|Update: TP Sundara Rajan, the person who originally petitioned for the vaults to be opened, died the other day at teh age of 70. This was mainly missed at the time due to the Mumbai bombings… more here.|
UPDATE 22nd Sep 2011 – The sixth vault will remain closed until the treasures from the first are properly recorded. I am sure there will (hopefully) be some pictures of what has been found so far. Info here.
Located in the south of India in Kerala, Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple is an impressive sight (would that be a sight of a site?). A recent discovery has revealed four chambers containing a loosely estimated fortune of some $500m of jewels, gold, and many other ancient treasures. So much treasure that it is easier to weigh it than count it. The discovery is causing a few disputes with regard to the ownership and responsibility for the treasure. The existing maharajah on the one side, and the government/museums/the people on the other. The BBC article is here.
The temple is a pretty impressive and beautiful place. There are several Flickr photo-sets… here as well as Google information here. (NB: This link may not always work due to OS differences but I am sure you can easily search for it if it does not). You may also want to look on FullWiki here as it includes a little background information.
A You Tube video… here.
There is an interesting blog posting here by Vakkomsen (and some other perspectives to Kerala etc)… somehow, I do not think the pictures are actually of the treasure 🙂 It WILL be fascinating to see exactly what has been found. Two chambers opened (but dangerous to enter due to the length of time they have been sealed and the lack of oxygen as a result…
When I read the article it triggered of a whole host of questions and truly revealed a certain ignorance with regard to the (apparently) significant number of gods etc revered in Indian culture. e.g. Lord Vishnu There are many more. One of the best films I have seen regarding this is “Sita Sings The Blues“.
You can watch the full movie on-line but do the lady who created it a favour by ordering a copy. She put a lot of hard work into it and had a huge battle with regard to the music she used over copyright issues – entertaining, good music, funny, and informative, it is the animated interpretation of the Indian epic Ramayana with the music backing it being the 1930’s jazz vocalist Annette Hanshaw. While this may seem an odd juxtaposition, it really works well… I think the copyright owners were stupid to deny her the use of the music (artistic licence?) but eventually came around. As a result, the sales of both the movie and the music have soared. The Sita web site is here. The creator’s blog site is here.