Golden Baba, who wears 20 kg of gold, has become a head-turner at the kanwar yatra, an annual pilgrimage of Shiva devotees in Haridwar in Uttarakhand.
56-year-old Baba, who enjoys the attention, is known to be a regular visitor who visits the place every year and is popular among pilgrims.
Golden Puri Maharaj, who hails from Juna Akhara, said “I am the centre of attraction. Wherever I go, people come to see me. Police has to provide security”.
It is said that Golden Puri Maharaj was a businessman in Delhi before becoming a Baba. Reportedly he has a criminal record and was known as Bittu Light Baaz. He allegedly turned a baba to escape any police action.
On this 25th year of the kanwar yatra, he has carried an extra 4 kg of gold. Even his kanwar pot filled with Ganga water is gold-plated.
Talking about the gold that he wears, he said “There was a time when I used to wear only a few grams of gold, but with "bhole ki kripa" (Shiva's blessings), I am now wearing gold in kilos. It's so heavy, you will not be able to hold it.”
Speaking on the money he spent for the gold, he said “I have spent Rs. 1.25 crore in this year's kanwar yatra. There are 250-300 pilgrims with me and I arrange everyone's food, ambulance, shelter," added the Golden "god-man”.