Priceless treasure found in ancient Kerala temple

Gold ornaments, jewels and precious stones worth hundreds of crores of rupees have been found in the cellars of the famed Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple.

Thiruvananthapuram: The process of making an
inventory of the priceless articles locked up in underground
cellars of the famed Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple here has
revealed gold ornaments, vessels, jewels and precious stones
worth hundreds of crores of rupees.

The examination of three of the six inner chambers in the
sprawling temple complex in the city, completed last evening,
showed that they contained gold chains, gold, a large number
of silver and brass platters, ornaments, a stone-studded crown
and glittering gold coated parasols and may other objects of
great intrinsic and antique value, temple sources said.

The magnificent temple, built in 18th century by King of
erstwhile Travancore princely state Marthanda Varma, is run by
a trust under the control of the royal family.

The Supreme Court recently appointed a seven-member panel,
comprising two former judges of Kerala High Court as
observers, to draw up a list of valuable articles stashed
away in the cellars, said to have been remaining locked up for

The observers had made it clear that their job was not to
assess the value of the articles in money terms but to draw up
an inventory and submit it to the apex court.

However, temple sources, present during the exercise,
indicated that the precious objects listed in the first days
alone would run into at least Rs 700 crores in the present
market rates.

Cultural historians and temple scholars, however, held that
it would be unwise to put cash tag on the rare articles
without accounting their antique value.

The cellars were ordered to be opened by the apex court to
prepare an inventory while considering a private petition.

The magnificent temple, known for its architectural
elegance and long rows of granite columns with exquisite
engravings, has Lord Vishnu reclining on the thousand-headed
serpent Anantha as the presiding deity.

The temple is run by a trust floated by Travnacore royal
house, to which Lord Padmanabha is the family deity.

The court issued orders on a private petition which sought
measures for greater transparency and accountability in the
management of the temple.


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