Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Government has decided to step up the security of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple here, which houses priceless treasures running into hundreds of crores of rupees in its secret cellars and underground chambers.
The decision to tighten the security of the grand temple built by the erstwhile Travancore Royal house was taken in view of the ongoing preparation of inventory by a panel of observers appointed by the Supreme Court, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said today.
"We have been taking a serious view of the development. Security is already strong there. However, instructions have been issued to authorities concerned to
further tighten it," Chandy told reporters.
The opening of the cellars in the sprawling temple complex, some of them remaining shut for over a century, has revealed that they contain invaluable jewels, ornaments, stone-studded crowns, vessels, platters and many other costly
curios, stashed away in them.
Though the observers, two of them former High Court judges, have so far refrained from making any public comment on the money value of the precious objects they have verified and listed, temple sources said by modest estimates their market value would run into hundreds of crores of rupees.
Cultural historians, however, are sceptical about putting price tags on such invaluable articles of great heritage and antique value.
Ever since the preparation of the inventory began, some quarters have voiced the need for heightening the security of the temple, visited by a large number of tourists from different parts of the country every day.
The temple is run by a trust under control of the royal house and has its presiding deity, Lord Vishnu reclining on the thousand-headed serpent Anantha.
The preparation of the inventory was ordered by the apex court in May, while considering a private petition demanding greater transparency in temple affairs.
The process of making the inventory by the seven-member panel began on