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|July 25, 1998||
Black or white, brown or grey, it's devotees' hair, TTD makes hay
The Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanams, which administers the famous Lord Venkateswara temple at Tirumala in Andhra Pradesh, has netted a record income of Rs 97.3 million through the sale of "human hair" offered to the lord by thousands of devotees during the year 1997-98.
TTD sources said devotees tonsured their heads at Tirumala to fulfil their vows. Besides, thousands of women devotees dropped their hair in the Srivari Hundi as part of their pilgrimage.
The TTD classifies the human hair into five categories, including grey hair and hundi hair.
The grey hair is graded as high-quality and costly. However, its collection at Kalyanakatta (the TTD's official saloon) has gradually come down from 125 kilograms in 1995-96 to a mere 45 kilograms in 1997-98. The second variety of human hair fetched Rs 45 million in 1997-98. The income from the hundi hair collection was considerably low at a mere Rs 60,000 in 1997-98, the sources added.
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