Shri Padmanabhaswamy Temple is an ancient temple situated in the East Fort situated in Thiruvananthapuram which is the capital of Kerala. The Supreme presiding deity in the temple to whom the temple is dedicated is Lord Vishnu. The temple is composed of a mixture of two styles of architecture, them being Kerala and Dravidian styles. Everything existing today has a history of which can be traced back to. So does this temple which goes back to the 8th century. This temple has been identified as one amongst the other 108 Vishnu Temples or 'Divya Desams' in India. These Divya Desams are considered to be the most sacred and holy places where Lord Vishnu resides. They have also been mentioned in the works of the Tamilian Saints also known as Azhvars. In fact, the name of the capital city of Kerala that is Thiruvananthapuram too has been derived from the supreme deity of Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple also known as Anantha who is the one reclining on Anathana serpent. Therefore, Thiruvananthapuram means the land of Sri Anantha Padmanabhaswamy.
One of the kings of Travancore, Marthanda Varma is believed to have brought about a major renovation to the temple resulting in the kind of architecture that exists today. He gave away the kingdom of Travancore to Lord Padmanabha in 1750. He made a promise that the entire royal family including all their descendants will serve the kingdom as servants of Lord Padmanabha. Due to this, from then on every king of Travancore has his name preceded by Padmanabha Dasa. The donation made by the kingdom of Travancore to Padmanabhaswamy was known as 'Thripadidanam'. The royal family of Travancore is currently being headed by Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma.
Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple Treasure
The temple has long been in talks for its tales related to hidden treasure. The temple has somewhere around six underground chambers which were discovered by the archaeologists in 2001. These chambers have vaults which have been labelled starting from A up till F. The discovery of these chambers was made possible with the aid offered by the temple priests. Inside the chambers they found some undiscovered treasure including gold coins which can be traced back to thousands of years back, gold necklace 9 feet long with a weight of 2.5 kg, 1 ton of yellow metal shaped as rice gems, yellow metal sticks, diamond sacks, gold ropes, multiple pieces of antique jewelry adorned with diamonds and emerald and many other ornaments in chamber A. All this jewelry was kept in a very haphazard manner and none of it was arranged in a systematic manner. These things were kept in ancient baskets, earthen pots, copper pots and other such containers. Some other artefacts surfaced up later on. These items included 7 kg of gold coins which could be traced back to the period when East India Company was existent in India, 18 coins from the era of Napolean's rule, valuable stones wrapped in bundles of silk in addition to 1000 kg of gold in the form of coins as well as trinkets. There is a small elephant too made up of the yellow metal. There were some sovereigns with the 1772 seal meaning that they belonged to the time of King Karthika Thirunal Rama Varma.
However, as of now the existence of another inner chamber which is hidden under Vault B has not been taken into account. This chamber is quite ancient and is believed to be made up of thick walls of gold. This is exactly where the mystery continues to live and it could also probably be the place wherein the largest treasure which has remained undiscovered since forever could be really found. All the other chambers have been opened up which has led to the discovery of gems, jewels, crowns, coins, necklaces etc.
This temple unlike the other temples of Kerala is controlled by the royal family of Travancore. Its name lies by far in the richest temples of the country. As discussed above, the temple comprised of six vaults which were buried under the sanctum. These vaults were named A to H for the simplifying the process of documentation. Out of six, five vaults have already been opened. Still, vault B remains unopened because the royal family opposed the idea of opening it because of the fact that it will make God angry. The Supreme Court made a committee consisting of five members in-charge of the administration of the temple. Vinod Rai who was a comptroller and auditor previously was made to audit temple properties, assets, and accounts. The court also withheld opening vault B until and unless all the other vaults were finished. It was only in July 2011 that everyone external to the temple came to know about the hidden treasure in the vaults worth Rs. 100000 crore after the first report regarding the same was submitted by Vinod Rai. Apparently, the treasure was hidden five feet beneath the ground. Although it was being said that vault B had not been opened, it was reported by Rai that according to the temple records, the vault had been opened two times in 1990 and then five times in 2002. This mystery about the opening of vault B is therefore still doing the rounds.
The temple has sure made headlines and has been an incredible event in the history of the country as well as for the ones who discovered it dug deep inside. One should surely pay a visit to the temple whenever a trip anywhere nearby is planned.