New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday deferred the opening of the remaining secret cellar (chamber B) of Kerala’s famous Sri Padmanabha Swamy temple till its next order.
As per reports, the apex court while posting the matter for next hearing on Thursday, asked the members of the Travancore Royal Family to give suggestions on the safe preservations of all valuables unearthed from the temple by a seven-member panel appointed by it to prepare an inventory of the hidden treasure.
The apex court order comes in the wake of suspicion and mystery over the opening of the last of the secret vaults built inside the temple.
The move comes after a legend associated with the temple halted the stocktaking at the Sri Padmanabha Swamy temple where treasures said to be worth Rs1 lakh crore have been found.
According to the royal family that takes care of the shrine, opening Chamber B could be a bad omen for the state and also for those involved in the exercise.
Meanwhile, the panel is also expected to present an interim report on the issue to the Supreme Court.
Retired judge MN Krishnan who is heading the apex court appointed committee had told reporters that ‘some sort of expertise’ would be needed to open chamber B.
Treasure estimated at over Rs 1 lakh crore has been found in five of the six chambers of the 16th century temple that have been opened so far on the instructions of the Supreme Court after a local lawyer alleged poor security and mismanagement by the trust that runs the temple.
The apex court recently asked the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to examine the source and antiquity of the treasure unearthed from theKerala temple.
The court has asked the ASI to appoint a curator to assess the treasure and its antiquity and where it could be housed. There are contentions on the safe keeping of the treasure.
One view is that it could be kept in the temple itself and other view is that a separate museum should be set up for keeping and preserving the treasure.
The temple has a 100-foot, seven-tier `gopuram` or temple tower besides a corridor with 365 and one-quarter granite stone pillars with elaborate carvings. The foundation of the present gopuram was laid in 1566.
The temple has been maintained by the royal family of Travancore whose headquarters are situated near the residence of the Kerala Governor.
While four of the temple chambers are opened during special occasions, Chamber A and B remained unopened for over 150 years.