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  1. #1
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    India: Treasure worth 12 Billion GBP Found in Temple

    Kerala temple's secret vaults yield 12bn in treasure



    Jewels piled in sacks and tonnes of gold at Thiruvananthapuram temple worth more than India education budget
    Investigators plan to pry open the final vault hidden deep beneath an old Hindu temple where treasure worth more than India's entire education budget has been found.

    A seven-member team of experts has so far entered five of the six secret subterranean vaults piled high with an estimated 12.5bn-worth of jewels, which have lain untouched for hundreds of years.

    The temple has been placed under round-the-clock police guard as onlookers and devotees thronged the shrine in the centre of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of southern Kerala state.

    Sacks filled with diamonds were found next to tonnes of gold coins and jewellery, reports claimed, in the vaults of the 16th-century Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple, the royal chapel of the former rulers of Travancore, now part of Kerala.
    "The current market value of the articles found so far by the committee members would be roughly 900bn rupees[12.5bn]," one temple official who was not authorised to speak to the media said.

    Investigators searched the vaults to draw up an inventory of the riches amid deep security fears. They said they had no idea of the amount of treasure they would find.
    Estimates of the haul's worth range across billions of pounds, with investigators unwilling to disclose the official amount given the ambiguity involved in valuing priceless jewels and gold coins by weight.

    Police set up a dedicated control room close to the temple on Monday, as Kerala's chief minister, Oommen Chandy, pledged full state security for the hoard and promised it would remain the property of the temple after an inventory was made.
    "We are ready to protect the temple wealth. We will chart out measures for the permanent security in consultation with the Travancore royal family, which administers the temple now, and the chief priest of the temple," Chandy said.
    Historians supported the estimates of the treasure's value, noting the lucrative trade routes that passed through the region for many centuries.
    "Traders, who used to come from other parts of the country and abroad for buying spices and other commodities, used to make handsome offerings to the deity for not only his blessings but also to please the then rulers," said PJ Cherian, director of Kerala Council for Historic Research.

    As estimates of the treasure's worth rise, a fierce debate is growing regarding what to do with the hoard, in a country where 450 million people live in poverty.
    Leaders of the Hindu community want the wealth to be invested in the temple, while many intellectuals, including former supreme court judge VR Krishna Iyer, have suggested it should be used for the public good.

    The government has said it would adhere to the supreme court's ruling on ownership of the treasure found in the temple, which is still controlled by the royal family - unlike other temples in Kerala managed by the government.
    The vaults were searched after a lawyer petitioned the country's top court to order the government to take over the temple as it did not have adequate security.
    Several temples in India have billions of dollars worth of wealth as devotees donate gold and other precious objects as gifts to spiritual or religious institutions that run hospitals, schools and colleges.

    The Tirumala temple in eastern Andhra Pradesh state is reported to have three tonnes of gold, a third of which it deposited with the State Bank of India last year, while spiritual guru Sai Baba, who died in April, left behind an $9bn estate.

    Rs 50,000 Crore Treasure including Gold Ornaments Found in Temple

    More than Rs. 50,000 Crore treasure (Nidhi in Malayalam) which included antique gold ornaments, diamonds and other precious stones, golden crown, golden bow, golden vessels, and other precious stones were found in the secret chambers (Nilavara in temple) of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. The seven member panel appointed by the Supreme Court of India who were drawing up a list of assets of the ancient Lord Vishnu Temple were mesmerized by the sight of the huge treasure grove in front of them. Source said that the original value of the treasure found in the Sree Ananda Padmanabhaswamy Temple Trivandrum will be much more than Rs 50,000 Crore when calculating the price including the antiquity of the treasure found.

    Some of the list of gold inventory found in the temple include golden crowns, 17 kg of gold coins dating back to the East India Company period, gold in the shape of rice trinkets weighing one tonne, 18 ft long golden necklace weighing 2.5 kg, gold ropes, sack full of diamonds, thousands of pieces of antique jewellery studded with diamonds and emeralds, and golden vessels.
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  2. #2
    The Pikey Hunter
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    ^ Well as it dates back to being stored there when the British ran the place, I'd say it's ours

  3. #3
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    What a fantastic find!
    I guess history isn't finished!

  4. #4
    Neo
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    ^^
    We probably gave a good deal of it to them when black pepper was worth it's weight in gold.

    It's an incredible find.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerbil
    Well as it dates back to being stored there when the British ran the place, I'd say it's ours
    According to legend, the Travancore kings had transferred loads of wealth, meant for use during famines to these secret chambers to protect them from the British.

    Rs 75,000 cr and counting: More treasure tumbles out of shrine

  6. #6
    The Dentist English Noodles's Avatar
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    WOW! Mind blowing story.

  7. #7
    The Dentist English Noodles's Avatar
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    Simply exquisite.


  8. #8
    Neo
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    Excellent picture above.. just set it as my desktop.
    It would seem inevitable that the more transferable items such as gems and coins will be pilfered away, but it will be interesting to see the ornamental objects once they are inventoried.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by English Noodles
    Simply exquisite.
    Then it's as well I didn't find it or it'd be a big stack of 1kg bars, beautiful

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