Friday, July 1, 2011

Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple

   An inventory of the priceless articles locked up in underground cellars of Kerala's Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple has revealed .The vast treasure trove revealed in recent days instantly turned the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple into one of the wealthiest religious institutions in India

Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple
Treasure, thought to be worth billions of rupees, has been unearthed from secret underground chambers in "Sree Padmanabha Swamy Kshetram"
Yesterday the seven-member Supreme Court- appointed committee, which opened the chamber is learned to have added valuables worth Rs 20,000 crore into the inventory. 
Its Approx;more than Rs 1 lakh Crore

Treasure -Brief Summary and Analysis

"Treasures included very old gold chains, diamonds and precious stones which cannot be valued in terms of money," says Malayala Manorama,
The treasure contains ‘Kashi necklaces’ worth several crores, believed to be worn by kings of Travancore.Crowns, jewels and precious stones were also listed.The seven-member committee, aided by Fire Force, Rescue Force and PWD officials, entered the underground chamber, armed with oxygen masks.Three sets of crowns and an idol of Padmanabha Swamy have been listed.A large collection of ‘Saratpoli mala’, numbering 1,000,was also found. They are studded with gems called ‘aval’. Nearly a tonne of ‘aval’ was found.One of these chains was reportedly 18-foot long.‘Swarna dhandu’ in huge numbers and ‘pathakam’ have also been listed in this chamber.The chamber was feared to be filled with poisonous fumes due to which it was oxygenated first. The members who entered the chamber were provided with oxygen masks.
The committee has already opened the ‘C’, ‘D’ and ‘F’ chambers while the ‘E’ chamber could not be opened on Wednesday, as it required the presence of the ‘nambi’. This chamber and chamber ‘B’ on Today. The whole exercise began on Monday with the committee members opening the ‘C’ chamber which contained gold items, including golden umbrellas, pots,‘varps’ and silver pots. On Tuesday, the ‘D’ and ‘F’ chambers were opened.Precious stone-studded thrones and crowns have been found among the innumerable valuables stacked in these chambers. On Wednesday, the committee opened the ‘A’ chamber — which had not been opened for centuries — for a few minutes and decided to seek the help of Fire and Rescue Services personnel and Health Department officials to ward off any untoward incidents.

Brief History-

Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple

Temple Name: Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple
Alias Name : Ananthapuri
God : Sri Anantha Padmanabhan aka Thamarai Manaalan
Goddess : Sri Hari Lakshmi Thayaar
Pushkarni : Matsya Theertham, Padma Theertham
Vimanam : Hemakoota Vimanam
Location : Trivandrum

The Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple was built in the 16th Century by the kings who ruled over the then kingdom of Travancore. Local legends say the Travancore kings sealed immense riches within the thick stone walls and vaults of the temple.Since Independence, the temple has been controlled by a trust run by the descendants of the Travancore royal family. After 1947 the kingdom of Travancore merged with the princely state of Cochin, which eventually became the present-day state of Kerala.The inspections at the temple began after India's Supreme Court appointed a seven-member panel to enter and assess the value of the objects stored in its cellars, including two chambers last thought to have been opened about 130 years ago.

The current Maharajah of Travancore, H.H Uthradan Thirunaal Marthanda Varma has been
the managing trustee of the temple

The current Maharajah of Travancore, Uthradan Thirunaal Marthanda Varma, who is also the managing trustee of the temple, appealed to the Supreme Court against Sundar Rajan's petition.He said that as Maharajah he had every right to control the temple because of a special law enacted after Independence, which vested the management of the temple with the erstwhile ruler of Travancore.But his appeal was rejected - Maharajahs have no special status in India and they are treated like ordinary citizens.The members of the Travancore royal family consider themselves to be servants of the presiding deity at the temple,
Sree Padmanabha Swamy Idol (Anantha Shayanam)
Padmanabhaswamy, which is an aspect of the Hindu God Vishnu in eternal sleep. This is why they historically entrusted their wealth to the temple.But there was a public outcry when the Maharajah attempted to retain control of the temple by citing the special law, with many arguing that the wealth belonged to the people now.The vaults were opened in the presence of the panel, and observers, which include high court judges, temple officials, archaeology authorities, Sundar Rajan and a representative of the current Maharajah.

>>More about Thiruvananthapuram

Courtesy: The Hindu,BBC,Indian Express, Malayala Manorama,CNN~IBN

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