Kerala’s Padmanabha temple treasure worth over Rs 60k crore

Opinion is divided on the treasure’s future at the Kerala’s Padmanabha temple.

The value of the treasure found in the four vaults of Sri Padmanabha temple in Kerala has so far crossed an estimated value of Rs 60,000 crore. Tonnes of gold, thousands of precious stones and other valuables found in the secret vaults of the temple have literally blinded the eyes of the Supreme Court appointed team to estimate the value of the treasure

Two other unopened vaults are believed to contain the yellow metal and gems worth an equal amount.

In short, the twelve centuries old temple owned by the royal family which ruled the erstwhile princely state of Travancore, is sitting on a treasure worth Rs 1.2 lakh crore. If their antique value is taken into account, their worth will be 10 times higher than the current market price.

The sudden discovery of the hitherto hidden treasure in the heart of the capital city is a headache rather than a pleasant surprise for the government.

Onus is on the government to provide tight security to the treasure which carries a religious sentiment too.

“There will be no lapse on part of the government in protecting the treasure trove at the Sri Padmanabha Swami temple. The government has already given directions to the director general of police (DGP),” chief minister Oommen Chandy said.

But DGP Jacob Punnose was not too confident of the task assigned to him.

He sounded apologetic while giving out hints that the state police was still searching for a way to keep the invaluable treasure well protected, especially after the amount of exposure it has gained owing to worldwide media coverage.

“It is too big a challenge for the police. We have no trained personnel to manage such a huge treasure. We have sought the help of several agencies who can really help us,” Punnose said.

By Saturday evening, the security was entrusted to the ADGP P. Venugopal. Nearly 200 officers and men will be deployed under him in and around the temple.

Sophisticated webcams and other modern equipment will be installed within the temple premises to further strengthen the security.

Earlier the Supreme Court had directed to make inventories of the articles found in the vaults and then place them back in the cellars, granting the plea of former IPS officer Sundara Rajan.

But it has kicked up heated discussions across the state regarding the future of the treasure trove.

While a section argues that since it is the wealth of the presiding deity, it should be kept as such at the temple; the other section contends that it belongs to the government and should be used for social welfare.

During the last two days search in two vaults which are believed to have not been opened for centuries, brought out several sacks full of precious stones.

Reportedly, one of the stones itself is worth Rs 50 crore.

The vaults also had several tonnes of ancient gold coins of various countries and thousands of ornaments The SC appointed panel is headed by former high court judge M. N. Krishnan and is assisted by experts from state archives and public works department.

The stock taking operation is expected to be completed in a few days.
TEMPLE AGLITTER

Estimated value of treasure trove found in the four vaults is Rs 60, 000 crore

It is believed valuables worth an equal amount is contained within the two other vaults

Taken together the centuries old temple is sitting on treasure worth Rs 1.2 lakh crore

A search conducted on the two vaults revealed that it contains ancient gold coins from various countries and thousands of ornaments 

Two other unopened vaults are believed to contain the yellow metal and gems worth an equal amount.

In short, the twelve centuries old temple owned by the royal family which ruled the erstwhile princely state of Travancore, is sitting on a treasure worth Rs 1.2 lakh crore. If their antique value is taken into account, their worth will be 10 times higher than the current market price.

The sudden discovery of the hitherto hidden treasure in the heart of the capital city is a headache rather than a pleasant surprise for the government.

Onus is on the government to provide tight security to the treasure which carries a religious sentiment too.

“There will be no lapse on part of the government in protecting the treasure trove at the Sri Padmanabha Swami temple. The government has already given directions to the director general of police (DGP),” chief minister Oommen Chandy said.

But DGP Jacob Punnose was not too confident of the task assigned to him.

He sounded apologetic while giving out hints that the state police was still searching for a way to keep the invaluable treasure well protected, especially after the amount of exposure it has gained owing to worldwide media coverage.

“It is too big a challenge for the police. We have no trained personnel to manage such a huge treasure. We have sought the help of several agencies who can really help us,” Punnose said.

By Saturday evening, the security was entrusted to the ADGP P. Venugopal. Nearly 200 officers and men will be deployed under him in and around the temple.

Sophisticated webcams and other modern equipment will be installed within the temple premises to further strengthen the security.

Earlier the Supreme Court had directed to make inventories of the articles found in the vaults and then place them back in the cellars, granting the plea of former IPS officer Sundara Rajan.

But it has kicked up heated discussions across the state regarding the future of the treasure trove.

While a section argues that since it is the wealth of the presiding deity, it should be kept as such at the temple; the other section contends that it belongs to the government and should be used for social welfare.

During the last two days search in two vaults which are believed to have not been opened for centuries, brought out several sacks full of precious stones.

Reportedly, one of the stones itself is worth Rs 50 crore.

The vaults also had several tonnes of ancient gold coins of various countries and thousands of ornaments The SC appointed panel is headed by former high court judge M. N. Krishnan and is assisted by experts from state archives and public works department.

The stock taking operation is expected to be completed in a few days.


TEMPLE AGLITTER

Estimated value of treasure trove found in the four vaults is Rs 60, 000 crore

It is believed valuables worth an equal amount is contained within the two other vaults

Taken together the centuries old temple is sitting on treasure worth Rs 1.2 lakh crore

A search conducted on the two vaults revealed that it contains ancient gold coins from various countries and thousands of ornaments

2 Responses to Kerala’s Padmanabha temple treasure worth over Rs 60k crore

  1. BALU on July, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    The wealth may be of temple, but of what use it is if it is kept in a vault.
    The Maharaja or the diety are for the welfare of the masses. Keeping imporatnt historical
    items, Why not the rest of this wealth be used to improve infrastructure, built residential school,collegers and houseing for the poor of the state. There is a proverb in Telugu ” MOOSE PETTINDHE, PASHE POINDE ” means A thing which is kept sealed and covered, gets contaminated and of no use. Hope wisdom will prevail in the mind of Supreme Court Judges, State Administration, the Maharaja’s family and Hindus of Kerala to use the wealth for the wellbeing of poor of kerala.

  2. Dr. Pravin H Khobragade on July, 2011 at 8:35 am

    The story of how so much wealth flowed into the temple vault begins in the 15th century, when the temple administration was controlled by a closed group, recorded as “ettara yogam” (the council of eight and a half) with eight and a half votes. Of these, eight votes went to seven Pootti (a Brahmin sub-caste) families and one Nair family. The Travancore royals held just half a vote.

    This powerful council of eight and a half divided the Travancore region into eight provinces, and the eight lords of Ettuveetil Pilla, a powerful Nair family, was put in charge of each. These eight Nair feudal lords soon became more influential than even the royal family.

    Till 1936 this temple had banned the entry of dalits. Thus you will know that this wealth belongs to only those communities that were granted entry. Thousands of brahmins were provided two free meals a day where as poor dalits were prevented from entry.

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