Shirdi (Maharashtra), March 23 - On the occasion of Gudi Padva, the Maharashtrian New Year, a Mumbai businessman offered a donation of a 40-kg silver throne for Saibaba here Friday.
According to a spokesperson for the Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, the estimated value of the throne, donated by Kiran Mehta, is around Rs.2.20 million.
'Since we were tied up with the arrangements for the 3-day Saibaba Festival which started today (Friday), our temple goldsmith could not certify whether it is pure silver or any other metal like copper is also mixed. We shall do it later,' the temple spokesperson told IANS.
A few months ago, the businessman had expressed a desire to donate the throne and he was permitted to do so by the temple authorities.
The throne will be kept in Babaki Chavri, which is adjacent to the world famous Saibaba Temple in Shirdi, around 250 km from Mumbai.
In December 2007, a Hyderabad builder donated a gleaming 95 kg gold throne worth nearly Rs.95 million (Rs.9.50 crore) on which the main statue of Saibaba now rests.
Recently, the Bombay High Court's Aurangabad Bench had sacked the governing board of SSST and ordered the Maharashtra government to announce the new trustees within a fortnight for the temple, among the top five richest temple trusts in India.