Six cellars of the local Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple, which is being run by a trust of the royal family that had ruled Travancore in the past, are being opened one by one, as per Supreme Court order. The court had ordered for opening up of these cellars and to make a list of items found thereon, while hearing a private complaint. These cellars have remained off limits from everyone and are located underground.
Lord Anantha Padmanabha Swamy temple continues to be the family deity of Travancore royal lineage, and the members of the royal family continue to pay obeisance to the Lord through special entrance in the temple every morning and evening. The giant idol of Lord Vishnu, found resisting on a thousand-hooded Lord Anantha in the form of serpent god, is the unique feature of this temple. The temple happens to be not only a pilgrimage centre but also a tourism destination centre because of the grand art and architecture found in temple.
The value of invaluable gold ornaments, utensils, pearls, jewels, bejewelled crowns, golden equipments used for the festivals of the presiding deity, items having tremendous antique value etc, which were recovered from these three rooms, has been put at around 700 crore, sources in the temple said.
In the recent past, Supreme Court had appointed a seven-member committee which includes two retired judges of Kerala High Court, to open the secret cellars, located underground and list out the invaluable items stored in them. However, the temple governing council members put the estimated worth of valuables so far found at, Rs. 700 crore.
Report by Alka