Tight security as Kerala temple’s treasure trove opened

July 1st, 2011 - 9:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, July 1 (IANS) Heavy security was in place at the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple here as a seven-member Supreme Court-appointed team Friday went about opening and taking an inventory of its six chambers.

Armed guards and cameras were placed around the temples as media reports said that treasure worth thousands of crores have been found in the chambers, two of which have not been opened for nearly 150 years.

The stock-taking process was ordered by the Supreme Court following a petition by advocate T.P. Sundararajan over mismanagement of the temple affairs.

The chambers in the temple reportedly contain rare and precious gems and jewellery.

Sundararajan expressed his displeasure over the manner in which the stock-taking process was being done as rumours and reports talked about millions in treasure.

“I will report this matter to the Supreme Court,” Sundararajan told reporters.

To a question on numerous media reports putting the value of treasure at Rs.20,000 crore, Sundarajan said: “Only 30 percent of chamber A has been accounted for and hence the value could be much more than what has been reported in the media.”

The temple has six chambers from A to F. Chambers C, D, and F have been opened and B and E are yet to be done.

Chambers A and B have not been opened for nearly 150 years while remaining four were opened by the temple authorities from time-to-time.

Since the chambers were closed for so long, Sundararajan said he was unable to remain inside for long because of the lack of oxygen.

The temple is maintained by the erstwhile royal family of Travancore.

Retired judge M.N. Krishnan, who heads the seven-member team, had indicated Monday that the stock taking could end Friday but it is now certain that it could go on for a few more days.

The team will present its findings to the Supreme Court.

The main temple deity, Padmanabhaswamy, is a form of Vishnu in Anananthasayanam posture or in eternal sleep of ‘yognidra’.

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