Treasure worth 5,000 crore unearthed from temple vault

Treasure worth 5,000 crore unearthed from temple vault

The doors of the vault ‘A’ was  opened by the team led by two former High Court judges M N  Krishnan and C S  Rajan on Wednesday. Though the vault was empty it led to a dark underground chamber. The members wearing oxygen masks resumed their effort on Thursday and walked through the passageway.

Sources say when the sand on the floor was removed, they found markings leading to the treasure which has been estimated to be worth Rs 5,000 crore. Among the treasure were a huge idol of Sree Padmanabha Swamy, three diamond-studded crowns, a gold bar, close to 1,000 traditional golden necklaces, one of them being about 18 feet-long. This apart, there were countless other jewellery, a gold sceptre, diamonds, and artefacts studded with Belgian stones and gems.

The team is expected to enter the ‘B’ vault on Friday and prepare an inventory of the articles there. Vaults C, D and E have already been examined while vault ‘F’ had puja articles in it. It was during the reign of SriVishakamThirunal Rama Varma in the 1880s that the vaults were opened. These were considered the treasury of the Travancore kings who ruled the state as “Padamabha dasas” or  servants of the Lord.

It is believed that VishakamThirunal’s successor Sri MulamThirunal, (1885-1924) and Dewan C P  RamaswamyAiyer (1936-47), also opened the tombs during times of famine. The treasure contains gifts given to the kings of Travancore by royalty across the world during the 19th century.

The 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 family for whom Lord Padmanabha is the family deity.

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