The e-auction of the hair was conducted for the first time by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) and garnered lush returns. The TTD managed to auction as much as 65,000 kg of various categories of hair. It has been reported that close to 49 traders took part in the auction.
TTD Financial Advisor and Chief Accounts Officer V Bhaskara Reddy commented, "We opted for e-auction this year to avoid manipulation by some bidders who formed a ring causing loss to the TTD. As a result, we got Rs 30 crore more than what we earned last year." The temple had earlier invited tenders offline that saw limited participation from traders across the globe.
The holy abode of Lord Venkateswara attracts close to 50,000 pilgrims each day and the number exceeding 1 lakh on weekends and special occasions. The practice of tonsuring the head and offering the hair to the deity has been in practice for long and is considered an important ritual.
The human hair from Tirumala has takers across the world mostly to be made into wigs. The domestic market has also demand for Tirumala hair. Before being auctioned, the hair is weighed in the presence of the auction officer, sorted and sun dried.