$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. Ganges River

    For the love of God please spend this money on cleaning me up! Animals relieve themselves in me, die in me, while people bathe, go to the bathroom, and send their dead bodies floating down me to rot. How can you bathe in such waste and call it "holy"? Please stop! The stench is overpowering.

    July 4, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • bourneblogger

      Very clever

      July 4, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • NS

      me me me me me

      July 4, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. educatedguess

    just to prove that hiduism, like any other organized religions, is all about private greed by bloody conmen and women.

    demolish this symbol of backbreaking labor by the poor!

    July 4, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • chandraG

      what logic brings you to this conclusion?

      July 4, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • peick

      Sounds like you have some ideals that others should live by. What makes these more legitimate than an established religion? Secular ideologues have just as poor a track record of greed and cruelty as religious people. In some cases it's much worse (Stalin, Hitler, Ghengis Khan).

      July 4, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Karthi

      @educatedguess...you are an ignorantguess..yes this name suit you well. These are the offerings of the then society to god, i.e after their family maintanence, so it is not the wealth collected by blood sucking.

      July 5, 2011 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
    • VegasRage

      I love how people think gold and silver are just metals and paper fiat currency is better. This proves why gold and silver are money, those gold and silver coins in this temple are still worth something, worth even more now than they did years ago. You can't say the same for unbacked paper dollars.

      July 5, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • American Patriot

      Don't worry the jew parasites will take care of it so no one will know where it went.

      July 5, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. max

    i guess the kings hid this to avoid the muslim and british invaders getting their hands on it.. but , now its going to go into the corrupt politicians pocket.. hold an auction, and sell it all off and use the money for welfare of state/people

    July 4, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • sigh

      first sensible comment on here. so, so true.

      July 4, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • chandraG

      The asset of the temple should be used for temple. Using it for public funding(welfare is undefined word) is a wrong strategy. When you take one temple's asset and divide it among whole population, you are not doing your ancestors any favor.
      However, I would totally agree if the trust overseeing the temple's management would donate the money to the Greek to overcome their present day crisis. A nation will then eternally grateful to Padmanavswamy and perhaps start a new calendar after His name? The name Padmanavswamy sounds like Greek name anyway.

      July 4, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Indian

      @max, you mentioned " muslim and british invaders". It showed your bias and inclination very clearly. You could have written " muslim and christian invaders".

      July 4, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • whereamI

      @Indian who wrote:

      @max, you mentioned " muslim and british invaders". It showed your bias and inclination very clearly. You could have written " muslim and christian invaders".

      That would be illogical. The muslims invaded in the name of Islam, while the Brits invaded in the name of a monarch, not a religion.

      July 4, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. everlyhartland

    Caution is advised. There are thousands of heavily armed interests around the world that must be pondering a radical liberation of this treasure.

    July 4, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. whoa

    Dang they said a treasure in the temple was worth 11 billion dollars. How much is it all combined?

    July 4, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ajd041

    Poor GB they must feel like idiots for not looking there I bet one guy thot of that and is now saying I told u so haha

    July 4, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • chandraG

      At least, they got Kohinoor.

      July 4, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dr. Abhijit Ray

      After so much looting for centuries by foreign invaders I am amazed they still found something.

      July 4, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. unowhoitsme

    Put the money to good use and give it to the poor people of India(The Untouchables in their caste system)..they're starving to death, literally. What good is it sitting in a religious temple? Indians treat their poor like slaves...beyond degrading. Absolutely no compassion, except for their own social kind. Then the rich from India bring their poor slaves over to America for a "better" life, still making them work 24/7 for very low wages. Their religious culture dehumanizes people. Another perfect example of religious hypocrisy.

    July 4, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • BitterTruth

      You can relate your comment to your own backyard. Slavery and untouchables did exists in USA till 1970s.. Look at yourself before pointing fingers to others. Even today more than half of people here can not accept a black president. India had a woman president/prime minister in 1976 !!!!

      July 4, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • apadabops

      you know why they are starving? they are just like unemployed people in the U.S but they have the decency not to steal... Unlike people in Detroit... I can also just say that why doesnt the U.S give each family a million dollars instead of spending money on an 300 billion dollar unemployment plan made by the republicans that obviously is not working

      July 4, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • ccwannon

      Couldn't have said it better. And I totally agree with apadabops too! Got news for the person writing about 'slavery' in America....the majority of the human race serve as slaves to the so-called world elite–When we will wake up to the fact that they need us worse than we need them and honor one another by uniting as ONE human race

      July 5, 2011 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  8. ag

    US can send forces to guard the treasure...

    July 4, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |

      The U.S. will be much more likely to send an army there so that U.S. Corporations can steal that treasure as they find some kind of pretext to occupy that country just like both Afghanistan and Iraq!!! This seems to never end.

      July 4, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • apadabops

      they meant the state police cant guard the treasure not india...

      July 4, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Royston

      We dont want the US to come and destroy our beautiful country. shut up

      July 4, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. John

    Like all religions its all about taking money from the people.

    July 4, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. JM

    Use it to Christianize India ... it will do the most good that way ... buy Bibles in local languages and give them away ... spread the good news of Christ by radio/tv/newspapers/etc.

    July 4, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • chandraG

      bible is way overrated. I don't think anyone converted based on bible reading.

      July 4, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ann

      Wow, you really are an Idiot!

      July 4, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pia

      I second that Ann!

