The Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple in the capital, Thiruvananthapuram, is all set to become the richest temple in India with an expert panel deputed by the Supreme Court estimating that 70% of the gold jewellery and diamonds retrieved from secret cellar A itself would amount to Rs 50,000 crore.
The temple, where Lord Vishnu is worshipped in the reclining posture, will thus surpass the Tirumala Tirupati temple of Andhra Pradesh whose deity Lord Balaji has gold and diamond jewellery reportedly valued at about Rs 52,000 crore.
After the panel prepares an inventory of the rest of the articles retrieved from cellar A and opens the mysterious cellar B, the worth of the precious articles in the temple could touch huge heights.
On Friday, the panel led by the two Supreme Court observers, M.N. Krishnan and C.S. Rajan, further examined cellar A and found gold coins weighing 530 kg.
Sources said they retrieved around 17 kg of gold coins belonging to the East India Company era, 14 kg of coins minted in Travancore, more than 100 raasi coins and sacks of coins from the era of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Meanwhile, locals thronged the temple steps and protested the leakage of information to the media when the panel members came out in the evening, saying it might endanger the temple. The team will submit a report next week to the Supreme Court.(DC)