On the second day of the Ashwin Navratra Fair at Mansa Devi Shrine, a total of Rs 8.76 lakh was collected as donations by the board. The Kalka Shrine that too falls under the same shrine board, collected Rs 2.65 lakh
during the fair.
The donations included foreign currency worth 25 dollars, six gold items, weighing about 10 grams and 31 silver items, weighing 641 grams.
The Mansa Devi temple, which was a small shrine earlier, was developed in 1811 by Gopal Singh, King of Manimajra. Later, in 1991, it was taken over by the government and a board was set up to look after the temple maintenance and keep records of the donations. “It was then that the Mansa Devi temple grew by bounds and leaps. The donations received were hefty and all of them were used for the development of the area. Earlier it was just a small shrine, now it is a temple with several buildings spread across 104 acres of land,” said VG Goel, CEO of the Mansa Devi Mandir board.
The Mansa Devi temple also has a dharamshala, residential quarters for the temple staff, many of which are vacant and a cow shelter, spread across six acres, to accommodate 1,200 cows.
The shrine board is also planning to build a sanskrit gurukul in the temple and an Ayush Centre by the government, which is already under construction.
Remembering the biggest donation yet, by a woman named ‘Mata Laajwanti’, Goel said, “In 1995, Laajwanti got the Mansa Devi ‘dharamshala’ built by the HUDA and paid for the whole project from her own pocket. Many come and stay there now.” The dharamshala has 16 rooms, all of which are air-conditioned and have attached bathrooms.