Friday, May 10, 2013

The Padmanabhaswamy temple

Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu located in Thiruvananthapuram, India.

The temple and its assets belong to Lord Padmanabhaswamy, and are controlled by a trust run by the Royal family.

In June 2011, the Supreme Court directed the authorities from the archaeology department to open the secret chambers of the temple for inspection of the items kept inside. Some had not been opened in centuries.

The review of the temple's underground vaults led to the enumeration of a vast inventory of the temple's assets, which consist of gold, jewels, and other valuables.

18th century Napoleonic era coins were found, as well as a three-and-a-half foot tall solid gold idol of Mahavishnu studded with rubies and emeralds, and ceremonial attire for adorning the deity in the form of a gold anki weighing almost 30 kilograms (66 lb).

It is estimated that the value of the items is close to 1.2 lakh crore or 1.2 trillion (US$22 billion) This makes the Padmanabhaswamy temple the wealthiest temple in India and likely the world.

The treasures are thought to have been acculmulated in the temple for centuries, having been put there by the Maharajahs of Travancore.