The temple of Sree Anantha Padmanabha Swamy, located in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala has been enjoying a lot of prominence and significance throughout the world in recent times.
Anantha Padmanabhaswamy Temple
The temple is built with an intricate fusion of the indigenous Kerala style and the Dravidian style of architecture in the 16th Century by the kings of Travancore. The principal deity is Vishnu who is manifested in the “Anantha Shayanam” posture, the abiding yogic sleep on the serpent Adisheshan.
Diety of Anantha Padmanabha Swamy at the Temple
Some well-known scholars, writers, and historians, have stated that this enigmatic temple was believed to be established on the first day of Kali Yuga, which is over 5000 years ago. The temple is one of the prominent place of worship among the 108 centers of worship in Vaishnavism renowned from the medieval Tamil literature, with structural additions to it made throughout the 16th century, along with the addition of ancient Gopuram which is a 100-foot, seven-tier gopuram made in the Pandyan style.
Wealthiest Place of Worship
It was in 2011, that the temple name was outburst wide when secret chambers were discovered that embrace a tremendous amount of treasure. According to the beliefs, the kings of Travancore have said to hidden their wealth within the walls and vault of this temple. It seems that the legends are true. This invasion led to the discovery of wealthy gold objects and extensive stones, making the temple by far the richest place of worship in the recorded history of the world.
The temple assets owned by Lord Padmanabhaswamy were for a long time managed and headed by the Travancore Royal family Trust. However, for the present, the Supreme Court of India has deprived the Trust from the authority of managing the assets.
Discovery of Secret Cellars
The temple management was already conscious of the existence of secret vaults located very close to the center of the temple on its western side just beneath the deity.
In 2001, archaeologists unsealed the underground chambers and located these vaults. In temple journals, the vaults were labeled as thiru aras, viz. mahabharatha konathu ara, muthalpidi aras vedavysankonathu ara, sree pandaram ara, and so on. But now, for documentation purposes, these vaults have been labeled as vaults A, B, C, D, E and F. In the subsequent time, two more vaults have been recognized and tagged as vaults G and H.
Four vaults C, D, E, and F, are in the custody of the temple priests and have been/are opened at least eight times every year and the contents stored in them are routinely taken out for use on special ceremonial occasions. Vaults G and H also possess many valuables within it.
Special Committee opening the vault A:
In 2011, under the endowment of the Supreme Court of India, the 7 member committee in the presence of the Head Trustee of Travencore have opened the six secret vaults. The team was meant to assess its inventory.
On 30 June 2011, they entered vault A. They unbolted an iron grille along with a massive wooden door, later detached a granite slab from the floor. Underneath, there were five or six small steps which led to a small, dark room with loads of treasure in it.
What the team found inside the secret vault was startling. Among the findings, were a three-and-a-half feet tall golden idol of Mahavishnu, embellished with several rubies, diamonds, and other valuable stones. Also found were an 18-foot-long chain, gold sheaf of 500 kgs, a 36-kg golden veil, 1200 gold coin-chains that are encrusted with valuable stones, and pots and baskets filled with golden artifacts, diamonds, necklaces, sapphires, rubies, gemstones, emeralds, and other precious objects, gold necklaces as long as nine feet and weighing about 2.5 kg, about a tonne of the yellow metal in the form of trinkets, sticks and gold ropes. Ceremonial attire for embellishing the deity weighing almost 30 kilograms and several 18th century Napoleonic and Italian coins were also found.
It concluded approximately to be $ 22 Billion worth of highly valuable gold.
These various valuable items were found scattered everywhere inside the pots, baskets and copper vessels. It took nearly about 10-15 days to move the treasure out and to take an inventory of it.
All these invasions made the God of Thiruvnanthapuram as the wealthiest God on the earth. Yet many believe that some extraordinary shrine is yet to explore the greater riches ever.
This committee would be responsible for the preparation and approval of the temple’s annual budget as well as supervise its entire functioning of the activities within the temple.
The Secret Chamber (Vault B)
The whole world is excited to discern what’s behind the Mysterious Last door of Padmanabha Swamy temple. Chamber B has long been considered by Astrologers of India, as highly mystical, spiritual and too dangerous to unveil it.
Vault B has not been opened presumably for centuries. However, the Supreme Court appointed committee unbolted the metal grill door, and located a hefty wooden door just behind it. They unlocked this door as well and encountered a third door, made of iron, which was jammed shut. The observers felt it improper to dig the way in it and decided to hire a locksmith. But, in mid-July, before the locksmith could arrive, the royal family brought an injunction from the Supreme Court against the opening of vault B.
Some believe, that the vault should not be opened and that they were protected by a curse. The ‘Vault B’, the treasure is said to be guarded by cobras ready to strike anyone who dares enter the steel door is having two huge COBRA PORTRAITS with no nuts or other locks to open.
Myths behind not opening the door
- Ocean Theory
Till date, no one knows what exactly is behind the vault. Presently, people from other side are rumored to listen to the sounds of water and small hubbubs made by snakes. Believers say that the seventh door makes an opening to the Arabian ocean where the entire temple and areas may be flooded with waters.
- Snake God Theory
Most of the superstitious beliefs that surround the B-vault are that as the engravings on the door of the vault resemble a large cobra, represents the place of recline of the temple deity Lord Vishnu. Few others say, that large serpents guarding the area inside don’t allow anyone. The day to know what’s really behind is still awaited.
How does it open?
The chamber is considered to be fixed with the ‘Naga Bandham’ Mantras by the then ‘SIDDA PURASHAS’ who prevailed during the era of KING MARTHANDAVARMA in the 16th century. This door can be opened only by a highly sapient ‘SADHUS’ familiar of chanting a ‘GARUDA MANTRA‘, appending to the belief that Garuda dismisses mighty serpents from the way.
By chanting this mantra properly, the door would automatically open itself without any human effort needed. If any human attempts are made with man-made technology to open the mysterious Chamber-B other than by chanting highly sacred and powerful mantra, catastrophes are likely to occur in anddestroy the places around the Temple premises or throughout India or even throughout the world.
Installation of Modern Security System:
All these findings made the temple one of the richest Hindu shrines in the country. This revelation has consolidated the status of the Padmanabhaswamy Temple as the affluent place of worship in the world. It is conservatively estimated that the value of the monumental items is close to 1.2 lakh crore or 1.2 trillion. If the antique and cultural value were taken into account, these assets could be worth ten times the current market price.
In fact, in terms of precious metals and exquisite stones, it is by far the wealthiest place of worship of any kind in the recorded history of the world. Today the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple is protected by metal detectors, security cameras, and more than two hundred guards, some of whom are equipped with machine guns so as to safeguard the massive treasure.