A Supreme Court-appointed special committee on Monday started examining the secret chambers of the Sri Padmanabha Swami Temple, which are believed to store precious treasures of the erstwhile rulers of Travancore princely state.
The apex court, considering a petition, had ordered opening of the chambers to prepare an inventory. The inventory will be kept confidential and handed over to the Kerala high court after the seven-member committee’s three-day examination.
The temple, in the heart of the capital, has six underground chambers near its sanctum sanctorum.
Traditionally, two of these were opened daily and two others twice a year.
However, the remaining chambers, with granite wall and massive wooden doors, were last opened 136 years ago. These two chambers are rumoured to hold precious stones, diamonds, vessels and gold.
The rulers of the princely state reportedly transferred the wealth, meant for use during famines, to these chambers to protect them from the British.
A trust floated by the Travancore royal family runs the temple.
Lawyer TP Sunderajan had moved the court seeking greater transparency and accountability in the temple’s management.