A temple which cost a staggering $22 billion worth of gold, jewels and statues have been unearthed from the 16th century Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in Kerala, so far. The treasure trove is believed to be the largest find of its kind in India and also turned Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple become the world’s richest temple.
Padmanabhaswamy Temple Treasure
Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu located in Thiruvananthapuram, India. “Thiruvananthapuram” in Malayalam which was a major language of the state of Kerala - means “the city of Lord Ananta” referring to the Lord Padmanabhaswamy.
The shrine and its assets were managed by a trust headed by the royal family of Travancore which are Cheras and descendants of the great saint Kulashekhara Alwar.
The temple contains six vaults built under the sanctum. While five of the six vaults have been opened. The valuables in the five vaults, estimated to be worth more than Rs 1 lakh crore, include gold coins weighing 1,000 kg, over a tonne of gold in the form of rice trinkets, a sack full of diamonds and a rare statue of Lord Vishnu studded with diamonds, emeralds, and rubies.
The secret Vault B
Vault B, the secret vault, remains unopened, opposed by the royal family on the grounds that opening the vault would invite God’s anger. Vault B has not been opened presumably for centuries.
The Supreme Court appointed committee members opened the metal-grille door to Vault B and discovered a sturdy wooden door just behind it. They opened this door as well and encountered a third door made of iron, which was jammed shut. The observers considered forcing their way in, but deemed this improper; they decided to hire a locksmith. Then in mid-July, before the locksmith came, the royal family got an injunction from the Supreme Court against opening vault B.
About the protection and control
Though the Bharatiya Janata Party and its affiliates, which opposed an earlier proposal to use the treasure for the benefit of the people, have now rallied behind the prime minister, many other Hindu outfits and the Congress-led United Democratic Front government have stuck to their stand that it should remain in the temple.
Kerala Government officials say that the state would not seek control of the temple or its treasure, a step that some activists have recommended. "The treasure is donated to the temple from disciples and believers; it's the property of the temple," an official said. "It has nothing to do with the state"
Many historians too are against disturbing the fortune but out of the fear that the government's move will intensify the numerous claims, including from Pakistan and Sri Lanka, on the wealth.
In 2011, the temple’s vaults were opened for the first time in over 130 years, and hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of gold, silver, and precious stones were found inside.
Only Hindus are allowed to enter the 16th-century temple, as is the case with Hindu temples throughout Kerala, but non-Hindus can check out the view from the walkway leading up to Padmanabhaswamy and can visit the adjacent Kuthiramalika Palace that belongs to the Travancore royal family. If it has to be considered as correct, then the Padmanabhaswamy temple was built nearly 5,000 years ago.
Padmanabhaswamy Temple is not only the richest Hindu temple in the world, but it’s also believed to be the richest place of worship ever to have existed. If you have a plan to visit India, make sure that you not miss this Temple in Thiruvananthapuram.
(According to NDTV)
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