TIRUPATI: Karnataka tourism minister and Bellary mine baron Gali Janardhan Reddy will probably be better known for something else: with anoffering of a diamond-studded crown worth Rs 42 crore, he became the biggest donor to Lord Venkateswara at Tirupati since the Vijayanagara kings 400 years ago.The 20-kg stunner was a “thanksgiving” gesture, the minister said. Sources added that 32kg of `aparanji (pure)’ gold went into its making, besides 70,000 diamonds weighing 4,000 carats. The 2.5-ft crown has a huge 890-carat emerald from Africa engraved in the centre which alone costs around Rs 10 crore.The crown will be placed the Lord’s idol during Abhishekam seva on Friday morning. It was earlier kept in the Vaibhavotsava Mandapam in Tirumala and special pujas were performed. After a ritual called Sahasra Deepalankara seva, it was taken around on a procession along with the deity, Lord Malayappa Swamy. Around 7pm, the crown was taken inside the sanctum sanctorum.

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