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22 billion dollars of treasure found in an Indian temple. But who does it belong to?

Gold coins, statues of diamond-encrusted gods and goddesses, and precious stones have been uncovered in a temple in Trivandrum, India. Metal detectors are being set up at the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in the province of Kerala while the search continues in six vaults.

The treasure was never a secret, according to The Christian Science Monitor. The vaults have been locked up for around 150 years, and the loot has always been public record. The accumulation of treasure happened over hundreds of years, mostly donated by temple devotees.

The temple has been under the custodianship of descendents of the royal family of Travancore, “the former princely state of the region.” They consider themselves to be servants of the temple’s deity, Padmanabhaswamy, an incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu in eternal sleep.

Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple. Photo: シャハラ - Shahoo

If you’re not yet thinking about Indiana Jones or The Mummy, check this out: while searchers have been able to access five of the vaults, the sixth remains sealed. They were able to open it up but an iron wall stands in their way.

Furthermore, the door has a snake on it and an inscription states that opening it “might be a bad omen.” Special locks were also found on the sixth vault, which experts are now examining and expecting to open by Friday. With the findings, debate over who has claim on the treasure rages on. I’m curious to see how this is handled, with the former royal family, the state, and museums all claiming interests in it.

It’s believed that $22 billion is a conservative estimate.



About The Author

Carlo Alcos

Carlo is the Dean of Education at MatadorU and a Managing Editor at Matador. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter. He lives in Nelson, British Columbia.

  • shutterfeet

    Wow! And we are a country steeped in poverty!

    • Kmjoshy

      This is only one among the many temples in India.What about Sabarimala,Guruvayoor,Madhurai,Palani,Thirumala etc…?

  • Candice Walsh

    The lead photo just kills me. 

  • King Cobra

    INDIA is always THE RICHEST but because of the F****ing POLITICIANS WHO LOOTS ALL THE MONEY in the name of scams and now even TREASURES but still INDIA is rated THE POOREST, still developing, under poverty, much more…I guess INDIA’s PM & all states CM will divide the money… At last SWAHA!!!!

  • Ian MacKenzie

    Ha, great photo.

  • Akhilesh Bhat

    I don’t know the reason why everybody is claiming that they should be allowed to keep the treasure. The treasure was guarded by the temple which is looked after the royal family . They never used it for their personal use. Then why these bloody politicians want the treasure to be handed over to the government? 
    BTW these were really secret vaults otherwise you could see it in England !!

  • Sampson Mallory

    hahaa pathetic. Country doesn’t have proper sewage yet they got billions in bullshit.

  • Sreekanth Menon

    Glad that the British thieves couldn’t steal it.

    • Sampson Mallory

      Ironic coming from a shithead who is to above living in the country he came from.

    • Sreekanth Menon

      The sun did set for the British empire. LMFAO. Wait a minute, I was not talking about the fucking tabloid.

  • Dvp Chev Chellios Kotun


  • Franklin Gondek

    proper sewage doesn’t mean anything if you can’t stop people from shitting whereever they please

  • Franklin Gondek

    but, to be fair. indian food makes you poop hella

  • John Brooks

    In India they just call it food

  • Nikhil Nair

    HAHAHAHA your a dumbass, before the British invasion, the kingdoms in the area were very rich, especially in Kerala as you see here. These kings stored there money in temples as they though it was in investment for god

  • Dragostin Hristov

    Before falling under english rule, India was the most advanced and powerful country in the world. So shut yo mouth

  • Nikhil Nair

    I completely agree, india atm is a shithole, but seriously, have a little more respect and research some more before saying bullshit

  • Sampson Mallory

    haha you are a fucking joke to act like I have no clue from the sentence I wrote. Everything I said in my sentence hold validity 100%. See the difference between me and you is I went to a Pac 12 college and actually studied foreign history. You must have studied something far more sinister if you can tell my thoughts and education from once sentence that was used in a form of a statement. What do I need more research on smart guy? I highly doubt you comment back because at this point I am sure your small pea size electronica pop music infused brain much won’t help you.

    BTW talking about hundreds of years ago has nothing to do with the present day situations. I would suggest before getting into an argument with someone who has vast experience at it, you might learn how to base your defense and your offense in the argument.

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