Gold articles and other precious objects worth more than Rs 1,000 crore are believed to have been found at the Sri Padmanabha Swami temple by the Supreme Court-appointed panel. However, since most of the stuff are antique pieces, a formal assessment of their value is difficult.
Among the ones listed include ‘navaratna’ (nine types of diamond) ornaments, ‘saratpolimala’ (gold chain), a gigantic gold idol, diamond-studded anki (chain) and ‘thanka katti’ (pure gold bricks).
On the first day, the panel listed gold utensils, and on the second and third days jewellery collections of the presiding deity were counted.
There are six underground chambers near the sanctum sanctorum of the huge temple, situated at the heart of Thiruvananthapuram.
Of these, two cellars are opened during the daily pooja and two twice a year. A decision on two secret chambers that were opened last 136 years ago will be taken on Friday.
Coded ‘A’ and ‘B’, these two vaults (‘kallaras’, meaning granite cellars) will be opened only after an engineer inspects the structural safety and whether oxygen is available. There are strong rumours that these have long passages leading to the main deity and other places. The panel has asked the chief engineer to depute a team to study the safety aspects of these secret chambers. The temple, known for its architectural beauty, is run by a trust floated by the Travancore royal family.