Thiruvananthapuram: Gopal Subramaniam, the Supreme Court-appointed amicus curiae in the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple case, has said that the dialogue with the Travancore Royal Family in relation to the opening of chamber B of the temple had begun.
Subramaniam, who arrived in Trivandrum on Tuesday, met with the representatives of the family the same day.
“The members of the Travancore Royal Family are also in a dilemma. They will take up the matter with tantris (priests) of the temple. There are some preliminary thoughts which we have exchanged. They have to consult the tantri and take their view into account. I would say it is a think tank at the moment. We are very hopeful of a very positive solution," he said.
The executive committee and representatives of the royal family met and inspected the main deity which had reportedly developed some cracks.
Post the inspection, Subramaniam said that there was no major problem, but the diety required a negligible amount of maintenance.
“There is no damage in that sense to the idol. Sree Padmanabhaswamy is absolutely safe. Yes, repairs have to be undertaken and we have made that commitment," he said.
The Travancore royal family has objected to the opening of the Chamber B, saying tantris had advised against doing it. "It is against god's will," the family said, adding that the members had no problem if the tantris agree to open it.
There are a total of 6 underground chambers at the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple -- A to F.
The ‘E’ and ‘F’ chambers are opened frequently as they hold the ritual utensils. ‘C’ and ‘D’ contain gold, silver and other precious jewellery that are used during special occasions. The most exotic treasures are said to be in ‘A’ and ‘B’, both of which are said to be almost under the sanctum sanctorum. It is said that ‘A’ chamber alone holds treasure worth Rs 2 lakh crore.
An official attempt was made to enter Vault B in 2012. The examiners removed an iron grille, the first line of defence. Then, after an antechamber, there was a window secured by three locks. They removed two locks but were unable to open the third.
In June 2011, the Supreme Court directed archaeology department and fire services to open the secret chambers for the inspection of the items inside. It was while making the inventory that the huge wealth of the temple came to the public domain. Though people were aware of the wealth of the temple, the extent of it came to be known when the chambers were opened for inventory.
Some of the items include a three-and-a-half feet tall pure golden idol of Mahavishnu, studded with hundreds of diamonds and rubies and other precious stones, 18- feet long pure gold chain, a gold sheaf weighing 500 kilos, a 36-kilo golden veil, 1200 'Sarappalli' gold coin-chains that are encrusted with precious stones, and several sacks filled with golden artifacts, necklaces, diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds.