World | India

Kerala temple's last secret vault to remain unopened

Supreme Court orders panel to stop working

  • By Akhel Mathew, Correspondent
  • Published: 00:00 July 9, 2011
  • Gulf News

Thiruvananthapuram: The mystery surrounding the sixth and last vault of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in the Kerala capital has thickened, with India's Supreme Court directing that the temple's vault "B" be left untouched.

The Supreme Court-appointed committee has looked into five other vaults over the past 10 days.

The committee had not been asked to appraise the value the contents of the different vaults opened so far, and instead only make an inventory of the treasures in the temple.

Rough valuations

But having got an estimate of the kind of valuables in the temple's cellars, ranging from 18-feet gold ropes to gold coins from British, Venetian and Napoleonic eras, rough valuations put the wealth of the temple at around Rs1 trillion (Dh82 billion). That valuation also puts the 16th century temple in the Kerala capital, nurtured by the former princely state of Travancore, in line for the status of being the richest shrine in the world.

In a much-awaited directive, the Supreme Court restrained the committee it appointed to make an inventory of the temple's valuables and from opening the last vault. The court directive comes amid speculation that the vault either contains more wealth than has been found in the other vaults, or perhaps contains a secret underground passage that connects the temple with the Travancore palace, the city and the sea. The court has directed the Travancore royal family and the state government to give suggestions for the security of the valuables found in the temple vaults. The case is to come up before the court again on Thursday.

Another decision that is awaited is whether or not the valuables in the temple already taken stock by the Supreme Court-appointed committee, should be videographed.

Comments (6)

  1. Added 15:20 July 9, 2011

    How come people talk of social services when a treasure is found inside a hindu temple? This money will be less than the money spent on some annual pilgrimages. God is everywhere - why dont we sit at home and pray instead of adding cost and pollution.

    J Krishnan, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 14:14 July 9, 2011

    I wish the treasure be used for the helping and supporting below the poverty line. In any case the king had preserved this wealth from the British as well as to protect the country in case of any famines or other issues. So they must go back to the Govt of India to helping the poor.

    stanley, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 13:38 July 9, 2011

    we hope India uses this in the right manner and uses it for the growth of India...!!

    MH, -, Iceland

  4. Added 13:30 July 9, 2011

    It is a big resposibility now to save these assets. This is Gods gift to the Indian people and half the money of from these valuables can remove all debts to the world bank from India so it should be used for people. If not used, at least it should be saved from theft as the details of the temple have been published and videographed publicly.

    Sara, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 11:19 July 9, 2011

    One thing is clear - India, as a country, is not going to be richer by this find, but a lot of politicians are going be billioniares!!! Just hope and pray that they use this to make India a better place.

    Aash, Ajman, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 09:47 July 9, 2011

    With this money, which is a gift from God, India should totally remove poverty and feed people who are below poverty line and i pray that the money should not go to the wrong hands and that it be used completely for public welfare.....

    pravin, jeddah, Saudi Arabia

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