Temple treasure to remain its assets: Kerala govt

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first_imgThe Kerala government has clarified that the treasure trove discovered in the Sri Padmanabha Swami temple will continue as the assets of the shrine.  Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the government would assist the ancient shrine to safeguard its treasure by providing foolproof security.  The state will provide a permanent security arrangement after receiving consent from the Supreme Court, the royal family and the chief priest of the temple. The chief minister, however, declined to provide the actual worth of the wealth.  Precious gems, lakhs of ancient gold coins, diamond studded crowns, gold idols and ornaments were discovered in previously unopened cellars of the temple. The treasure is estimated to be over Rs one lakh crore. On Sunday, a high-level meeting chaired by Chandy, during which various steps to provide befitting security to the richest temple in the country were chalked out, came to the conclusion that the state police were not well equipped to protect such an invaluable treasure. The meeting was attended by state Devaswom minister V. P. Sivakumar, director general of police Jacob Punnose and police intelligence chief Hemachandran among others. It was decided that the help of the Army and the paramilitary forces would be sought as they have specially trained groups to safeguard places of such high importance.Meanwhile, one of the observers, Justice M.K. Krishnan said that the inventories found on Monday from the ‘E’ vault of the Padmanabha Temple were puja material used in the temple. However, the sixth or the ‘B’ vault, which is one of the oldest, is yet to be opened. The observers could not open its lock on Monday. The decision to break open the lock will now be taken on July 8 after SC’s clearance.advertisementThe richest temple? Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram, one of the oldest temples in India, could now be the world’s richest. A week after the stock-taking process began at the temple in Kerala, articles worth Rs one lakh crore have already been recovered. Two underground vaults of the temple that have remained shut since the 19th century were opened at the Supreme Court’s insistence. The SC, taking note of a private petition, passed orders to open the temple vaults. The petition was to seek greater transparency and accountability in management of the temple. The SC appointed a 7-member team to take stock at the temple. The committee consists of two former Kerala High Court judges. The actual worth of treasure will only be revealed in a report to the SC.  The treasure trove has dazzled everyone while one more vault was yet to be opened. Heaps of gold, silver, diamonds, rubies and vintage coins – some as old as 1732 – have been discovered.  The items include gold sheaf weighing 500 kilos, 18-foot gold chain weighing 10.5 kilos, three-and-a-half feet tall Lord Vishnu idol studded with diamonds, emeralds and rubies, 36-kilo golden veil, 1200 ‘Sarappalli’ golden chains, some sporting ‘navaratnas’, three gold stone-studded crowns, diamonds, precious stones, including cat’s eye, rubies and emeralds and 1,000 kg of gold coins.last_img

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