      July 4, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Overrated

      It's funny when Christians get offended.. the worst religion and people from that religion i've ever seen. & yes the bible is overrated

      July 4, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |

      That's a very good idea, JM. Just ignore all these right-wing atheist nutjobs here who are trying to belittle you here. Atheism seems to be taking hold here as the people vote more and more right-wing fanatics into office in Washington!!!

      July 4, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • chandraG

      Seriously, without missionaries going to world's poor places and converting people by offering monetary incentives, I doubt Christianity can grow anymore. It doesn't have self-propagating ability. Its scriptures lack any philosophical insights, and in anyway, I doubt Bible can favorably compare with Gita or Tripitaka (Buddhist scripture) in terms of its insight of life and soul. Add to that visceral hatred of Jews that Christians practiced, extermination of Inca/Mayan civilization legitimatized by Church and slavery of black people (many of whom were Christians themselves), and I doubt there is any moral or philosophical reason left for any decent human being to follow Christianity. It can survive as a traditional religion for long (i.e. one becomes christian because his father or mother were) but its growth potential is quite limited. Sorry if it offends any hicks out there!

      July 4, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Indigo

      obvious troll is obvious

      July 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dr. Abhijit Ray

      Or it can be used to spread the ideas of Vedas/Upanishada to west (US).

      July 4, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • authorsnote

      That is PRECISELY why so many people find Christianity distasteful, certainly the Christians like yourself that feel they need to proselytize at every opportunity. Practicing, NOT preaching and 'spreading the word' is what the heart of religions is about. Did you ever learnand repeat the prayer in the Garden of Gesthamane in Aramaic? It's a mantra. Do it quietly at home.

      July 5, 2011 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Siddharth

      JM – all religions ultimately give the same teachings. Truth is universal. Christ has been born many times in various religions and regions. Spread the teachings of the Holy Bible but not with the objective of christianizing. It is too shallow an objective.

      July 5, 2011 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      So the Bible is overrated. Which country in the world follows the principles of Christ? Following CHrist is what allowed Europe to achieve the highest standard of humanity ever.

      As always Christians are blamed. UK, US etc are operating under Talmudic Judaic law where usury inflicted on the goyim is the order of the day. Open your eyes please.

      July 5, 2011 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Winyan Staz

      Take their religion's money to preach yours? Why don't you look in the basement of the Vatican and see how many trillions are hidden there and use that? Why steal from other religions when your own has already stolen so much?

      July 5, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Gaadffly

    By the time their government takes it's share of taxes they may have a few million $$ left for the local officials to steal.

    July 4, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • AHC

      Religious property ain't taxable in India.

      July 6, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. FznTundraMN

    Time to bomb India and take what rightfully belongs to the USA! This would solve our budget deficit in a hurry!

    July 4, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |

      Gee, you sound like a Tea Partier. The above is exactly what any Tea Partier would say. Everything belongs to us according to them although there's not a word of truth in it!!!

      July 4, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Curt

      Ruffnut, you're a total moron. The Tea Party was founded by mostly Libertarians, in the beginning. Guess what, Ron Paul is against all the current US wars.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:30 am | Report abuse |
  13. John Lennon

    Since Muslim Invasion of Somanth Temple To the British Raj India lost much of its Wealth.
    After every Attack the country slowly Rose again only to Become Rich & Looted Again.
    Future Prob Attackers:

    July 4, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • J

      Not in this age, India has nukes. All it needs is 1 nukes. That's enough of a deterrence.

      July 4, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Truth

    It's funny how "religions" hate on other "religions" // or when you don't have much in your own pockets, but you bad mouth those who do. You can read all the books, convert, live with the people, but you still won't have the same feeling as a pure devotee as any religion. be happy for where you were born, instead of criticizing things your shameless eyes will never see nor touch. i pity all of you.

    July 4, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ajmal KHAN

    Before Colonalism India was worlds Richest Country.
    The British Crippled the Nation.

    July 4, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • George Patton

      Quite true Ajmal, quite true. Nothing can be closer to the truth!!!

      July 4, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • American

      Now they repay westerners by selling $11 dollar/lb bags of coffee at Dunkin Doughnuts, and skimping you at Quiznos.. Is this the quiet resistance Gandhi spoke of? I think it is.. Good thing I don't frequent either establishment.

      July 4, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • American

      Now they repay westerners by selling $11 dollar/lb bags of coffee at Dunkin Doughnuts, and skimping you at Quiznos.. Is this the quiet resistance Gandhi spoke of? I think it is.. Good thing I don't frequent either establishment. It also seems India is quite fond of slavery according to CNN.. So much for you're theory about Indians being more civilized than the british.

      July 4, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      @American: A better way to make a living than bombing other countries and killing innocent women and children like the US, wouldn't you agree?

      July 5, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Stone Children Not Adulterous Wives

      @Matt: You've seen the movie Gandhi and now you think every Indian is some amazing human being. The men are atrocious to their women, and they still have honor killings. I agree we should butt out of world affairs, however let's not pretend that other countries would not be bombing us if they could successfully and get away with it. CNN just posted a story about slavery there is still going on, so at least it's a practice America has abandoned along with Great Britain. I'm disgusted by this entire planet actually, and they way people treat each other here. You'd probably rather settle conflicts with VA ginal combat where unsuspecting people are caught in the crossfire as disgusting people play weeniee fights inside a woman? Sounds right up your alley. Matt..

      July 5, 2011 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Not British. Jewish


      July 5, 2011 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
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