Treasures of Travancore
|Digital Art - A Pendant for the Queen of Travancore|
While many of the precious treasures of India were taken away by the British during British Rule of India changing the United Kingdom of the time from an impoverished one to one of the richest in the world, some treasures were hidden from British eyes. One of these were the ancient treasures of Travancore because they were hidden securely in temple vaults. The temple and its assets belong to Lord Padmanabhaswamy, and were controlled by a trust run by the former Royal family of Travancore.
Wikipedia has this to say about its ancient treasures: -
In June 2011, the Supreme Court directed the authorities to open the secret chambers of the temple for inspection of the items kept inside. The temple has 6 vaults labeled as A to F for book keeping purpose by the Court. While vaults A and B have been unopened over the past many years, vaults C to F have been opened from time to time. ----The review of the temple's underground vaults was undertaken by a seven-member panel appointed by the Supreme Court of India to generate an inventory, leading to the enumeration of a vast collection of articles that are traditionally kept under lock and key. A detailed inventory of the temple assets, consisting of gold, jewels, and other valuables was made. Several 18th century Napoleonic era coins were found, as well as a three-and-a-half feet tall gold idol of Mahavishnu studded with rubies and emeralds, and ceremonial attire for adorning the deity in the form of 16-part gold anki weighing almost 30 kilograms (66 lb) together with gold coconut shells, one studded with rubies and emeralds. In 2012, an expert committee had been appointed to investigate these objects, which include coins of the Roman Empire. ----- This revelation has solidified the status of the Padmanabhaswamy temple as one of the wealthiest temples in India having some 320 billion (US$5.3 billion) in gold, coins and other assets. It is estimated that the value of the monumental items is close to 1.2 trillion (US$20 billion), making it the richest temple in the world. If the antique value is taken into account, these assets could be worth ten times the current market price. One of the oldest existing estimates, which can be considered to be at least as reliable as any other made since the discovery of the hidden treasure (or assets) of the Temple in 2011, was done by the Travancore Royal Family itself in 1931. According to the then drawn-up estimate, the riches contained in Vault B, which is the only vault of the six that is unopened so far, since the discovery of the treasure, were worth 12,000 crores. Considering the subsequent inflation of the rupee, and the increase in the prices of gold and other precious metals and stones since, the treasure in the unopened vault B alone, would be worth at least rupees 50 trillion (US$1 trillion) in present-day terms, before the cultural value being factored in.
|The Temple at Travancore|
Temple image modified from