The Supreme Court is set to pronounce its verdict on Monday (July 13) on the long-standing dispute over the management of the historic Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram. The verdict due at 10:30 am will decide whether the power of administration and management of one of the richest temples in the country will be given to the state or the Travancore royal family.
The temple shot into limelight after the discovery of ‘kallaras’ or vaults holding centuries-old wealth.
The controversy over the management of the temple has been pending in the apex court for last nine years. On January 21, 2011, the Kerala High Court had directed the state government to take steps to set up a body or trust to take control of the temple, its assets and management and to run the temple in accordance with the traditions.
A bench of Justices U. U Lalit and Indu Malhotra had on April 10 last year reserved its judgement on the pleas challenging the 2011 verdict of the Kerala High Court in the matter. The apex court had on May 2, 2011 stayed the high court’s direction and had also ordered for a detailed inventory of the articles, valuables, ornaments in Kallaras (vaults).
Following this when five of its six ‘Kallaras’ were opened huge amounts of gold, gems and priceless ornaments amounting to more than 90,000 crore was found inside.
In July 2017, the apex court had said it would examine the claims that one of the vaults, ‘Kallara B’ the temple contained extraordinary treasure with “mystical” energy.
The sprawling temple, an architectural splendour in granite, was rebuilt in its present form in the 18th century by the Travancore Royal House which had ruled southern Kerala and some adjoining parts of Tamil Nadu before integration of the princely state with the Indian Union in 1947.
Even after India’s independence, the temple continued to be governed by a trust controlled by the erstwhile royal family.