Decision on Kerala temple administration soon

April 15th, 2008 - 7:48 pm ICT by admin  

Thiruvananthapuram, April 15 (IANS) The Kerala government is expected to shortly finalise its stand on the controversy over who should manage the famed Padmanabhaswamy temple in the heart of the capital following a court ruling that the Travancore royal family has no right to run the temple. “The state government has to decide what has to be done,” state Law Secretary P.S. Gopinathan told IANS Tuesday.

Gopinathan last week submitted his report on the issue to the government. “The government has been briefed about the entire development,” he said.

The state government sought the opinion of the law department as the Travancore royal family moved the Kerala High Court against two lower court rulings that it has no right to manage the affairs of the temple, which is an architectural wonder.

Thiruvananthapuram sub-court ruled in December last year that the royal family cannot run the temple administration following a petition by advocate T.K. Ananthapadmanabhan that with the 26th constitutional amendment in 1972 there are no more erstwhile kingdoms in India.

The advocate claimed that precious items stored in the temple vaults are not secure. Two officials appointed by the court to inspect the vaults reported that it was unsafe.

The royal family lost its case in the district court and approached the high court, which sought government’s stand on the issue.

The main building of the centuries-old temple is a blend of the Kerala and Dravidian styles of architecture. The temple, known for the mural paintings and stone carvings is one among the 108 temples dedicated to Hindu god Vishnu in India. Magnificent carvings of gods, goddesses, nymphs and demons adorn the seven-storied ‘gopuram’, the temple’s tower.

According to temple records, then ruler of Travancore, Raja Marthanda Varma, following annexation of several small kingdoms, renovated it in 1733.

Since then the royal family has been running the temple.

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