Picture this; an ancient Indian temple with walls rumored to be made of gold. Beneath this temple, deep in the underground, six hidden vaults, all with priceless treasures worth billions and billions of dollars, accumulated over centuries.
Five of these vaults have been opened, and their treasures recovered. But one of the vaults Vault B, which is suspected of having the largest of the treasures, remains locked, not to be dared opened, or else a great curse will befall India and possibly the entire world.
Sounds like something straight out of a fantasy book, right? You will be surprised that this is the reality in the Padmanabhaswamy temple in the Kerala state of India.
But let us start at the beginning, shall we?
The History of the Padmanabhaswamy Temple
Considered one of the wealthiest temples in the world, the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple is located in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of the Indian state of Kerala, and it is one of the 108 centres of Vaishnavism (worship of Vishnu).
The principal deity of the temple is Sri Padmanabhaswamy (an avatar of Lord Vishnu), enshrined in a reclining posture towards Adi Shesha, the king of all serpents. The right hand of Padmanabha is on Shiva lingam to symbolize the generative power of the god Shiva. On His sides, there are two goddesses, Sridevi, Goddess of Prosperity, and Bhudevi, Goddess of Earth.
The temple, built in the Chera and Dravidian architecture style, can be dated back to the 6th century. Over the centuries, the temple has been guarded by the Travancore Royal Family, which renovated it in the 16th century. The Travancore family are said to be descendants of Saint Kulashekhara Alwar, and they have been secretly guarding and managing the temple treasures over the past centuries.
However, in 2011, when the hidden treasures were discovered, the Supreme Court of India removed the Travancore family from leading and managing the temple.
The Padmanabhaswamy Hidden Temple Treasures, and the Mysterious Vaults that holds them
The Padmanabhaswamy temple, also commonly referred to as the “Golden Temple” has always been shrouded in mystery. It is one of the oldest temples in India, ancient texts are suggesting that it’s made almost out of gold and its architecture is a mysterious and fascinating site to gaze at.
But none of these mysteries could beat the biggest mystery yet: that there is priceless treasures- gold coins, gold necklaces, lockets, silver rings, hordes of golden bows, arrows, gold thrones,(you mention it) hidden underneath the temple, stored away in six secret vaults.
And, this treasure, which might be worth trillions of dollar, has been underneath the temple for centuries and centuries, without anyone but a few individuals knowing about it. Mind-blowing. But the question to ask is, what is the source of all these treasures? Where did it come from?
The source of the Hidden Treasures
Like any other temple, most of the wealth in the temple is believed to be donated to the Deity and then stored in the temple by several Dynasties. Because the Padmanabhaswamy temple is centuries old, the valuables have accumulated over thousands of years, hence the reason for the unimaginable hordes of treasures. But that is not the only source of wealth. The temple was also used by several royal families to safely store away their wealth during invasions.
To keep the wealth secure, the treasures were hidden away in six sealed underground vaults, labeled A-F. Many scholars have suspected the existence of the vaults over the years, but it was only after the temple was finally explored in 2011 following a court order, that the existence of the vaults and the treasures in them confirmed.
The Mystery of Vault B
In 2011, the Supreme court heard a private petition seeking transparency in the running of the temple and ruled in favor of the petitioner. Subsequently, the court ordered that the six vaults be opened.
Vault A was opened, with much effort, and the treasure recovered from it was estimated to be roughly worth 2 lakh crore. Vaults C, D, E, and F, had been opened several times before by the temple priests for religious purposes, and their contents, although still valuable, were not much of a mystery.
The real mystery began with the opening of Vault B, which was heavily locked by three doors, a metal-grille door, a heavy wooden door, and an iron door. They opened the first two doors successfully, but when it came to the third door, they found it jammed shut with no way of opening it.
They then decided to hire a locksmith to open it, but before the locksmith arrived, the Travancore family got an injunction in the court against the opening of Vault B. According to the family, opening Vault B would not only be dishonoring to the Deity, but it could also lead to a widespread curse over India and possibly the entire world.
To support their claim, the doors of Vault B are all adorned with mysterious and ferocious images of cobras, believed to be guarding the treasure. Also, the impenetrable third door is believed to have a mystical curse over it, one which prevents it from being opened through earthly means. If anyone tries to open the door forcefully, a series of misfortunes and catastrophes will befall him.
Because of this, Vault B remains locked till today, with few knowing what lies beyond the doors. However, rumors have it that the treasures in the vault are almost equal, or perhaps even more than that of Vault A.