Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple asset documentation begins

via PNS | Thiruvananthapuram published on February 21, 2012

The Supreme Court-directed documentation of the treasures kept in the six secret vaults of the Sri Padmanabha Swamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram began on Monday. The assessment was being carried out by experts from Keltron under the guidance of an expert committee and a panel of supervisors, both appointed by the apex court.

The contents of the last two of the six vaults (Vaults E and F) were being assessed first. Though the original plan was to examine the contents of Vault C first, this was abandoned on Monday as it had been sealed on the basis of an order from a Thiruvananthapuram court. Expert panel head MV Nair said an application would be submitted in the apex court for permission to open this.

The contents of Vaults E and F were articles like traditional lamps, silver and brass utensils, etc used for the temple rites on a regular basis. The articles were being taken out and the experts were assessing their age, weight and other particulars in the presence of experts from the Reserve Bank. The examinations started after a joint meeting of the two committees.

“Vaults E and F were being documented today. Then, an interim report would be submitted to the apex court and only then the stock-taking would be done on Vault A. Clearance from the Supreme Court was needed for examining Vault B,” said a committee member. Devotees believe that opening Vault B could enrage the deity.

Eight to ten experts were participating in the examination and assessment of the contents of the vaults. The first task would be to classify the contents and examine them in detail and the evaluation would be carried out only later. The exercise was being done amidst tight security arrangements and the entire process was taking place in front of CCTV cameras.

An expert committee appointed by the apex court earlier had found that the six vaults of the historic Sri Padmanabha Swami temple were containing gold, precious stones, rare coins of historical importance, etc, the value of which was put roughly at over Rs 100,000 crore making it the richest Hindu shrine in the world.

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