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An appetite for gold

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History & Facts
20 Feb 2018

Padmanabhaswamy Temple secrets (Vault B) & Gold Treasures

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Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple Vault B

Walk down to Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala and you would notice a temple that you would have seen anywhere in the state. Thousands regularly flock the temple to worship Vishnu. But there lies something hidden. More like an open secret. What is it?

Treasure – a collection of valuable objects including the gold throne, crowns, coins, statues and ornaments, diamonds and other precious stones. Just take a minute and imagine yourself walking into a chamber full of gold treasure.

The treasures lay in 6 secret vaults named A to F. Out of these vaults B has not been opened fearing a curse to those who opened it. We shall get back to vault B, but let’s look at A, C, D, E and F to understand the possible treasures of unimaginable proportions.

Here are some of the treasures found – a three and a half feet tall statue of pure gold idol of Mahavishnu, a gold chain that was 18 feet in length, a gold sheaf weighing 500 kilos, 1,200 thick gold chains with a lot of precious stones embedded in them, gold coconut shells that are embedded with rubies and sapphires.

And all of this doesn’t take into account the sacks full of precious gems, necklaces, and ancient artefacts. In fact, there are gold coins from the Napoleonic era and also from the Roman Empire. “These coins are invaluable as they are from different millennia. Some of them are from the time before Christ was born,” says various media report.

Most would not have known about the various treasures until the Supreme Court ordered for it to be opened. As the vaults opened, two more were found, named G and F. But B remained still close, mostly because people saw a bad omen, if the room was opened. Enshrined is a snake on its entrance which priests see as a warning.

The committee members appointed by the Court opened the metal-grille door to vault B to discover a sturdy wooden door behind it. When this door opened, a third door made of iron, kept seekers out. This lead the observers to hire a locksmith, but the Travancore royal family got an injunction against opening vault B.

With these facts have only proving to support the priests warning.

In an article for the New Yorker, Jake Halpern wrote “…most residents of Trivandrum had not been clamoring for the temple’s vaults to be searched. This had initially puzzled me. In America—a nation of conspiracy-obsessed newshounds that places high value on “closure”—it’s inconceivable that a mysterious, locked door would be left alone. But in India the wealth stored in the vaults of Hindu temples is viewed largely in spiritual, not monetary, terms.”

Maybe this time, let’s keep it close. At the very least, for some time.

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