Friday, January 20, 2017

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 30kg.
Last Door of Padmanabhaswamy Temple

It is estimated that the value of the items is over 1.2 lakh crore or 1.2 trillion (US$22 billion) This makes the Padmanabhaswamy temple the wealthiest temple in India and very 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. Lord Padmanambha is the family deity of Travancore royal house and since 18th century the princes of the lineage had ruled most of south Kerala and adjoining parts of Tamil Nadu as "Padmanabhadasa" (servants of Padmanabha).

After the integration of the princely state in 1947, royal rule came to an end and most major temples of Travancore were brought under a Devaswom Board.

But as a special case, control over the Padmanabhaswamy temple was left in the hands of the royal family.