Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple: The inside story – Choodie Shivaram

Choodie ShivaramIf this sort of takeover attempt were aimed at a religious center of any other religion, one can easily imagine the worldwide expression of outrage that would ensue. A 2003 attempt by the Kerala government to merely inventory the wealth of the state’s Christian churches was canceled after a storm of protests from church officials.” – Choodie Shivaram

Padmanabhaswamy Temple GopuramIn July 2011, the Sree Anantha Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, captured world headlines when vast wealth was discovered in its vaults, catapulting it to the position of the world’s richest temple. The wealth came to light as a result of on-going litigation concerning control of the ancient temple. The Supreme Court of India ordered an inventory of the temple’s six sacred vaults. Four of the vaults, which are opened regularly, contained no surprises. The remaining two, denoted A and B by the court and said to be unopened for centuries, caused great excitement.

A media frenzy ensued after vault A was opened in the presence of a committee appointed by the court. Heaps of gold coins, hundreds of big gold chains, crowns, Deities and other precious valuables of antiquity lay buried under broken dusty cabinets. News of the “treasure” dominated TV screens and newspapers. In no time, fake photos circulated on the Internet. Rumored figures of the value of the wealth neared 38 billion dollars. The flow of misinformation, so-called expert analysis and suggestions for use of this wealth have continued since. The Supreme Court explicitly rejected all hypothetical estimates valuing the find: “What is appearing in the newspapers is just surmises and conjectures.”

The temple, located at Kerala’s southern end, is a trust managed and administrated by the erstwhile royal family of Travancore, the former princely state of the area. The temple Deity, Lord Vishnu, is represented by Sri Padmanabha reclining on the serpent Anantha. The unusual, 18-foot-long murti is made of 12,000 shaligram stones brought from the Gandaki river in Nepal.

Indian law allows a State government to seize control of a religious institution that is being mismanaged. As a result, for example, nearly all the temples in Tamil Nadu–including the incomparable Chidambaram Temple–are now under state control. [Hinduism Today, which has followed this issue since the 1980s, has never discovered a case where the law was used to seize an institution of any other religion.]

T.P. SundararajanHistory of the Case

In 2007, T. P. Sundara Rajan and Sri Padmanabhan brought a case claiming mismanagement and misappropriation of the temple assets. On January 31, 2011, Kerala’s High Court ordered that control of the temple pass to the State. The royal family appealed to India’s Supreme Court, which responded by ordering an inventory of the temple’s assets.

After opening vault A on June 28 and inspecting its riches, the committee observed a snake insignia on the door of vault B–a warning that opening it is prohibited by divine sanction. Many fear that opening the vault could lead to calamity for the city and personal harm to the royal family. This omen gained credence even among skeptics when one original petitioner, T. P. Sundara Rajan, died just days after the opening of vault A. His untimely demise led to comparisons with the supposed curse upon those who, in 1922, opened the tomb of the Egyptian King Tutankhamun–which was also guarded by the image of a snake. Sundara Rajan’s death, interpreted as divine retribution, caused considerable alarm in the city.

Before the court’s judgment regarding the opening vault B, several respected astrologers sought to divine the will of the Deity by conducting a ceremony called Ashtamangala Devaprasnam at the request of the royal family. They reported that the contents of vault A had been defiled by the investigation and that opening Vault B would incur the Deity’s displeasure. Initial attempts to open Vault B in July failed and, to date, no further attempt has been made.

My First-Hand Report

In September, I requested assignment from Hinduism Today to go to Kerala and explore the situation. I found the topic on everyone’s mind in Trivandrum. Many sided with the royal family, who are held in the highest regard here. Some told me that Sundara Rajan’s case had been vindictive in nature, that he was unhappy with his treatment by temple officers and sought revenge on the Maharaja, Uthradom Tirunal Marthanda Varma. The second petitioner, Padmanabhan, is a temple worker who was suspended for alleged misconduct.

I learned how deep feelings are running there when I asked my taxi driver if he thought the Maharaja was stealing the temple’s wealth, as accused. He stopped short in the busy road, angrily slapped his head and let out a stream of Malayalam curses against those questioning the Maharaja’s honesty. I took that as a “No.”

