$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. SI

    Stop all usa aid and tell india to use this new found treasure.....

    July 5, 2011 at 3:26 am | Report abuse |
  2. Shan

    America run by Dunkin Donuts and Dunkin Donuts run by Indians,so American run by Indians 😉

    July 5, 2011 at 3:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Nate

      None of the Dunkin Donuts here on the east coast are run by Indians.. Your comment is very ignorant. ps. Dunkin Donuts usx anyways!

      July 5, 2011 at 6:13 am | Report abuse |
    • SoSensitive

      Nate, it's not an ignorant comment if it's true. You can only speak for the East coast.Plus it was only a joke so get the corn cob out of your butt.

      July 5, 2011 at 6:48 am | Report abuse |
  3. swat

    I can imagine all the indian politicians(including queen bee) salivating on how to accquire this wealth and transfer it all to their swiss bank accounts.Muslims and europeans were ousiders,now we will see insiders loot

    July 5, 2011 at 3:36 am | Report abuse |
    • rajiv

      Congress deities have much more this is only apeanut

      July 5, 2011 at 3:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Linda

      I totally agree with you........

      July 5, 2011 at 6:29 am | Report abuse |
  4. rajiv

    Congress deities have much more this is only a peanut as per standards

    July 5, 2011 at 3:59 am | Report abuse |
  5. Tim W.

    Wow, how some of you peoplle can take a treasure found under a Indian Temple and turn it around into a Anti-American bash is beyound me ! And what in the heck does Dunkin Donuts, IBM, NASA, Microsoft, and Australia have to do with it ? You peeps must just find a subject and hi-jack it to have your own battle of the brainless !

    July 5, 2011 at 4:11 am | Report abuse |
  6. Shobith

    Latest figures comes to USD 22482.014 Million now. Still one more safe to open. Thats a whopping amount of money.

    July 5, 2011 at 4:18 am | Report abuse |
  7. firecat

    The few Indian's I know are very hard workers and great people, I really hope this money is used to help build up the outer areas of India and provide the people with more options in life.

    July 5, 2011 at 4:32 am | Report abuse |
    • kail

      A gud comment with sense.

      July 5, 2011 at 5:16 am | Report abuse |
  8. Claes

    Hmm, yes for some reason it's considered more fair if one local guy robs 100 million people than if one outside guy does the same. That's perfectly fine by the UN for instance, which is run mostly by local robbers.

    July 5, 2011 at 4:59 am | Report abuse |
  9. Elizabeth

    So many of the people of India are living in dire poverty. This money should be spread around to help those in need, not left sitting in a temple where it does no one any real good. I hope the people of India demand their share.

    July 5, 2011 at 5:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Nate

      Their share? What right do they, or anyone else have to it?

      July 5, 2011 at 6:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Chiclette

      The reason India or any country has a poverty problem is because the majority of their adults cannot resist the urge to have children. So they have children despite their poverty, then work 18 hours, and rarely see their children. But for some reason, they have a strong urge to reproduce. You see the same problem in California, Canada, and Tennessee.

      July 5, 2011 at 7:03 am | Report abuse |
  10. nice

    thank God it remained safe and sound from evil eye of British imperial mutants.

    July 5, 2011 at 5:05 am | Report abuse |
  11. Manik Sehgal

    pls correct your facts CNN...ur reports are too lazy...
    its $22 billion treasure that has been found till now...
    & still more too come!!!

    July 5, 2011 at 5:16 am | Report abuse |
  12. John Walsh

    Your lucky its not in the United States. The govt here would tax it or just take it and use the money to fund free abortions.

    July 5, 2011 at 5:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Name (required)

      free abortion now or lifetime welfare recipient later? Drill, baby, drill!

      July 5, 2011 at 7:13 am | Report abuse |
  13. Swamy

    Still they've been counting the treasure and the latest value is $22B

    July 5, 2011 at 6:02 am | Report abuse |
  14. MrId

    Betcha there are kids living in sewers not more than a block away from that temple. Pathetic.

    July 5, 2011 at 6:14 am | Report abuse |
  15. Linda

    Whether 22billion or more..........it is enough to eradicate POVERTY in India...........and replace it with homes and food and feed millions..............but being an Indian I know.............they would rather build another 10 temples than deal with POVERTY...........they like beggars adorning their temple gates............if they brought everyone above poverty line then where will they do charity and show off their wealth..........its no use............having so much wealth.............it will only go into pockets that already have more than enough...........so its futile

    July 5, 2011 at 6:33 am | Report abuse |
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