Details of plight of Hindu Temples in Andhra Pradesh (Eenadu Interview)

16 Nov 2008 2975 Views

Plight of Hindu Temples in Andhra Pradesh

(From Eenadu TV Interview coverage in 2007)


Some Highlights


Total Temple Lands: 420,000 acres

Total number of temples under Govt: 34,443


87% of Temples (30,000 temples) under Government  control cannot even afford Dhoopa, Deepa, Naivedyam.

20% of Temples Lands (80,845 acres) are encroached mostly by political patronages.

40% (167,000 acres) are leased mostly by politicians under fictitious names paying Rs 3 to Rs 40 per annum.

Number of court cases: 6547

Details of Lands owned by Temples in Andhra Pradesh


Total number of temples under Govt control

34, 443

Number of temples with land


Total land owned by temples

  4,20,000 acres


  3,24,000 acres


 95,000 acres

Land fit for cultivation

 3,47,000 acres

Forest land

 14,000 acres

Hills, mountains

 16,000 acres

Land unfit for cultivation


Land in urban area/cities

 9077 acres

Fruit plantations

 1611 acres

Note: Since 1972, there are no land donations to Temples.  Land under priests control is 1,32,000 of which Magani is 22,000, Metta is1,10,000


Encroachments (20% of Total Temples lands)


Encroached land

80485 acres 

Number of encroachers


Encroachers in cities

33, 000

Land encroached for housing

31, 747

Bhooporatam – by naxals and communist groups

610 acres

Land sold by public auction

 5825 acres

Money gained through public auction

27.81 crores

Land transferred to private parties

1311 ( money recovered 4.75 crores)

Land taken by Govt. for its programs

12, 068 acres


Specific examples:


Srikakulam:  786 temples own 10, 440 acres farm land, 105 fruit plantation.  Still most of the temples cannot even afford  daily dhoopa, deeva, naivedya

Sri Kurmam and Arasavilli:  Most of the land owned is encroached

Simhachalam: 33% of the land  is lost to encroachers.

West Godavari:  Temples have 12,000 acres , most of the land is encroached.  Most of the documents related to these lands have been destroyed by corrupt officials.

Bhadrachalam: Sita Rama Swamy temple owned 900 acres  are encroached

Vijayawada Kanaka Durga temple: It has 220 acres, most of it is encroached

Kurnool: Temple land is 60,000 acres.  Hundreds of acres are encroached.


Sale/Lease of Temple Lands


Land given on lease

 1,67,000 acres

No. of lease holders



Almost all the lease holders are politicians operating under benami names (fictitious names).  Most of the places the lease value a temple gets is Rs. 3  to Rs. 40 per acre.

Within 1 year of YSR Government, 1000 acres of land  have been illegally transferred.   The endowments commission at that time sold 245 acres of land in Ranga Reddy district at far below market rates.

Current YSR Government attempted to sell 50,000 acres. The market value of this property is 7,500 crores.


Specific Examples

East Godavari District: Temples own 21,000 acres.  This is one of the most fertile lands in India.  But the temples get Rs, 30 lakh per annum as lease amount i.e., Rs.  140/acre whereas private farmers earn thousands of rupees/acre.

Srikakulam: 786 temples own 10, 440 acres farm land, 105 fruit plantation.  Still most of the temples cannot even afford  daily dhoopa, deeva, naivedya

Simhachalam:  67% of, Land gets a lease of Rs. 6 lakh/annum

Ranga reddy district:  Jannaya gudem:Lakshmi Narasimha swamy temple proerty worth 850 acres has been taken over in the name of Fab city.  The  market value of land is  Rs. 1 crore/acre whereas Govt decided the market value as Rs, 40,000 i.e.,  xx% of the market value but  hasn’t paid even a single rupee to Endowments department.

East Godavari Temples:   Recently in a survey of  Fixed Deposits in temples in East Godavari  66% of  temples are gone/spent.

Hyderabad?:  Government never deposited money for the land taken for Imliban bustand.

Guntur:  12 acres of hot property worth 12 crores has been sold by Govt for 36 lakhs.

Note: Money recovered on all the property in terms of lease  - Rs. 44 cr/annum

Disappearing Temple Lands

Most of the temple lands in East and West Godavari  have turned into illegal prawn ponds.

In Anantapur, temple lands come to 29,000 acres. Even officials don’t  know whether there is any income


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