Sree Anantha PadmanabhaswamyStaking Claim to the Treasure

When the Supreme Court ordered the opening of the six vaults on June 18, 2011, they appointed a seven-member expert committee headed by C. V. Ananda Bose, the director general of National Museums. The committee included representatives of the Archeological Survey of India (ASI), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), retired judges of the Kerala High Court, the Maharaja and Jaya Kumar, the high-ranking Additional Chief Secretary of Kerala’s state government.

The reports of vault A’s contents generated an avalanche of suggestions on what do with the wealth–even though the Chief Minister of Kerala, Oommen Chandy, stated, “No part of the wealth belongs to any person except the Deity, Lord Padmanabhaswamy.”

Under Indian law, the Deity of a temple is a “juristic person,” and all of the temple properties and wealth are held in the Deity’s name. This principle was honored even under British rule. (Recently London courts reaffirmed the principle in the case of a 12th-century Nataraja murti that had been stolen from the ancient Pathur Temple in Tamil Nadu. Police confiscated the Deity from the British Museum in 1982, and it was eventually returned to India.)

At stake in the Padmanabha Temple case is not the right to own the wealth, but the control of it, and of the temple itself, both of which are now under the royal family’s oversight. Several such government takeovers (such as that of the Tiruvattar Kesava Perumal temple in Tamil Nadu) have been followed by systematic looting of the temple’s wealth by persons in connivance with the priests. Tiruvattar, which belonged to the same royal family, was known to be richer than Padmanabhaswamy Temple. In the 1990s it came to light that a huge amount of gold decorations for the Deity had been replaced with copper plates. It is speculated that the temple has vaults similar to those at Padhmanabha.

Kerala’s Communist Party Leader, V. S. Achutanandan, an atheist, claimed that the Padmanabha wealth belongs to the people and demanded it be used for social welfare programs. Others suggested displaying the sacred treasures and murtis in a Louvre-like museum. Some advocated an auction, with the proceeds going toward education, development, roads or even reduction of India’s national debt.

Shashi Tharoor, a member of parliament from Trivandrum and a former Foreign Affairs Minister, told a local news channel, “I object to those who are anxious to be generous with other people’s money. It’s important that we honor the sanctity of the temple and its possessions. It is the symbol of the city. “

Central to the petitioners’ request for takeover of the temple is the claim that the temple was always under control of a committee, and not the king. The committee consisted of six brahmins and a secretary and was presided over by the Namboodiri Chief Priest. These eight members–called the Ettara Yogam and appointed by the king–managed the temple. Eetta means “eight” and ara (for arasan) means “king.” Shungoony Menon, author of A History of Travancore, mistranslated ettara as “eight and a half,” claiming that the king had only a half vote in temple affairs. This reference was used by the petitioners to argue that the king held only nominal power, and thus, could not assert control of the temple.

In a joint statement, experts Prof. Shashibushan, Dr. Raja and Uma, countered this claim, saying, “No voting system ever existed, there are no records to show that this 8-1/2 voting, or any voting system existed. This is a completely English concept that had influenced the writer’s opinions and is a distortion of history.” Other scholars, including Elankulam Kunjanan Pillai and Dr. A.G. Menon, also dismissed Shungoony Menon’s half-vote theory.

Princess Aswathi Thirunal Gouri Lakshmi Bayi, niece of the present Maharaja.Tight Security. Or Is It?

It will take at least a year to catalog, analyze and individually value the contents of vault A. Since all of the items are antiquities, their value is exceptional, but no list and not a single photo has been released to the public (though there are bogus photos circulating on the Internet). The small amount of valid information that is known is said to have been leaked in breach of confidentiality by an over-enthusiastic committee member or by petitioner Sundara Rajan, who eagerly addressed the media upon exiting the vault.

The royal family was displeased with the leaks. Princess Aswathi Thirunal Gouri Lakshmi Bayi, niece of the present Maharaja, told me, “He or his representatives would come out and regularly give details to the press. Sundara Rajan was a police officer and should have been aware of the security concerns. It’s surprising that he was not prevented from talking. But then, the BBC acknowledged Ananda Padmanabhan, Sundara Rajan’s lawyer, as being one of those who revealed details. We informed the court through our representatives that there was a serious security threat with this breach.”

Nearly 40 persons were involved in the inspection of vault A. They included jewelers brought in to weigh the ornaments, technicians supplying oxygen to the underground chambers and security personnel. Each person represented an increased risk of leaks. As a result, security in the area has been greatly increased, to the considerable inconvenience of local residents. A five-kilometer wide “sanitized” zone has been established in which vehicles may be searched and no construction is allowed.

