$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. BG Mahesh

    A lot more can come out of Vault B in the Padmanabha temple http://ow.ly/5yypT

    July 7, 2011 at 4:16 am | Report abuse |
  2. nitin

    india got this because we preserve our culture and not like u who are miles and miles away from culture.You called us third country but u dont have class in our eyes becz u people are invadors and invadors are decoits,happy.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • tkdbadboy

      then why are u in this country?

      July 12, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • tkdbadboy

      Also, I must add America give billions in aid to other countries which probably helps them to preserve their own. I have nothing against any other country but that was a boneheaded remark,. Funny when people bash the country they live in. Nobody is held here against their will.

      July 12, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rosa

      Preserving gold bars and silver bars is not preserving culture, that is holding a fortune that has no cultural value while outside this temple millions of your own people live in misery, and many starve. How grand....

      July 18, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sad

      No nitin, America does have culture as does India, Great Brittain, Austrailia and every other falsly liabled nation in these comments. American culture is found all over the world. In India it can be seen where your nation is bulldozing the homes of hundreds of thousands of its residents to build roads and buildings to employ the upper casts to support American consumers and businesses. Am I, as an American, proud of that? Absolutely not, but you as an India should be furious. We are ALL ignorant of many many things, each nation has its brilliance and its ignorance and it is absolutely astonishing that no one on here can see that. I am ignorant of what its like to be an Indian living in America, what I am not is close minded to the point that I don't care.

      July 20, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • CDOPHX

      The door opens both ways. Bon Voyage.

      July 23, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • AustinITGuy

      Oh ok, go honor kill your daughter for kissing a boy and we'll see who has class.

      July 29, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • vbscript2

      Ok, the original post was idiotic, but honor killings in India for kissing someone? Really? You do realize India isn't in the Middle East, right?

      August 3, 2011 at 1:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Shikha

      Nitin, I am also an Indian living in India and when you say that we have our culture it also includes that in Indian culture each and every body is treated equally and we don't say remarks like...."you are invaders and decoits" rather we believe in maintaining our own dignity. So I think you still need to know more about Indian culture

      August 11, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. I'm With Stoopid

    Why does every story that involves anyone non-Christian have to turn into a coutry-bashing, hate-mongering terrorism discussion? You people need therapy. I work with MANY people who were born and raised in India, and are different religions to boot, and they are all intelligent, thoughtful, sweet people who I am proud to share an office with. The ignorance and hate in most of these comments is just astounding. I can see all of your glass houses from here.

    July 8, 2011 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      Good call. Its disappointing to read comments similar to those, but I cannot say I expect much from individuals who have never learned to form knowledgeable opinions.

      July 10, 2011 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • juicedboutnothin

      shut up fool. you sound just as bad.

      July 22, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Go Big Red

    Keep it up! This keeps me very entertained. India Sucks!....America Sucks!

    July 11, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • micky blue

      good to know sombody has a sense of humour 🙂

      July 19, 2011 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
  5. DiwaliDiyas.com

    Talking of Indian Treasures, check out some cool Indian Handmade treasures at diwalidiyas.in

    July 13, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ack

      yes, because most of the 11 million people that edit Wikipedia are wrong, and you are right? Get over yourself.

      July 20, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Idiocracy

    IIf anyone has used Wikipedia to go and get their "facts", you are a fool.

    July 14, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Ack

      yes, because most of the 11 million people that edit Wikipedia are wrong, and you are right? Get over yourself.

      July 20, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • rags

      Is this Prasanth from Bangalore??

      July 22, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  7. GT

    If William believes the rich pay the majority of taxes, I would have to say William is not in touch with reality.
    Maybe he also believes only the wealthy go to war and poor people are exempt? Yeah right!!! But what has that got to do with a temple in india?

    July 15, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. AllyCat

    Give it to the US to help pay their debt. Oh wait, $11 billion is just a dent in $13 trillion.

    July 28, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Logan9773

    Well, guess we can cut off all aid to India now. They can pay for themselves. Hey India, how about sending us some aid for once, hmmm?

    July 29, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. dave smith

    I guess we (the USA) don't need to be sending India any more of our tax dollars for a while.. Would be nice just once for one of the MANY MANY countries to say thank you.. instead of having their citizens living here and in those countries telling us how much we suck all the time..

    August 1, 2011 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  11. Goldankauf München

    Ihr Weblog ist praktisch nur zu (mit etwas) konform gehen, ich werde mit absoluter Unzweifelhaftigkeit nochmals mal rein spannern.

    March 30, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Rooney

    india is awesome country.it is a very religious country,
    I am proud to be an india

    June 10, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
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