Ratlam: India is a land of thousands of small and big temples with each one having unique features of faith.
Crores of rupees are offered by millions of devotees who get sweet and savoury food items as ‘prasad’. But have you ever heard of a temple where precious metals are given away as prasad? This might surprise you.
Mahalaxmi temple in Ratlam district of Madhya Pradesh is one such temple which receives offerings worth crores around Diwali each year that includes even gold, silver ornaments and cash and this offering are in turn returned to the devotees in the form of prasad as they are considered as a blessing from goddess Laxmi.
Devotees call it ‘Kuber Potali’, which is distributed from the temple after completion of Diwali festival and is also termed very auspicious.
Temple which is situated here at Manek Chowk witnesses heavy rush ahead of Diwali every year as devotees hand over their valuables to the priest for keeping in the Garbh Grih (sanctum sanctorum) of temple.
Priest keeps note of every offering made to the goddess, so that the authorities know how much gold is to be returned to its correct owner in the form of prasad.
Priests and devotees treat these gold and silver offerings not as jewellery, but as ‘prasad’ from the Goddess of Wealth and is never spent or sold; it is in fact kept in the locker of the house for safety.
Meanwhile, keeping tab on situation, district administration and local police strengthen security arrangements at the temple.
As per information, this year special security arrangements have been made and adequate number of CCTV cameras has been installed to keep watch on every activity inside the temple area. Decoration of the goddess Mahalaxmi and temple had also begun from Thursday with precious ornaments of gold etc. and also currency notes are used in the decoration.
As per information this temple was established by the ex-ruler of the city but later it was taken over by the district administration. The system of keeping the valuables and cash from the devotees is approved by the district administration and this year entry of valuables and cash has been done in the register earmarked for the purpose along with photograph, mobile number and ID of the depositor for which district administration has deputed for the purpose two senior employees.
The process is that after the deposit of valuables by the devotee a token is issued which will be required while getting back the valuables and cash kept at the temple during Diwali days.
Devotees also have belief that valuables and cash which are deposited are just like ‘Shringar’ of Mahalaxmi and the goddess in turn showers her blessings.
The tradition of keeping valuables and cash in the temple is very old and district administration has made it more proper and systematic. The thickly populated market area of Manek Chowk from Dhanteras will witness large queue for the darshan of goddess Mahalaxmi and this will continue till Diwali on Sunday.