Jaya Kumar, the government representative on the court-appointment committee, summed matters up for Hinduism Today in an exclusive interview: “No one is claiming the treasure, neither the State nor the royal family. It is not palace property, but has been offered to the Lord Himself.”

Jaya Kumar defended the need for an inventory, saying it would prevent future thefts, and that it is the State’s responsibility to guard the treasure, now that they know about it. Throughout the court case, he explained, the government has taken the position that the temple was well run, and there was no need for intervention.

He criticized the premature publicity by other committee members. “I feel that one mistake some of the observers made was sharing their feelings about the find in public. I wasn’t awestruck by the jewels and ornaments. I was just doing my duty. Only after the news broke did my wife ask me why I hadn’t mentioned any of the riches in the vaults and wondered why I was so stoic about it. Now it is up to the court what to do with the treasures.”

Sree Padmanabha's TreasureThe Vaults

The vaults (kalaras in Malayalam) are inconspicuously tucked around the perimeter of the sanctum sanctorum. “Common people who have no connection with the temple will not know these are the vaults,” noted Dr. R. P. Raja, a senior scholar and historian. “According to temple protocol, three people are necessary to open these vaults. The keys to the vault are held in a safe in a strongroom in the temple. The key to the safe is with the maharaja, and the key to the strongroom is with the princess. The executive officer, the representative of the maharaja, the treasurer, and at least 12 people on duty whose names are registered are required to be present whenever the vaults are opened, and these are clearly documented.”

Two vaults on the northwestern side are opened eight times a year to bring out ornaments and other items for special festivals. Two other vaults house puja items for daily use. Temple sources state the vaults under contention, vaults A and B, were never opened, as there was no need to do so.

On entering vault A, the team found an empty, dusty room in which they discovered a hatch in the floor and steps leading to an underground chamber containing the wealth. They also tried at that time to open vault B, but the key failed to work. Now, in addition to trepidation occasioned by the serpent image, there are concerns that opening vault B’s heavy door may result in structural damage.

Princess Gouri Lakshmi Bayi told Hinduism Today, “None of us has been inside the vaults. We knew that Padmanabha was rich, but not to what extent. Even Uncle did not know about the contents of vault A. The find came as a huge surprise to us all.”

Raja Marthanda Varma the present ruler.The Royal Family

The temple has an archive of 3,000 palm-leaf bundles. They contain records of donations, rituals, festivals, royal adoptions, appointments and even minor altercations among the staff. Some of the bundles are Palace Manuals, which contain detailed instructions to the royal family for observance of rituals, donations, traditions and conventions, including the royal adoptions, which are a major feature of Travancore history.

One manual states, for instance, that the king must visit Padmanabha every day to report the day’s developments and duties performed. Any default in this incurs a penance–a fine payable to the Deity. To this day, the aging Maharaja visits the temple at 7:30 am and spends ten minutes in front of the Deity, reporting to Him as a humble servant.

The family’s devotion was exemplified by Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma’s Tripadidanam ceremony in 1750, in which he formally dedicated his entire kingdom to the Deity. From that moment on, Lord Padmanabha Himself has been the ruler of Travancore; the royal family function as His faithful servants and trustees. The family has always seen that revenue from temple property went to the temple. However, the government took over much of the temple’s land under the Land Ceiling Act shortly after India’s Independence.

The royals’ piety is the source of much of the temple’s wealth. The Palace Manual requires lavish gifts to the Deity, such as a golden pot of one to two kilos on every birthday in the family. Weddings require a donation of three 18-foot-long gold sarapoli necklaces for the Deity. Maharaja Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma (1813-1846), an extraordinary ruler and patron of the arts, is said to have given 200,000 gold coins in a single day, putting them into the donation box one at a time with his own hands

The current Maharaja, who turns 90 in April, unfailingly fulfills his duty to the Lord. Despite an injury to his feet, he goes to the temple every day. Twice a year he walks barefoot three kilometers with the Aarat procession. In a rare interview, he told me, “I’m a young person of 90, and I’m fortunate to be born in this family which has a great deal of submission to our treasured ideals, traditions and spiritualism.” He continues to meet all the expenses of the temple staff from his own pocket, estimated at us $50,000 per month. In addition, the family provide $70,000 per year toward the daily rituals and periodic festivals.

