$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. txkboy

    Indiana Jones should be the Curator and Guardian.

    July 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • ne

      There's more to the story of how those treasured ended up beneath the Sri Padmanabhaswany temple. Those treasures are part of history of Kerala and all malayalees. They do not just have religious significance. You should read & learn about that before you blame how religions are a scam. Educate yourself about the topic before writing foolish comments down.

      July 4, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • ne

      i did not mean that for to be a reply to txkboy. I was trying to post a comment to other people.

      July 4, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Roman

    that's mine

    July 4, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. USminority

    What more proof do u need that religion is a con?

    July 4, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • grey

      Religion is not a con. I know because my imaginary leader is better than your imaginary leader. That's how I know its not a con. But your's is.

      July 4, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. LouAZ

    See, just what we have been telling you. Anything that has to do with god or gods is all about money. Think how much is in the vatican basement !

    July 4, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • joey chestnut

      they should make gold replicas of hot dogs

      July 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jeff Young

    Finally, they found my families long lost Jewels, I request an immediate return of my property!!

    July 4, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff Young

      You have my name!

      July 4, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. david

    keep the white folks away from it...the brit's have looted enough...

    July 4, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ihatewalmart

    Another way for YOU the sucker or suckers who go to church while the church steals all your money. Your donations have been burried for over 100 years. LOL suckers

    July 4, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  8. tim

    @Ruffnutt. Is that anything like mindless liberals posting their nonsense on here? Just wondering!

    July 4, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Camille

    I called every lost 'n' found in India looking for my precious gem and rare metals and antiquities collection! So glad you guys found it! I'll be right over!

    July 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ihatewalmart

    So does america have to support india now that the 11 billion has been found? America has been donating 100 million a year to help support poverty in india! IF and WHEN America goes bankrupt will india help out America? Or will the Americans go into india and steal it like they do in poverty countries for oil????? Support this question please.... Thank You.

    July 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • girlblues

      US has not been supporting India. In fact, if you research, you will notice that India is one of the countries that does not owe any money to any country. US has long taken side of Pakistan and to whom it gives away billions of dollars in aid.

      July 4, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike G

      "So does america have to support india now that the 11 billion has been found? America has been donating 100 million a year to help support poverty in india! IF and WHEN America goes bankrupt will india help out America?"

      Research your stuff before spouting out nonsense. India has not accepted any foreign aid in the recent past. Infact, they even refused all foriegn aid/help during the 2004 tsunami. They would not even let foreign ships or aircrafts in Indian soil with relief supplies into their country.

      Now...Pakistan on the other hand has been a regular recipient of US taxpayer handout. They have been supplying them with foreign aid, weapons etc. During the last major Indo-Pakistani war, president Nixon even rolled out USS Enterprise to aid the Pakistanis. And now America cries about Islamic fundamentalism and errorism....duh! The monster they partly help create!!

      India does not owe a damn thing to America.

      July 4, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. 2bits

    One report says $20 billion, another says $16 billion, and now this one says $11 billion.

    Make up your stupid mind news reporters.

    July 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • USminority

      That's how it is with this sort of stuff. You can't put a price on a "rope made of gold" so the estimates fluctuate. Things they found that are easier to count are "a sack full of diamonds," "1,000 kg of gold coins, some of these from the East India Company." PLUS a secret vault as of yet unopened! It's already many times above the country's national debt lol

      July 4, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. michael

    so weird that no one even thinks. "oh lets feed hungry people and develop water etc. "

    July 4, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • joey chestnut

      that could buy lots all beef nathan's famous hot dogs for hungry children

      July 4, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • girlblues

      aptly put

      July 4, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mary

    This is just stupid. They should have never made the vault contents publicly known. It will be impossible to guard these vaults from robbers.

    July 4, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • LouAZ

      What is the difference between a "robber" and at least 30+ Million humans who are slowly starving in that country ?

      July 4, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. tim

    @candice: india is a hindu religion, they believe it is wrong to help someone in need because they are either paying for something they did in a former life or they need to experience what ever they're going through to in order to reach enlightenment and a higher level of existence, so no in their mind it can't be used to help people in need it is wrong to help someone in need.

    July 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • girlblues

      @tim....incorrect....check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinduism for a basic meaning of what it means.....Karma is only a part of life....and the religion advocates helping others...This is one religion where a guest is equated to God and treated with utmost respect

      July 4, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • girlblues

      Also...if you check major temples in India, example, the tirupati temple, it supports more than 50,000 other small/minor temples based on only its donations...These monies are used to feed the poor on a daily basis

      July 4, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bk

      Haven't u ever eaten a free meal at a Hindu temple? At your local Hare Krishna for example, which is only following Hindu tradition? Oh when, oh when, will you stop understanding Hinduism by reading missionary tracts and evangelical blogs! Both are deliberately misleading!

      July 5, 2011 at 6:04 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jesus Christ Our Savior


    July 4, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • LouAZ

      So, your god has more money than this god ? Isn't that nice – for you.

      July 4, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
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