$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. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I did NOT write that 1:20 post, or any later ones until this.
    Now I'll go back and see what my troll has done.

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

    Did you believe me when I wrote you an e-mail telling you about this treasure? You deemed it a Nigerian scam, now you see it is very true, we could have both been very rich 🙂

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

    It;s mine I tell you !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 4, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ted Nugent Our Redeemer

    I can't beleive Joey Chestnut ate all those dogs!!!

    July 4, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Rani

    All the treasure is going to be eaten by Inidan Politicians .. Thats so called " INDIA"
    its not gona go for anything good

    July 4, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bk

      Thank you for your good wishes.

      July 5, 2011 at 6:05 am | Report abuse |
  6. RayJacksonMS

    Too bad no court can order the Vatican to do the same. I would love to know how many billions or trillions they are hoarding while begging for money at the same time.

    July 4, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. kb

    now that they told the whole world about it, its going to be a lot more difficult to protect. that place doesn't exactly look like fort knox. 6 billion has to be a very tempting target from the local person, to criminal groups abroad.

    July 4, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. 032286rh

    Does this mean the U.S. doesn't have to give them any taxpayers money this year ?

    July 4, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Ultimate Avenger

      You're confusing India for Pakistan. India does not have to beg from the US.

      July 4, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pintu

      India does not and never has depended on the US for money.You guys were busy paying Pakistan build their army against India.

      July 4, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • 032286rh

      I guess the 94 billion dollars the U.S. gave India in 2006 doesn't count...U.S. Treasury web-site..

      July 4, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • 032286rh

      94 billion dollars to India in 2006, Oh that doesn't count...

      July 4, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sandy

      They can sustain many countries like US for many yrs to come ,as they said was a golden bird ,this is a great example again and was always robbed by others. Good luck taxpayers save for your own rattling economy.

      July 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • 032286rh

      my mistake it was 94 million.....
      In 2006 the US Govt amounts were (in millions):

      Israel 2520
      Egypt 1795
      Columbia 558
      Jordan 461
      Pakistan 698
      Peru 133
      Indonesia 158
      Kenya 213
      Bolivia 122
      Ukraine 115
      India 94
      Haiti 163
      Russia 52
      Ethiopia 145
      West Bank/Gaza 150
      Liberia 89
      Bnagladesh 49
      Bosnia 51

      July 4, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • K

      @032286rh. 2006 statistics. Do you know how much the world has changed since 2006?!?!

      July 4, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bk

      US aid supports and buys from favored US companies. Seen the packaged food dropped in Afghanistan or the grain sent to Korea? The former US Ambassdor to Korea actually noted this.

      July 5, 2011 at 6:09 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jules43

    What a beautiful building! I was wondering why I haven't heard of it, until I saw the name: "The Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram."

    July 4, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. flyguy

    Wow, they admit that they don't know how to guard it. Who's down to go take it??

    July 4, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jules43

      "Ocean's 15"

      July 4, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Andrew


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

    They are still counting the total value but last I checked they already reached 1 trillion Indian Rupees = 24 billion US dollars.
    No tonly have they not finished counting, they haven't even opened all the vaults yet, as some are sealed. The total may exceed even the 24 billion USD.

    July 4, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Izzy Roush

    Ok Delta Force Lets Go !

    July 4, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Church of Ted Nugent Light of God

    When I hear of what Joey Chestnut has done, I am as if annihilated.

    July 4, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ Anthony:
    Many thanks to you for bringing up Thor, a god whom I find much more interesting than all of this nonsense we hear about God and Allah these days.
    BTW, Wotan is my Fav.
    "The old gods are best!"

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