Sunday, February 25, 2024

Panel to value Kerala temple treasure


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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has decided to appoint a team of experts by next Friday to suggest valuation, safe keeping and security of the wealth found in Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthpuram.

The apex court said that decision on opening of other vaults can be taken later.

It said the Rs 1 crore given by the state for security is not enough.

Rare jewels, stone-studded crowns, heaps of gold and silver coins, idols and gold, silver and brass platters and lamps, whose value is estimated at nearly Rs one lakh crore, has been found in the temple.

The treasure makes it one of the richest temples in the country.

Meanwhile, a scion of the erstwhile Travancore Royal family Rama Varma told the Supreme Court that opening treasure vaults of the temple could result in inviting the wrath of the deity.

Advising the apex court against passing any direction, the affidavit claimed vault B (kallara) had an insignia of a “serpent” indicating that it would not be advisable to open the treasure trove.

Alternatively, it said an appeasement ceremony be held before opening the vault to mollify the deity.

“That opening of the last cellar namely ‘B’ is not advisable at all because the sign of the ‘serpent’ visible at the entrance indicates that it is not auspicious to open it. However, a decision on this may be taken after conducting the traditional “deva prashnam’so as not to incur the displeasure of Lord Padmanabha by opening it.

“That is necessary because it is the belief of the devotees that opening of this ‘kallara’ can invite the wrath of the Lord. Opening without conducting ‘deva prasnam’ will be contrary to the age old religious custom and practise,” senior counsel K K Venugopal, appearing for the petitioner, submitted before a bench of justices R V Raveendran and A K Patnaik. (Agencies)


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