Showing support to Narendra Modi government, the 200-year-old Shree Siddhivinayak temple in Mumbai has agreed to deposit a portion of its gold hoard with a bank by the end of March.
The money deposited will be used for recycling, responding to a government campaign to monetise some of the country's thousands of tonnes of privately-owned stocks of gold and cut costly imports.
The issue was discussed by Finance Ministry and the Reserve Bank of India. The much-publicised scheme will attract deposits of only three tonnes of gold in four months out of an estimated pool of 20,000 tonnes stacked away in family lockers and temple vaults.
India has a plethora of gold deposits in the form of dozens of rich temples that have collected billions of dollars in gold jewellery, bars and coins over the centuries.
Some temples have even hidden this gold securely in vaults.
Out of the many temples, the Shree Siddhivinayak temple is one of the many which will soon choose a bank to deposit 44 kg out of its total stash of 160 kg of gold, said a senior official at the trust that manages it.
The official said they did not want to be named before a statement is issued, which is likely to happen next week.