Kerala Temple is the Richest with Assets worth $22 BillionIn Blog
Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple in Kerala’s Thiruvananthpuram is claimed to be India’s one of the richest shrines after value of Rs 1 lakh crore gold and jewellery were recovered from the secret cellars.
The apex court had ordered to open the secret rooms following a complaint against the temple administration. A seven-member committee was appointed by the court to list the invaluable items found from the rooms. The cellars are located underground. The officials found invaluable gold ornaments, utensils, gems, pearls, jewels, crowns, and gold equipments used during the lord’s festivals.
Everyone was stunned when a three-and-a-half feet tall idol of Lord Vishnu studded with diamonds, emeralds and rubies was recovered from one room.
They also found 1,000 kg of gold coins, of the East India Company era and Napolean’s period, one tonne of gold in the form of rice trinkets, a gold rope, long gold sticks, and gold seals used in King’s period. The treasure, which had been sealed for over a century, is estimated to be worth at least $22 billion – making Trivandrum’s Sree Padmanabhaswamy perhaps India’s richest temple.
Lord Anantha Padmanabha Swamy is lord Vishnu. He is the family lord of Travancore royal family. The temple features Lord Vishnu sleeping on a thousand-hooded Lord Anantha. The idol is so huge that it is seen through three different doors. The temple is run by the trust of the royal family that was ruling Travancore in the past.
However, members of the Travancore Royal Family have kept a low profile on the findings. More than the value of the treasures unearthed, what is interesting is the strange ties the Royal family shares with Lord Padmanabha and the temple.
All Maharajas who have ruled Travancore were known as Padmanabha Daasa (servants of Lord Padmanabha).
Princess Gouri Lakshmi Bai, the niece of Uthradam Thirunal Marthanda Varma, the present title holder of the erstwhile Travancore State, said it was not proper to describe the findings in the chambers as treasure. “It is offerings made by the Lord’s devotees and hence it is his wealth. They are not treasures,” she said.
Though the exact date on which the temple was consecrated is not known, there are official records dating back to 910 AD.
“There are records indicating offerings made by Raja Raja Cholan and Krishna Devaraya of the Vijayanagaram Empire,” said Ramachandran Nair.
Interestingly, the Padmanabha Swamy temple, which has a distinct Dravidian architecture, stands near an Arya Samaj office, where non-Hindus can get converted to Hinduism by paying a nominal amount of Rs 50, so that they too can worship in the temple.Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy said that the assets belong to temple and it would be preserved for it. The treasure would remain with the temple and the government would prove tight security.
Entry to the temple has been strictly prohibited for media and public during the inventory. The officials divided six cellars into A. B, C, D, E and F. The A and B cellars were first opened in 1872.