Unlike many other erstwhile princely families in India today, the Travancore family has eschewed political involvement. They live a life of piety and frugality and are revered here by high and low alike. Recent allegations have been painful to the family.

Anantha Krishna, a journalist with one of India’s premier dailies, told me, “If the royals really had been looting the temple as alleged, they would have been living in pomp and splendor. Look at the Kaudiar palace. It is badly in need of maintenance, which obviously means huge expenditure. Yet, they are spending out of their personal finances to maintain the temple.” Now the court proceedings have placed further financial strain on the family’s resources.

Vishwa Hindu ParishadConclusion

Other temples with royal patronage may have had similar stores of wealth, but these have been lost to looting and thieving–not just by the invaders, but by our own people as well. The temples are now a pale shadow of their glorious past. It is a testament to the devotion of its guardians that the Padmanabhaswamy wealth has been preserved.

I spoke to innumerable people in Thiruvananthapuram: auto drivers, the guest house staff, officials, devotees, shopkeepers, laypersons on the street, historians, temple workers, government officials, businessmen and film stars. There was no division of opinion or question about the royal family’s integrity or devotion to Padmanabhaswamy. “Everyone knows the Maharaja and his family are totally honest, and even those criticizing them secretly agree that their integrity is of the highest order,” offered one of the communist union workers.

If this sort of takeover attempt were aimed at a religious center of any other religion, one can easily imagine the worldwide expression of outrage that would ensue. A 2003 attempt by the Kerala government to merely inventory the wealth of the state’s Christian churches was canceled after a storm of protests from church officials. But most Hindu organizations have been silent in the matter of Padmanabhaswamy temple.

Prof. Shashi Bhushan said, “This is the worst I have seen in my life. Very few Hindu organizations are concerned over these developments; they think this is a Padmanabhaswamy temple affair. No, it’s not just the temple. It’s the very foundation of Hindu faith that is being shaken. This is exposing the disunity of Hindus, and this worries me.”

The princess expresses the steadfastness of her family: “We have to wait and watch how things will evolve, but the family is united in this: that our seva to the temple is of paramount importance. The moment I go into the temple, it supersedes all the turbulence and trauma that defies expression.”

When the mythical ocean of milk was churned for the nectar of immortality, poison emerged first. In case of Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple, a great deal of venom has been spewed; we can only wait for the ambrosia to follow. – Hinduism Today, Hawaii, January/February/March 2012

20 Responses

  1. What research have you done, Mr Saxena? Have you been inside the temple vault with your little Geiger counter?

    And how is it that the so-called radiation is limited to only one vault?

    The contents of all the vaults belong to Sri Padmanabhaswamy and government authorities have no business in there at all.

    Their presence there is a desecration of a Hindu holy place!

    Have government inspectors ever considered looking into the fake tomb of St Thomas at San Thome Cathedral? Would they even dare to consider it?

    > Golden hoard belongs to Sree Padmanabha Swamy – Express News Service
    > There’s a complete record of the Padmanabhaswamy Temple treasures – R. Nagaswamy


  2. i have researched and got some evidences that temple`s closed vault do not have any type of curse but the rocks around that vault consists of highly penetrating radioactive radiations and the snake referred by people as a warning over the door is made up of neodymium,a highly radioactive material,so a person staying over there for a long time,crosses the radioactive dose in our body because of which unacceptable changes occurs in the body and the person may even die.if radioactive precautions are taken it is possible to open that door safely,but no one knows what is behind that door which is guarded by natural radioactive sources


  3. god article!! Jai Vishnu!! A bow to Royal Family


  4. nice murti n mysterious history


  5. It is too late for a reply. I am a local person at Thiruvananthapuram. There is a Siva Linga at the tip of the right hand of lord Padmanabha’s idol. The sivites say that he is worshiping lord Siva, The vishnavites claim that it is protecting symbol to Siva Linga.


  6. Padmanabha Swamy Temple Treasure.

    “266 kg of gold lost from Padmanabhaswamy Temple,” says audit report – Krishnadas Rajagopal – The Hindu – New Delhi – 14 February 2015

    The audit report prepared by the former Comptroller and Auditor General of India Vinod Rai on the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in Kerala shows that huge quantities of gold were lost when it was outside for purification work.

    The report, filed before the Supreme Court, revealed that of a total of 893.644 kg of gold given to contractor for melting and purification in connection with gold ornamentation work, only 627.372 kg was returned.

