As part of the Dussehra festivities, the Kanyaka Parameswari Goddess temple in Telangana has been decorated with origami flowers made of currency notes valued at more than Rs 1 crore. The substantial offering has been made amid an unprecedented economic downturn during the coronavirus pandemic.
Neatly folded currency notes of different colours have been used to create garlands and bouquets valued at Rs 1,11,11,111. They have been used to dress up the Goddess – a form of Durga – in the Vasavi Kanyaka Parameswari temple in Telangana’s Gadwal – some 180 km south of Hyderabad.
Decorations with currency worth Rs 1,11,11,111 for #Dhanalakshmi avatar of #KanyakaParameswariDevi at #Gadwal#Telangana as part of #Navaratri; three years ago it was Rs 3,33,33,333 currency decoration … Pandemic, economic slowdown presumably has its effects @firstname.lastname@example.org/uv3JwHgICV
— Uma Sudhir (@umasudhir) October 26, 2020
While the gift may seem excessive amid the pandemic, past trends show there is nothing unusual about large sums of money or jewellery being given as offerings to the Goddess.
According to the temple treasurer P Ramu, last year the Goddess was dressed in currency notes worth Rs 3,33,33,333.
“The value of notes used to decorate the deity is less this year less because of economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The money is a contribution from the devout in the local community and is returned to them after the puja. This year, some 40 to 50 people have contributed towards the unique decorations,” he said.
Various forms of the Goddess are worshipped at different times of the year. As part of the nine-day Navaratri-Dussehra festivities, she is dressed and worshipped in the form of Dhanalakshmi – goddess of wealth – on a Friday.
On Dussehra, it is believed that the Goddess returns to her ancestral home – Earth. She is then worshipped in all her different forms – each celebrating a different feminine attribute that make her a guiding force and destroyer of evil.
There are special prayers, music, dance, colourful floral decorations and celebration throughout the nine days of Dussehra.