Puri: The Jagannath Temple in Puri received the foreign currency notes including USD for the first time as donations here.
The matter came to light during counting of money collected from Hundi (donation boxes) installed inside the temple premises on Wednesday.
The temple recorded 20 Australian Dollar note and 26 American Dollar currency from Hundi apart from Rs 2,69,912 cash, 18.440 gram gold and 26.920 gram silver as donations yesterday.
As the foreign tourists are prohibited to enter the centuries old temple, it is suspected that any NRI might have donated the foreign currency notes in Hundi.
Meanwhile, Sri Mandir has received 18.261 kg gold and 119.078 kg silver from the Hundi in the past 34 years, said an RTI reply from the temple administration authorities.
According to information collected through an RTI query, the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) received the highest amount of gold (1.323 kg) in 2009 from the Hundi. Similarly, the devotees had donated the highest amount of silver (11.944 kg) to the temple in 1992.
The shrine received the highest donations during two Nabakalebara festivals of Lord Jagannath in 1996 and 2015. The devotees had donated 237 gram gold and 1.309 kg silver to the temple via Hundi during the Nabakalebara in 1996. Similarly, the temple registered 961 gram gold and around 7 kg silver from the Hundi in 2015 Nabakalebara.
The temple collected around 50 gram gold and 1.443 kg silver from the Hundi in 2017, said the RTI reply.
Notably, the SJTA used to display the information relating to amount of money received from the Hundi on a notice board within regular intervals. But, it does not provide details about amount of gold and silver donated by the devotees to the temple in Hundi.
Recently, the temple authorities decided to count money collected from the Hundi under CCTV camera surveillance in view of several complaints reported regarding theft of cash during counting. The temple administration has also taken steps to display the counting process LIVE on the LED screen installed at the temple.