Over the last few days the biggest news in the state of Kerala is the finding of a major treasure in the cellars of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in the capital city Thiruvanathapuram (Trivandrum). Gold ornaments, gold and silver coins, stone studded crowns, idols and figurines inlaid with precious stones and jewels estimated to be worth around whopping over Rs.90,000 crore ($2o billion) have been found. Among the recent findings include a huge idol of Lord Vishnu that is studded in diamonds and precious emeralds. Two other secret chambers are yet to be opened. Following the massive treasure find, security has been stepped up with additional forces from the special armed police also employed in the temple with the state police have put in place a three-tier security arrangement. Of the total of the six underground vaults, that has been named A to F, only A,C,D and F have been opened so far. Vaults B and F remains to be opened and is expected to opened on Monday (Jul 4).
While similar treasures possessed by many other princely states in pre-colonial India were plundered by attackers, or wasted on luxuries by members of the royal houses themselves, the Travancore kings are believed to have zealously guarded them as reserves of the state. Coins from other princely states like Vijayanagar empire and European countries have also been found which might be part of the gifts received by the rulers of the time. While all major temples of the area were handed over to the Travancore Devaswom Board after merger of the princely state with the Indian Union after 1947, control of Padmanabhaswamy temple was retained by the royal house through a covenant with the government.
I always knew that places of worship were nothing more than storage places for money, gold and in some cases weapons! So you can say that Malayalees had one up on the rest of India, or I shall say most of India, in hiding the good from the grabbing hands of the Portuguese, the Dutch & mainly from the British. Ha! We hid it well. Had the British been able to get their hands on this loot the William & Kate wedding would have been even more lavish! But now that we have all this loot, even if it does belong to the royal family & the temple council, can we now fix the fucking roads in Kerala? Or get a better drainage system and better waste disposal methodology? Or better yet do something for the beggars & homeless people out on the streets!!