The mystery of the Indian temple
A human being is curious — wants to know how the universe works, what lies at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, how much gold is stored in the ancient dungeons. An ancient Indian temple kept a secret for 4000 years, but, in the 21st century, people try to uncover the secrets of treasures in underground storerooms.
The mystery of the priests
The city of Trivandrum is the capital of the Indian state of Kerala. The temple of Padmanabhaswamy, dedicated to the god Vishnu, is located on its territory. The cathedral was built in the second millennium BC at the intersection of trade routes. Every merchant or traveler stayed there to make an offering to God.
In the photo: In the morning hours, the road to the temple is full of pilgrims and traders.
The church ministers of Sri Padmanabhaswamy kept the gifts of pilgrims in the underground storerooms for thousand years: gold coins, jewelry, precious stones. In the same basements, local princes stored their treasury. The rumor of the untold riches of this place has long spread beyond the city limits and across the country, but whether it was truth or not — no one knew for sure. The interest to the mystery was sustained by religious prohibitions — the priests forbade opening the vaults in fear of damnation.
Police! Open the door!
In 2011, former policeman Sundara Rajan wrote a petition demanding to audit all the ancient treasures of the Padmanabhaswamy monastery. He resented the fact that the jewels, accumulated over the centuries, were poorly guarded by law enforcement agencies. The Supreme Court of India ordered to open the cellars of the temple for the inventory of treasures.
The splendor of gold
Religious citizens consider the offerings to God untouchable. Despite the opinion of parishioners, members of the state commission unlocked five of the six caches of the temple. Officials saw a treasure, they were amazed by its wealth and size:
- Statue of Lord Vishnu
- Thousand kilograms of rare gold coins
- Ten quintals of gold bars
- Boxes with precious stones
- 5-meter chain made of the noble metal
- A golden sculpture in the form of a sheaf which weighs 500 kilograms
- A throne that is decorated with precious stones
- 36 kg of gold leaf
- Precious crowns and tiaras
In the photo: The golden statue of the god Vishnu is made of the precious yellow metal. The height of the sculpture is 1,2 meters.
Experts have estimated an approximate value of discovered treasures — $22 billion. This discovered object has become a sensation for the whole wide world.
The mystery of the Padmanabhaswamy Temple is not revealed
The state government and priests argue, deciding on which one of them shall own this treasure. The court gave the right to officials, but the priests believe that the treasures belong to the god Vishnu and the local princes. There was a polemic in society regarding the fair imposition of the discovered objects.
The police added extra security in the underground storerooms. More than two hundred police officers are on duty surrounding the building. In the basements, an alarm system and visual control have been set up, but these measures are inadequate, since the number of pilgrims and treasure hunters has increased.
In the photo: The state police are concerned about the safety of gold.
The oldest of the six storerooms are still locked. The authorities do not dare entering it, fearing the curse of the priests. Experts suggest that the total value of the ancient Indian temple's wealth amounts to $1 trillion. Yet the policeman Sundara Rajan will never know this. He died unexpectedly a week after the treasure’s discovery.
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