), and HDFC Bank (₹8.3 lakh crore), among others, have higher valuations than the temple trust.

The TTD white paper released on November 5, 2022, says as per the provisions of TTD rules, surplus amounts of the trust are being invested in scheduled banks at "H1 rate of interest only". The trust outrightly rejected rumours that the TTD board has decided to invest in the state or central government securities, saying such reports are "absolutely false".

The trust, which is under the control of the Andhra Pradesh government, said it invites quotations from eligible scheduled banks or institutions as per the investment guidelines and procedures approved by the TTD board. With regards to private banks, they have to be approved by the state government and should have the highest credit ratings to be eligible for quotations, it said. The banks under the RBI's PCA (prompt corrective framework) are not allowed to take part in quotations.

The trust said it has already resolved not to invest in central government or state government securities and accordingly no investments are being made in such schemes.

"The gold offerings received through Srivari Hundi are being sent to the India government mint for melting, refining and invested under the Gold Monetisation Scheme in long-term gold deposits of 12 years," the trust added.

Besides, the donations collected by banks with respect to trust are invested with the same banks as per their existing rate of interest. "The banks that collect coins in Parakamani are being invested with the same banks as per the existing rate of interest (without insisting on rating) since coin disposal is a herculean task for TTD and to bank).”

The trust said though Hundi's income was considerably reduced during the Covid period, its revenue has been increased by prudent financial management. TTD's annual budget for 2022-23, presented in February, stood at ₹3,100 crore. The budget had projected its earnings from cash offerings and interests on bank cash deposits at more than ₹1,668 crore for the year. The temple attracts around 75,000 pilgrims every day. The TTD management and daily operations at the temple are overseen by an executive officer appointed by the government of Andhra Pradesh.

Follow us on Facebook, X, YouTube, Instagram and WhatsApp to never miss an update from Fortune India. To buy a copy, visit Amazon.