Kerala: Rs 1 lakh crore treasure belongs to Padmanabha

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Padmanabha temple
Thiruvananthapuram, Jul 9: The valuable stones, jewellery, gold etc worth approx Rs 1 lakh crore that was discovered from the underground stone cellars of Sri Padmanabhaswami temple may remain with its deity Padmanabhaswamy.

During the court procedure in the Supreme Court, the heirs of Marthanda Varma Travancore royal family claimed that the treasure trove found in the Kerala temple belongs to the deity and no one else.

The representative of the royal family in the apex court, senior advocate K K Vernugopal said, "No part of the wealth belongs to any person except the deity, Lord Padmanabhaswamy."

Till now, five out of six secret vaults of the temple have been opened under the supervision of a team appointed by the apex court. They have recovered gold coins weighing 530 kg among which around 17 kg of gold coins belong to the East India Company era, 14 kg of coins minted in Travancore, more than 100 raasi coins and sacks of coins from the era of Napoleon Bonaparte. The panel also stated that 70 percent of the gold jewellery and diamonds, which have been recovered from the secret chamber 'A' of the temple, are estimated to be worth over Rs 50,000 crore.

However, recently rumours emerged that the actual worth of the assets could well be above Rs 5 lakh crore. The claim was made by former chief secretary of Kerala, CP Nair. He said that the real market value of the treasure could be much higher than reported in the media making it easily the richest temple in the world.

Showing its concern over the treasure, the court said, "Valuation of articles is secondary, more important is preservation, safety and security," and also stated that the last of the 6 vaults will not be opened till further notice. The court also sought details of the security arrangements made by the state to safeguard the massive treasure trove at the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple.

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