‘Temple treasure counting to resume soon’


Thiruvananthapuram : Stocktaking of treasures at the Sri Padmanabha Swamy temple here is expected to resume next month, according to the erstwhile Travancore royal family.

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“A few things have to fall into place with regard to the security aspects in and around the temple. Special vehicle passes would now be issued to all those staying in and around the temple and also no vehicles would be allowed to park close to the shrine,” a source in the family source told IANS.

The source said the second round of stock taking would begin early next month and the process would be videographed.

The temple is managed by an executive committee, with the erstwhile royal family overseeing the affairs of the committee. Stocktaking of treasure found at the temple vaults started last month and the valuables discovered there are estimated to be worth Rs.1 lakh crore.

Earlier this month, an apex court bench of Justice R.V. Raveendran and Justice A.K. Patnaik appointed two different committees – one with five experts headed by Director General of the National Museum C.V. Ananda Bose which will videograph and photograph the articles found in vault A of the temple and another three-member panel to be headed by Justice M.N. Krishnan to oversee the operations of the experts committee.

All this happened after 70-year-old T.P. Sunderarajan, a former IPS officer, approached the apex court requesting stocktaking of the gold and precious jewels in the famed temple.

The temple was the cynosure of all eyes after a vault, which had remained unopened for 150 years, was estimated to have precious jewels in excess of Rs.1 lakh crore.

The temple has six vaults, of which all except vault B, have been opened.

“New stocktaking would take place and every activity of the committee will be videographed. There is no word yet on opening vault B. Members of the royal family will take turns to accompany the team for the exercise,” said a source from the family.