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article imageTreasure worth $500m found in 16th century Indian temple

By Kev Hedges     Jul 2, 2011 in World
Treasure, said to be worth 25 billion rupees, has been found in a secret underground chamber beneath the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in the Indian state of Kerala.
The hoard, which includes gold, silver and precious stones, had been interned within the secret vaults for over 150 years. It was originally hoarded there by the Maharajahs of Travancore. A full inventory is taking place and the treasure will be properly valued once complete. So far the inventory has taken more than four days and some historians say the true value may never be confirmed.
The temple is one of the most famous of the Lord Vishnu Temples in Kerala, South India. Lord Vishnu is enshrined here in an eternal sleep of yognidra posture. Local folklore tells of Travancore kings sealing immense treasures and riches within the thick stone walls and vaults of the temple.
Since India was granted independence from Britain in 1947, the temple has been run by a trust which includes descendants of the Travancore royal family.
The Supreme Court of India had appointed a seven-strong team to assess the value of the treasures said to be located within two vaults that had not been opened since the 1860s. Security of the temple has now been handed over to the police, reports the BBC.
So far some of the treasures unearthed include 18th century gold chains, diamonds, silver and precious stones. There are four chambers to be opened and so far only two have been searched. The remaining two sealed chambers could yet yield further treasures over the next few days.
More about Treasure, Indian temple, India, Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple
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