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Mallya ' heaps' gold on the lord.

LIQUOR baron Vijay Mallya might be struggling to pay salaries to the staff of his beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines and clear the banks debts, but he has enough money to make extravagant donations to the Venkateshwara Temple in Andhra Pradesh and plan a New Year bash in Goa.

On the occasion of his 57th birthday on Tuesday, Mallya offered 3- kg gold, worth ` 96 lakh approximately, to the Lord of Seven Hills. He handed over the gold to the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam ( TTD) authorities and obtained a receipt.

The gold would be used for plating the " bangaru vakili" ( golden threshold) of the sanctum sanctorum.

The Rajya Sabha member had in 2010 donated 8- kg gold to the Tirumala Temple as part of the " Ananta Swarnamayam" project, which envisaged gold plating of the entire temple complex on the lines of Amritsar Golden Temple. The project has since been suspended.

Mallya is an ardent devotee of Lord Venkateshwara and has been a regular visitor to the temple. He often makes valuable donations to the temple.

The businessman arrived in Tirumala with his family on Monday evening and stayed at Venkata Vijayam, a guest house that he donated to the TTD 15 years ago. In the morning, he celebrated his birthday in a simple manner in the presence of his family and local leaders. Later, he proceeded to the temple to offer the gold bars.

Mallya is also planning a grand New Year bash at his private mansion -- Kingfisher Villa -- in Candolim in Goa. Built in Balinese style, the villa is a popular destination for private party revellers as Mallya is known to throw exotic parties there.

According to sources, an SMS originated from Mallya's staff mobile confirming the party plan in Goa. The message even had the number on which the invitees have to contact to gain entry.

Mallya's latest plans are certain to attract attention, as revival of cashstrapped Kingfisher Airlines appears difficult.

APPEASING THE GODS

ON TUESDAY:

donated 3 kg gold to Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam ( TTD) to be used for gold- plating golden threshold of the sanctum sanctorum

IN AUGUST:

goldplated doors worth ` 80 lakh to Lord Subrahmanya at Kukke in Dakshina Kannada district in Karnataka

IN 2010:

8 kg gold to TTD as part of a project to gold plate the temple. The project has been suspended

IN 1997:

the guesthouse, Venkata Vijayam, to the TTD

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Dec 19, 2012
Words:412
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