    “The loss in the process being 266.272 kg (30 per cent),” Mr. Rai pointed out in his report to the apex court.

    The report said there was a complete “absence” of a system of weighing and ascertaining the purity of gold articles by temple authorities before they were handed over to outside agencies.

    In fact, temple authorities “merely relied on the weight and purity reported by the contractor,” Mr. Rai said in his report.

    He said that “excess consumption/loss” on conversion of pure gold to 90 per cent gold was 10.4 kg with a present value of Rs.2.89 crore.

    Again, the fate of 14.629 kg of 24 carat gold rakes and 1.938 kg of pure gold of an approximate value of Rs.4.8 crore handed over to outside agencies for purification work four years ago is not known.

    The loss is not just in gold. The last Murajapom (a festival conducted once in six years) concluded on January 14, 2014, but the calf elephant to be offered to the deity reached around January 27-28. The temple authorities had obviously not fixed the date on which the elephant was supposed to reach the temple. The loss calculated due to this was Rs.35 lakh.


  7. Thanks for sharing this interesting details……


  8. Padmanabhaswamy temple audit to take 5-6 months: Rai – Hindustan Times – PTI – New Delhi – September 21, 2014

    The special audit of the properties of Kerala’s famous Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple, which is facing allegations of financial irregularities, is expected to be completed in the next five to six months.

    Former CAG Vinod Rai, who has been tasked with a special audit of the temple’s properties, also said that the team is getting a lot of co-operation from the temple’s trust as well as the administration.

    “It will go on for about five or six months more at least,” Rai told PTI in response to a query on when the final audit report is expected to be completed.

    The Supreme Court, in April this year, had asked Rai to supervise this special audit.

    “… one thing that is good is happening is that we are getting a lot of co-operation. Audit is not difficult to the extent that records are available,” Rai, who had served as comptroller and auditor general (CAG) from 2008-13, said.

    Rai, a retired IAS officer from Kerala cadre, also noted that people have full faith in the temple and its deity.

    “Anything that is said connected to the deity, people tend to believe. That is why there is lot of faith about one particular vault (Kallara B) and there is lot of superstition about it.

    “We don’t have any direction from the Supreme Court on whether it should be opened or not as yet. But to a large extent there is a certain degree of strength in people’s superstitions, people’s beliefs and that is the belief which has built up the image of that deity, that it is a very powerful deity,” Rai said.

    In his report, submitted to the Supreme Court earlier this year, senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam had highlighted several serious irregularities in the management of the temple and its wealth.

    The temple has six vaults, most of which are underground and are filled with priceless articles. During preparation of its inventory by the apex court-appointed panel, five of these vaults were opened, leaving out one chamber, called ‘vault (Kallara) B’.


  9. i have visited the temple for three times i just saw lord padmanabhama’s hand which was really scary and i think many people doesn’t know in which century it was built and what is the real story i think the person who carved the padmanabham’s idol took proper care u can see when we common man sleep like that posture evil’s get attracted easily why the sculptor took that posture i don’t understand and the right hand is outside i think something would have happened while carving the idol or while doing pranaprathista because so many kings even sri krishnadevaraya also gave donations some reason may be there which i think there is no light in temple we can see little only hand
    The opening of the door which there is symbol of snake’s is really danger because snake’s are really powerful and the temple is really guarded with snake’s power that is the reason for so many years even britisher’s were not able to capture the treasure the idea would have misguided and opening the door with garuda mantra is really foolish, because garuda is also god’s favorite i think only naga mantra can open i think there r no more tantrik’s there which they can open with out causing any harm
    i saw god’s power
    we can fight with evils’s while taking god’s help u can go how much far u can
    but u can’t touch god’s belonging’s
    near my house there is a snake temple once i robbed one ring of snake and put to my hand’s at same night i got snake’s dream resulting throwing that ring
    this temple is more powerful and i think snake are round the clock guarding lord’s belongings

    i am still confused why the sculptor took that posture and why the right hand is outside there are many secret’s in that temple


  10. Thankyou for the great article. May Hindu temples find their past glory coming back soon. Hindu organizations and heads should have been more aware of their own religious picture. Even now its not late. Social development will find monetary help from heavy pockets of people who live in it- and not “steal” money from Temple sources. True- same “advices” of “using” money for “social benefits” would not come if it were non-Hindu issue. First place no inquiry will ever been have made at all. Endowment departments are all for Hindu temples- not non-Hindu. What a pity..!


