Ranchi : A temple in Jharkhand dedicated to Hindu god Shiva has introduced gold coins as 'prasad' for devotees, who will of course have to buy them.
Offering gold coins as prasad has been introduced at the temple in Deogarh from this month onwards. Devotees can buy the coin for Rs.2,500 and offer it to Lord Shiva while praying. The priest would then give it back to them after special prayers.
"We introduced the gold coins considering the large number of devotees who come here to pray and offer gold. The coin has an imprint of the Shiva temple on one side and the Shiv Ling (a symbol of the god) on the other side," said Sri Ramesh, a member of the Deogarh temple management committee.
The Shiva temple at Deogarh is about 400 km from Ranchi.
The gold coin has been issued before the Srawan month, which calendar begins towards the end of next month. Around 2.5 million people visit the temple during this auspicious month.
The temple management hopes there will be a good sale of gold coins during this period.
Hindu devotees often offer gold to deities and the precious metal is also used in certain rituals.
"During Diwali, devotees offer gold to goddess Lakshmi. The use of gold depends on the capacity of the devotee. Those who cannot afford it make other offerings," said Abhinash Mishra, a priest.
According to estimates, around 5 million pilgrims come to the Deogarh temple every year.