The Padmanabhaswamy temple, the world’s Richest Oldest Hindu Temple, is located in Thiruvananthapuram, the state capital of Kerala in India. Also, the Padmanabhaswamy temple is one of the most sacred Vaishnavism Temple in India among 108 temples. That was built in the 8th century and further reconstructed by Maharaja Marthanda Varma in the 18th century.
The reference of this Padmanbhaswamy temple also found in the old Hindu Puranas and Texts like the Brahma Purana, Matsya Purana, Varaha Purana, Skanda Purana, Padma Purana, Vayu Purana, and Bhagavata Purana and reflect that this temple is 500 years old, Which makes it even more unique. Thousands of people come to visit this temple every day.
The History of this Temple:
This temple is the best example of the Dravidian style of architecture and Chera style, popular in South India. Many dynasties like the Cheras, Pandyas, Travancore Royal family, Kolathiris, The Pallavas, The Cholas, and many other kings of South India ruled this place. Also, who used to trade with Mesopotamia, Jerusalem, Greece, Rome, Europe, and other countries, protected these temples in his Kingdom Period and preserve their treasure and all his wealth in this temple.
This Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu who is found in the Anantha Shayana posture ( reclined posture of eternal yoga).
According to historical records, who reconstruct this temple, was a very great devotee to Lord Vishnu. Therefore, he hid all his treasure and wealth to save from encroachments and intrusion.
This temple also has a clock “Methan Mnai” which stands next to the shrine. This clock has been installed in the 1840s century during the reign of Maharaja Swati Thirunal Rama Verma. This represents the portrait of the Tipu sultan and 2 goats showing commemorative success repulsion of the Invasion of Tipu Sultan by Travancore. Because Tipu Sultan tried to intrude in South India but Maharaja Swati Thirunal Rama Verma’s army defeated him and this clock memorizes the victory over Tipu Sultan.
Secret Vault of this Padmanabhaswamy temple:
When the doors and vaults were opened of Padmnabh Swamy gradually then the government found the uncountable treasures from it. Also, there is an idol of Lord Vishnu situated inside the temple. But no Washing and Abhishekam is allowed for that but a replicated Idol is installed for worship or Abhishekam purposes.
The Gold statue of Lord Vishnu also founded in this temple and much Gold jewelry, which is so much heavier in weight. A total of 1 lakh crore worth of treasure is found from this temple that was cost on the basis of the present gold rate. But if we add the historical value in it then it may on the uncountable number. After the vaults have been opened then this temple becomes the world’s richest temple.
The architecture of this Temple:
The architectural beauty of this temple is surprising as every carving of this structure represents the ancient art of Dravidian style and explores their culture.
This temple has marvelous and fantastic architectural work on its wall, which is known as Aayiramkaal mandapam and Sapthaswara mandapam. This Temple has six Vault which has been numbered A, B, C, D, E, and F, situated perfectly in the womb of the Temple, and upper side Lord Vishnu Statue is placed.
However, vaults C and F of this temple have been opened from time to time. And vault A was opened in 2011 when the supreme court of India passed the judgment, but the rest of its vaults have not been opened for 150 years.
Vault B of Padmanabhaswamy temple:
This Vault is considered as the most secret vault of this temple. However, some believe that vault B may have a lot of treasure more than the A and C vault. So, the Kerala High court ordered to open the temple’s vault B. Then the researcher’s team was sent to open this vault. But when they opened the door of Vault B then they found that it is further covered by an inside iron door that has no locking and unlocking system.
And, a snake-type structure was carved on that door. Actually, Vault B is closed with Naga Bandham and Naga Pasam. It is said that the door of such a vault can be opened by Mantra of extricating naga Bandham by chanting a garuda mantra.
Also, it is believed that Kings of that time used to have some magic on their treasure to preserve it from intruders. Whenever Vault B tries to open then catastrophe happens in that Kerala region. An advocate, who gave permission to open the vault B of this temple, died mysteriously and Kerala was flooded in that year.
So the plan has been dropped to open vault B of this time because of the people of Kerala are also against opening the door of the temple.
The conflict between the Government and the Royal Family of Travancore:
This is believed that treasure is collected by the Travancore royal family in the temple, so it belongs to them. During the independence of India, the Travancore family was entrusted with the authority to preserve the temple in 1949 under the Travancore Kochi Religious Institution Act of 1951. Later in 1971, the privy purses have been abolished by the Indian government for the royal family. And every royal family right has been abolished by the government.
In 1991, The last Maharaja of the Travancore royal family Srichitra Thirunal Balarama Varma died. After that, his brother Marthanda Varma took over the temple management ownership.
When this temple comes in limelight then due to its treasure. Kerala High court dismissed the royal family’s authority to manage this shrine in 2011. Because many Ornaments and valuable reportedly a whopping 1 lakh crore recovered from its secrets cellars. However, it raised the question that who will have ownership over the treasure.
Afterward, the Supreme court of India dismissed Kerala’s High Court judgment and pass she bait right to Travancore Royal Family mentioning:
1. An Administrative committee headed by a district judge of Thiruvananthpuram for the daily management of the temple.
2. An Advisory committee headed by a former High court Judge.
These committees will decide to unlock vault B in the future as well as they will manage the treasure collected by other Vaults.
Also visit – Top 10 Richest Temple of India.