Demand for legislation to retain Padmanabhaswami temple under royal family

The Sree Padmanabhaswami Temple Heritage Protection Commitee staged a `Secretariat march`, demanding legislation against the recent Kerala HC verdict, directing the state government to take over control of the ancient shrine.

Last Updated: Mar 01, 2011, 12:14 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: The Sree Padmanabhaswami
Temple Heritage Protection Commitee staged a `Secretariat
march`, demanding legislation against the recent Kerala High
Court verdict, directing the state government to take over
administrative control of the ancient shrine.

Hundreds of people, including temple staff, priests and a
large number of devotees took part in the march yesterday,
which began from the temple premises at East Fort here.

The protestors wanted the government to pass a legislation
to bypass the court order and restore the heritage shrine to
the Travancore Royal house.

The government could take over the temple only if the royal
family expressed any inconvenience to run the shrine, the
office-bearers of the Committee said.

Known for its boat-shaped granite tower, columns of
exquisitely carved stone pillars and rows of dangling brass
lamps, the grand temple has been under the upkeep of the royal
house for over centuries.

While all other major temples in South Kerala were brought
under the Travancore Devaswom Board`s control, Sree
Padmanabhaswami temple alone was allowed to be retained under
a special trust as its presiding deity is the family deity of
the royals.

A division bench of the High Court had last month directed
the government to form a trust within three months to manage
the temple on the ground that the royal family had no
hereditary rights over the temple.

The order was passed on a private petition seeking a
direction in this regard. The court also asked the government
to prepare an inventory of the temple`s properties.

PTI