$11 billion treasure revealed beneath temple in India
The Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple is in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of the southern Indian state of Kerala.
July 4th, 2011
12:43 PM ET

$11 billion treasure revealed beneath temple in India

A court-ordered search of vaults beneath a temple in India has turned up a treasure worth at least $11 billion, according to reports from the Indian state of Kerala.

An inventory of what lies beneath the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, as reported on the website Business-Standard.com and others, reads like a prop list from an "Indiana Jones" movie:

  • Rubies, sapphires, emeralds and pearls
  • Replicas of coconut shells made of pure gold
  • Hundreds of thousands of gold and silver coins, some dating to the 16th century
  • Gold chains as long as 18 feet
  • Solid-gold human figurines and idols
  • Crowns and pendants
  • Gold and silver bars

The wealth was amassed in at least six vaults, some of which had not been opened in 150 years, according to media reports. India's Supreme Court ordered an inventory of the vaults after hearing a private complaint seeking "more transparency and trustworthiness in the temple administration," according to a report on the news website daijiworld.com.

The former royal family of Travancore manages the temple. For an explanation about how the treasure might have been amassed, check out this report from CommodityOnline.com.

The Kerala government said Monday the treasure will remain property of the shrine, according to media reports.

"The wealth belonged to the temple and it will be preserved where it was found. There is religious and historical significance to the findings. The state will ensure its security," Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told the Times of India.

As word of the find has spread, Kerala police are asking for help to safeguard the treasure, according to media reports.

"It is too big a challenge for the police. We have no trained personnel to manage such a huge treasure. We have sought the help of several agencies who can really help us," Jacob Punnose, director general of the Kerala police, told India Today.

What might the treasure, which the Economic Times of India says is likely the biggest in the country, mean for Kerala, a south Indian state of 33 million people? The Economic Times has some ideas.

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Filed under: India • World
soundoff (792 Responses)
  1. motts

    the greedy zionist will try and find a way to steal that treasure.

    July 5, 2011 at 1:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. Puzled.

    Now, is that american billion? 1,000,000,000
    Or is it European billion. 1,000,000,000,000

    Seems that the sly math is a left over relic from the Cold War to undermine the U.S economy.
    If it is $11,000,000,000, than its pocket change in a world economy, and would not change anything if liquidated. we spend much more on our wars.

    July 5, 2011 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |
    • shawn

      your n idiot.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:14 am | Report abuse |
    • USA/INDIA

      there is a friggin dollar sign and you are on an American website, use your common sense. I also think you should consider the amount of debt we are in because of how much we spend in wars, and then start voicing opinions about money and how it affects the world's economy.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
    • WhoisME

      Yes you white trash, You spend even more to than you think to S*X with many girls and insurance to get a cure for your rotten organ

      July 5, 2011 at 2:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Callmeishmael

      My god, what the HELL is going on with our educational system these days, seriously? On a lighter note, cool-looking temple, by the way.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:12 am | Report abuse |
    • jayman419

      Doesn't matter how many zeroes it should have. That's not money that the church just discovered. That's money they've just been sitting on for hundreds of years. Now that it's all been brought out and counted, it's going to get put back in the vaults.

      That's all any religion does. They take your money to buy themselves nice things, and in return you get stories to help you feel better about human mortality. Saving the world (or even the neighborhood) isn't really part of the agenda. Why bother? It's just going to be recycled by the gods someday anyway.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:27 am | Report abuse |
    • jayman419

      I don't know why you call the OP an idiot, or suggest that he is poorly educated. This is a summary of a news report from a country that uses a very different definition of billion than we do.

      In America, the large scale number is only used by scientists and other academics, but the rest of us call it a thousand millions. For most of the world though the "normal" definition of a billion is a million millions.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:32 am | Report abuse |
  3. makooni

    ignant

    July 5, 2011 at 2:02 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jim

    it is $22 billion.. not $11 Billion. Interesting to remember that British and Moslems invaded India and looted much more.

    July 5, 2011 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill Sargent

      What is a "moslem"? you need to learn to spell.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Janie

      Actually, it's just an accepted variation of the word Muslim, not a misspelling. It's common in India...pertinent ay?

