Promoter of crisis-ridden Kingfisher Airlines and UB Group Chairman Vijay Mallya made an offering of gold bricks, weighing about three kg, at the famous hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara on his 58th birthday on Tuesday.
Mallya donated the gold after offering prayers, and requested the temple authorities to use it for gilding the doors at the sanctum sanctorum, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams Deputy Executive Officer (temple) Chinnamgari Ramana said.
The United Breweries chief, who arrived with his family last night, celebrated his birthday at a simple function held at the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams guesthouse, Venkata Vijayam, donated by him 15 years ago, temple sources said.
In August, Mallya had offered Rs 80 lakh gold-plated doors to the Kukke Subramanya temple, a place in Karnataka’s Dakshina Kannada district visited by many a well-known personality looking for a turnaround in fortunes.
Kingfisher, which Mallya launched in 2005, was once India’s second-largest airline by domestic market share, but is now in deep financial distress. It has been grounded since October 1 following a strike by its pilots and engineers over non-payment of salary dues and its flying licence has been suspended. It is believed that Mallya made sure that every aircraft he bought, first flew to Tirupati and circled around the Lord Venkateshwara shrine before being deployed.