Arch. Myriam B. Mahiques Curriculum Vitae

Monday, July 4, 2011

A treasure hidden below the Padmanabhaswamy temple

Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple. From

¨Round-the-clock police patrolling around the famous Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram was put in place on Monday as the stock-taking of priceless assets, hidden in the shrine’s cellars, by a Supreme Court-appointed panel resumed after a day's break.
The patrolling, monitored by an exclusive control room set up at the Fort police station, was enforced based on the decision taken by a high-level meeting convened by chief minister Oommen Chandy on Sunday.(...)The cellars of the shrine, managed by a trust controlled by the erstwhile Travancore royal family, has revealed invaluable wealth running into thousands of crores since the inventory got underway last week.
According to temple sources, the panel today made the list of articles in a chamber, which is frequently opened for using its jewellery, lamps and silver and brass platters for temple rituals.
A decision on searching one remaining chamber, which is seldom opened, was deferred as it required technical expertise and support to avoid damage to the structure. A decision on this was expected to be taken on Friday, the sources said.
Since the exercise started, five cellars had been examined and the list of articles found from them would be submitted to the apex court by the seven-member panel, which included two former high court judges.
A stunning range of gold ornaments, idols inlaid with precious stones, jewels, heaps of solid gold coins and silver and gold platters and lamps have been discovered from the cellars so far.¨

Padmanabhaswamy temple. Photo by Rainer Haessner

Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, maintained by the erstwhile Travancore Royal Family, and located within the East Fort in the city of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala state, South India. The temple is one of 108 Divya Desams (Holy Abodes of Vishnu) principal centres of worship of the deity in Vaishnavism. The temple, constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture is referenced in the early medieval writings of the Tamil Alvar saints (6th-9th centuries CE), with structural additions to it made throughout the medieval period up to the 16th century CE.
The history of the temple dates back to the 8th Century. It is referenced in the Divya Prabandha canon of literature by the Tamil Alvar poets.
The foundation of the present gopuram was laid in 1566.The temple has a 100-foot,seven-tier gopuram. The temple stands by the side of a tank, named Padma Theertham (meaning the lotus spring). The temple has a corridor with 365 and one-quarter sculptured granite-stone pillars with elaborate carvings. This corridor extends from the eastern side into the sanctum sanctorum. An eighty-foot flag-staff stands in front of the main entry from the 'prakaram' (corridor). The ground floor under the gopuram (main entrance in the eastern side) is known as the 'Nataka Sala' where the famous temple art Kathakali was staged in the night during the ten-day uthsavam (festival) conducted twice a year, during the Malayalam months of Meenam and Thulam.
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