      July 5, 2011 at 2:20 am | Report abuse |
  5. Nah

    gman: "America creates and kills terrorists. All generates wealth for the defence contractors (Cheney & Associates). The wars are funded by the middle class taxes (Only the middle class pays taxes), lives sacrificed by poor (They will go to war) and wealth collected by the rich!"

    Yeah, that makes sense.

    If they can build up a secret, worldwide conspiracy to create terrorists so the U.S. can go to war, so all the rich can (somehow) make money off war, why couldn't they just partner with their co-conspirators in the government and get the government to just give them the money outright?

    "Only the middle class pays taxes"

    Lol. Right. When GE paid $15 billion in taxes in the last decade it was really monopoly money. And whenever a doctor or a lawyer or CEO goes to the store, the store secretly deducts the sales tax and gives it back.

    You sure your head is screwed on tightly?

    July 5, 2011 at 2:11 am | Report abuse |
  6. shawn

    it has gone up to 23billion and thats just value or gold by todays price, historically speaking its well over 75billion USD

    July 5, 2011 at 2:15 am | Report abuse |
  7. RHB in Ohio

    Once the species has succeeded in exhausting it's resources, we will all be equal. Maybe, make the most of this time.

    July 5, 2011 at 2:21 am | Report abuse |
  8. Adam

    Who is ready to go start digging the 5 mile tunnel to the vaults?

    July 5, 2011 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
  9. Trish

    Hey, will you guys visit HelpFaye.ORG , a friend fighting for her life needs our help... Thank you

    July 5, 2011 at 2:44 am | Report abuse |
  10. D. Crockett

    Remember the good ol' neutron bomb that kills people and leaves buildings standing? The US can put all that in the Smithsonian where it will be safe as clown's milk, and they can all come view it any time they want, just like Egyptians can always go see their past at the British Museum.

    July 5, 2011 at 2:45 am | Report abuse |
  11. krishnaleela111

    $11 Billion புதையல்

    திருவாங்கூர் பசுபதி கோயிலில்

    என் நாடு என் மக்கள் என்ற எண்ணம் மீண்டும் எழுகிறது

    நாடு விட்டு நாடு சென்று கல்வி பிச்சை எடுக்கும் நாதாரி நானென்று விளங்குகிறது

    முஸ்லிம்களும் ப்ரிடிஷரும் கொள்ளையடித்தார்கள் என்றின்று பிதற்றும் மூடர்களே

    ஏமாற்றுபவனை விட ஏமாறுபவன்தான் மிகப் பெரிய மூடன்

    என் மூதாதையர்களே மூடர்களே

    உங்களுக்குள் சண்டையிட்டீர்களே....

    உலகம் என்ன என்பதறியாமல்

    உங்களுக்குள் சண்டையிட்டுக்கிடந்தீர்களே!

    அவன் விஞ்ஞானம் வளர்க்கையில் மெய்ஞானம் பேசி பேசி

    மெய்யான ஞானம் வளர்க்காமல் விட்ட மூடர்களே

    நாடு வளர்க்கத்தெரிந்தும் நாட்டை காக்க தெரியா மூடர்களே

    சேரன் என்றும் சோழன் என்றும் சண்டையிட்டீர்களே

    சேறு சகதி மட்டும் எங்களுக்கென்றாக்கிவிட்டு செத்துவிட்டீர்களே

    நேருவும் காந்தியும் வந்த பின்னே நிற்க பழகுகின்றோம் மீண்டும்,

    நிமிர்ந்து நடப்பதற்கே ஆகிவடும் 20 – 30 ஆண்டு காலம்

    நாடென்ற சொல்தான் நீங்குவது எக்காலம்?

    ஞாலமெல்லாம் ஓர் குடியாய் ஆவது எக்காலம்?

    July 5, 2011 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
    • krishnaleela111

      ??

      July 5, 2011 at 3:43 am | Report abuse |
  12. Charlie

    Holy Salahi !

    July 5, 2011 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
  13. Sankar

    My home town, our guardian deity. Isn't it amazing that the treasure was just there, with hardly any security.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:08 am | Report abuse |
  14. JAY77

    Hopefully they invest this in water treatment programs for fxcks sake!

    July 5, 2011 at 3:22 am | Report abuse |
  15. Nasar

    I am from Kerala South Indian State.I wish to see this Treasure !!

    July 5, 2011 at 3:24 am | Report abuse |
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