Kerala temple to open secret treasure room

Date:

Share post:

Two ‘secret’ chambers inside the Sri Padmanabhaswami Temple will be opened later this month by a special panel to make an inventory of its assets — rumoured to be precious stones and jewellery — stored by the erstwhile rulers of Travancore princely state. 

“The panel will consist of two retired judges of the Kerala high court who have been appointed observers by the Supreme Court. Besides, it will also have additional chief secretary K. Jayakumar as the state representative, an officer not below the rank of deputy director from the central archeology department, the petitioners in the matter, and a nominee of the Travancore palace,” temple executive officer Hari Kumar said. The executive officer is also part of the team. 

Though there are six chambers, only two of them have not been opened so far. 

Acting on a petition, the Kerala HC had in January asked the state government to take over the administration of the temple and also prepare an inventory of its assets. The shrine is currently run by a trust constituted by the royal family. The order was widely opposed by organisations of devotees who claimed that it would only disturb the peace in the temple, which was being managed efficiently by the trust. The petition was prompted by the differences between some employees and the trust, they claimed. 

On appeal, the SC stayed the temple take over part but gave a go-ahead for stock-taking. 

S. Suresh, who heads ‘Sri Padmanabhaswami Raksha Vedi (Sri Padmanabhaswami Protection Forum)’ said the shrine was inextricably linked to the Travancore royal family and in turn the state capital. As legend has it, the erstwhile ruler of Travancore Marthanda Varma had dedicated the state and all his wealth at the feet of the deity and ruled as ‘Padmanabha Dasa’ (servant of Padmanabha ), who consequently gained the status of nominal head or ‘Perumal’. 

The Travancore kings had transferred loads of wealth, meant for use during famines or scarcity, to these secret chambers to protect them from the British. “These are all stories. We don’t know what is the truth till its opened,” stressed Kumar. 

The state capital was named Thiruanantha-puram which literally means “abode of Lord Anantha” after the deity Vishnu reclining on the serpent Anantha in eternal sleep (ananthashayanam ). 

Source: The Times of India [June 19, 2011]

ADVERTISEMENT

spot_img

Related articles

Acoustic scientist sounds off about the location of cave paintings

To date, the exact purpose of Paleolithic cave paintings is unknown. Evidence suggests, however, that these ancient works...

After the Paris climate deal: What’s next for climate change research?

The climate accord reached in Paris this month aims to cut planet-warming emissions worldwide with the goal of...

The Golden Chiefs of Panama

In a grassy, sun-parched field in central Panama, gold was coming out of the ground so fast that...

Facelift for forgotten fort

Once the centre of power during the Tughlaq era, Adilabad Fort had over the years become a haven...

Astronomers discover and “weigh” infant solar system

Astronomers have found the youngest still-forming solar system yet seen, an infant star surrounded by a swirling disk...

Lost town of Dunluce is older than thought

Ireland's lost merchant town of Dunluce is older than previously thought, an archaeological dig has revealed. Duncluce Castle Between...

Poaching of old forest elephant matriarchs threatens rainforests

Scientists working for the Wildlife Conservation Society, the University of Stirling, and the Amboseli Trust for Elephants say...

Extinction of fishes 360 million years ago created natural ecology experiment

In modern ecology, the removal or addition of a predator to an ecosystem can produce dramatic changes in...