India’s Supreme Court on Monday upheld the right of a former royal dynasty to run the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple, one of the world’s richest places of worship, after the Kerala state government tried to remove it from them following the patriarch’s death. of the family, reports Reuters.
The imposing Hindu temple, located in the city of Thiruvananthanpuram and which is several centuries old keeps inside a treasure valued at more than 20,000 million dollars. These are diamonds, tons of gold coins and jewelry found in 2011 when one of the temple safes was opened.
The Kerala State High Court then ruled, in response to public interest petitions, that the Travancore family should relinquish management of the temple following the death of its head, Sree Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma, the last ruling king of Travancore, in 1991. However, this Monday the Supreme Court reversed the decision.
“The death does not affect the ‘shebaitship’ [management and maintenance of the deity] of the Travancore family,” Judges UU Lalit and Indu Malhotra stated.
The temple was built in the 16th century and dedicated to the god Vishnu; It is one of the buildings that contains more wealth than any part of the world. It differs from the rest of the temples because it was built with 12 thousand shalá agrama shilá, sacred stones from India extracted from the Gadaki river, in Nepal.
In 2011, Indian authorities announced that the enclosure housed a great treasure (diamonds, coins and gold objects, jewels and more riches) and gave authorization to review the valuables and inventory everything. To perform that work, only ten people were able to enter. It was estimated that its value amounts to 20 billion dollars. The rooms hadn’t been opened for over a century so they were untouched.
Only six vaults have been opened, and the contents of Vault B, as it has been called, is still a mystery. The authorities have not been able to enter because the room has a steel door of an unknown thickness, and it does not have any buttons or nuts to open it.
The Supreme Court announced that the new committee that the royal family will establish to manage the temple will have the right to decide what to do with all the wealth of the complex, including the contents of the last safe, called Kallara, which has not yet been opened. The royal family affirms that its opening will bring great misfortunes, since it keeps a mythical curse.
“A large number of devotees had prayed for us. This sentence is their victory,” Gauri Lakshmi Bai, one of the royal family members, told reporters.