  11. after all these years , i saw at least two people ( s’ri cnm & s’ri IS ) who spoke correctly of the dharmic rule of Hindu kings !


  12. i agree 100% with you , mr. prem nair


  13. talk to journalists who arent politically motivated. or who use religion as a mere tool to propagate their political views. they dont even know history or the spiritual significance of what they speak. just politics they know.


  14. please speak to journalists who arent right-tainted. or who use religion to futher their political causes.


  15. What Nonsense. Let the SO CALLED Supreme court to go and get all money from Swiz Banks and other political leaders. They know nothing aboud Travancore Royal Family. All what you see in Travancore is built by Royal Family. In my opinion Travancore royal family did 3 Mistakes.
    1. Agreed to mege with Indian union after independence
    2. They did not move all wealth to Foriegn Banks
    3. They lived for people of travancore.

    Where is the so called BJP? Damnnnn!!!


  16. Lord Padmanabha is the owner of the whole universe and at least a small fraction of His property should be recognized and respected by everyone.
    Demons always try to put their hands on Vishnu’s wealth (Laksmi), such as Mother Sita’s kidnapping by Ravana.
    Hindu’s external indifference and disunity arises from an incomplete perception of monism. We tend to think that everything is only the same, as if crime was karma instead of a crime subjected to be punished. Why Lord Krishna declared crime can be prevented if 100 % of reality was predestinated? Temporality and luck make this material existence dangerous far all, despite other factors of life such as our own desitions. So this almost mantric “let it be” ends up throwing to the Yamuna millons of sewage as poisonous as Kaliya’s venom, thinking “all is one”. In these way we are being disbled one by one.
    India is our only unique Mata Rama and Mata Dhama, our last bastion in this planet, we can’t afford anymore the loothing of such central element of Hinduism as lawish caring of the Lord as a humble retribution of his own property. This has been a central philosophical, yogic pillar of Hindu culture for millenia because it is reality’s most subtle fabric.
    There is the Absolute, and He is consciouss, or else would be incomplet. When Ravana’s sister insulted Sita she lost her nostrils. Please don’t put your hands on Padmanabhaswami’s paraphernalia. Anyway, when i was hungry it was Krishna’s servants who lawishly fed me in Udupi, Vrindavan and other places, not any political power. Yagjna produces prasadam to be distributed, a monumental social and prosperity taking a lot of burden from government workes’ shoulders.
    Is there anyone travelling around India requesting signatures for petitions?
    Jay Hanuman.


  17. Tirupati is also one of the revered holy temples of Lord Vishnu. NT Rama Rao during his tenure renovated the temple and even the University and schools around Tirupati recd lot of funds.

    One would like to know the following

    1) Did NTR take permission from the Paramacharyya of Kanchi
    2) Was the wealth in terms of gold and money recorded very well.
    3) Was there a written document in Tirupati for using the wealth for renovation and good philanthropy
    4) The Raya dyanasty were well known for record keeping because of which Sri Madhavacharyyas works are kept as a complete record.
    5) Apart from Rayas , Cholas were also good in record keeping.
    6) Madhavacharyys works are digitized due to accessible access.


  18. Absolutely right! The rajas patronised and protected Dharma and Hindus were deceived into believing that the government of independent India would do the same. Instead the government of independent India became the enemy of Hindu Dharma. At the very least the rajas–there were 360-odd of them at Independence–should have been given a seat in the Raja Sabha. Today there are no rajas except for the Prince of Arcot (whose ancestors destroyed many towns and temples in Tamil Nadu) who still gets a pension from the Centre because the British got him written into the Constitution and unlike the Hindu rajas, Indira Gandhi was not able to take away his money.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. The kind of respect the king of Travancore commands from his subjects is not surprising. In fact it is quite expected. Because, in India barring a few exceptions, Kings were always benevolent to the subjects, and never transgressed Dharma which for a king consists in the welfare of the subjects without caring for personal well being. The Gajapati Maharaj of Shri Jagannath Puri is one such king who is hugely popular among people. People worship him as the incarnation Shri Vishnu. It was a great tragedy for the Hindus that Hindu kings were striped of their power and kingdom after independence by power hungry leaders like Nehru. There is no doubt that India would have been in a better position today had the kings been the rulers instead of these corrupt, self-serving and anti-national leaders.


  20. IS,
    Very interesting details. Thank you. Hence the vault B has not been opened yet.


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