Secret chambers of Padmanabha temple to be opened

Two observers deputed by the Kerala High Court will also be present on the occasion apart from officials representing the government.  There are six chambers (kallaras) in the temple, of which four contain articles used for temple rituals.

The other two ‘mysterious’ chambers which have remained closed for a century will now be opened.

The chambers, close to the sanctum sanctorum of the royal temple in the heart of the state capital, are believed to contain priceless gold and silver ornaments, precious stones, vessels and other articles of antique value.

The magnificent temple, known for its architectural elegance and long rows of granite columns with exquisite engravings, has Lord Vishnu reclining on the thousand-headed serpent Anantha as the presiding deity.

The temple is run by a trust floated by the Travancore Royal house, to which Lord Padmanabha is the family deity. It is said that the chambers  were opened last in 1880s during the rule of Vishakam Thirunal Rama Varma.

There is speculation that his successor Sri Mulam Thirunal, (1885-1924) and the Dewan C P Ramaswamy Aiyer (1936-47), also opened the chambers during times of famine since the wealth was meant to be used for the benefit of the people.

“The court-appointed observers are expected to visit the temple next week,” a temple official said. 

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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