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Temple riches replaced with lookalikes

india Updated: Sep 05, 2011 01:29 IST
Ramesh Babu

Many of the treasures of Sri Padmanabha Swamy temple are missing and some of them have been replaced with copper and bronze lookalikes, a commission appointed by a Thiruvananthapuram sessions court has found.

The temple attracted national attention recently after wealth believed to be worth Rs 1 lakh crore was recovered from its vaults during an inventory ordered by the Supreme Court.

Thereafter, deva prasnam - a ritual to know the will of the presiding deity - was held, according to which the deity was unhappy with present developments. Last week, the apex court had pulled up the royal family for conducting the ritual.

The commission of the Thiruvananthapuram court had met with opposition from the Travancore royal family, the custodian of the temple, when it proposed an inventory.

Later, it found serious discrepancies and its report, submitted to the court in December 2008, paved the way for the current spate of litigations. The report was leaked to the media on Sunday. According to it, the court had directed the commission to check the utensils used for the Alpasi Utsvam festival.

Of the six vaults containing the wealth, two are opened for daily rituals and two during festivals. The commission had opened the latter two and found one of the two silver bells used during Alpasi Utsvam was missing.

"In item no 4, thanka kuda, a golden umbrella with tassels made of gold and green stones, were found broken.

Asked about the missing ornaments, the temple officials pleaded ignorance.