Former CAG debunks mystery behind Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple

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Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple
After supervising special audit of property of Kerala's famous Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple, former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India Vinod Rai has filed a status report in the Supreme Court alleging "incomplete information in its records on the weight and purity of gold and silver items".

Why Supreme Court ordered an audit?

  • Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple's trust is facing charges of financial irregularities, corruption, filth and disregard of ethics in the temple's administration.
  • The temple, under supervision of present trustees was not in good shape. Hence, a Supreme Court bench comprising Justices RM Lodha and AK Patnaik had ordered an audit by Vinod Rai.
  • The apex court had asked Rai to conduct an initial audit of the temple's records of the past 15 years.

What has Vinod Rai's audit revealed?

  • The initial audit found "deficiencies and inadequacies in the maintenance of records" of the temple.
  • The report further stated, "The registers of temple assets are also not up-to-date and are being scrutinised. The tendering and auction process needs streamlining. Prime facie, there is lack of financial control of the custody and use of precious articles."
  • There is also incomplete information provided in the records for the weight and purity of the gold and silver items.

Mystery behind secret vault

  • There were rumours that last of the six secret vaults in the temple was infested with King Cobras and if opened, this Vault B will bring bad omens to the people.
  • Many also rumoured that if Vault B is opened, water from the Arabian Sea would flood entire Kerala.
  • Rai's report debunked the long standing myth over the mysterious Vault-B that kept everyone at bay.

Vinod Rai debunks the myth

  • Dismissing all apprehensions and fear of bad omen, Rai has informed the Supreme Court that Vault-B had been opened at least seven times to his knowledge since 1990.

Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple and it's enormous wealth

  • The deity Lord Padmanabha is enshrined in the temple in Anantha-Sayanam posture or the eternal yogic sleep on the serpent Anantha.
  • The 16th century Lord Padmanabha (Lord Vishnu) temple, which is estimated to be housing Rs 1 lakh crore of wealth, is maintained by the royal family of Travancore.
  • The assets comprised in the form of jewellery, idols, weapons, utensils and coins.
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