Secret cellars of ancient Kerala temple opened
Thiruvananthapuram: Four of the six
underground inner chambers at the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple
here, where priceless jewels and articles of rare antiquity
are believed to have been stored, were opened this morning in
the presence of two former judges of Kerala High Court.
The cellars, remaining closed for several decades, were
ordered to be opened by the apex court to prepare an inventory
while considering a private petition recently.
The examination was conducted but the media was kept away
as its result was meant to be informed only to the Supreme
The apex court had appointed Justices MN Krishnan and CS
Rajan as observers.
Additional Chief Secretary K Jayakumar, temple executive
officer Harikumar, petitioner T P Sundararajan and a
representative from Archaeology Department and two
representatives of Travancore King Marthandavarma were also
present while the chambers were opened.
"We will open four of the six chambers today and prepare a
detailed inventory of all assets within it. We will convene a
meeting on Friday to discuss details of the process. The date
of the opening of the other two chambers will be decided
then," Justice Krishnan said just before opening the chambers.
"To examine the stability of the centuries-old chambers, we
are planning to include a chief engineer also in Friday`s
meetings, he said.
A detailed report of the assets will be prepared and
submitted to the Supreme Court soon and they would not be
shared to media or others before that, Justice Krishnan said.
The entry of media and common people was strictly
restricted inside the temple when the chambers were opened.
Police were also deployed in the premises of the centuries-old
shrine to ensure the smooth process.
The magnificent temple is known for its architectural
elegance and long rows of granite columns with exquisite
engravings have Lord Vishnu reclining on the thousand-headed
serpent Anantha as the presiding deity.
The temple is run by a trust floated by the 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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