Thiruvananthapuram, Jun 29 : The process of making an inventory of the priceless articles locked up in underground cellars of the famed Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple here has revealed gold ornaments, vessels, jewels and precious stones worth hundreds of crores of rupees.
The examination of three of the six inner chambers in the sprawling temple complex in the city, completed last evening, showed that they contained gold chains, gold, a large number of silver and brass platters, ornaments, a stone-studded crown and glittering gold coated parasols and may other objects of great intrinsic and antique value, temple sources said.
The magnificent temple, built in 18th century by King of erstwhile Travancore princely state Marthanda Varma, is run by a trust under the control of the royal family. The Supreme Court recently appointed a seven-member panel, comprising two former judges of Kerala High Court as observers, to draw up a list of valuable articles stashed away in the cellars, said to have been remaining locked up for long.
The observers had made it clear that their job was not to assess the value of the articles in money terms but to draw up an inventory and submit it to the apex court. However, temple sources, present during the exercise, indicated that the precious objects listed in the first days alone would run into at least Rs 700 crores in the present market rates.
Cultural historians and temple scholars, however, held that it would be unwise to put cash tag on the rare articles without accounting their antique value. The cellars were ordered to be opened by the apex court to prepare an inventory while considering a private petition.