Inventorying of ‘vault A’ treasure begins at Padmanabhaswamy temple
Entering a crucial phase in the evaluation of temple riches at the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple here, the expert committee appointed by the Supreme Court on Thursday started the inventorying of articles from the A vault, which is called ‘Sreebhandaranilavara.’ The vault, which was opened earlier, is expected to contain articles valuing close to Rs 10 lakh crore with diamonds, rare rubies, emeralds, gold coins and gold crowns forming part of the treasure.
The decision to open the vault was taken after a meeting of the expert committee headed M V Nair and the monitoring committee chaired by Justice M N Krishnan on Thursday morning.
The meeting reviewed all the necessary arrangements put in place and gave the nod to start the evaluation of the articles.
The scientific evaluation is carried out with help of experts from C-DAC and ISRO. A specially ordered equipment was also brought in from Germany to assess the value of diamonds, gems and other precious stones.
The two sealed wooden doors as well as the metal door of the underground vaults were opened after ensuring additional provision for the supply of oxygen to the air-tight vault.
‘’The entire proceedings is being videographed and saved in the server of the ISRO. The 3D pictures of the precious artifacts, which is estimated to be hundreds of years old, will also be taken. The entire process will take at least an year to complete,’’ said one of the members of the expert panel. After the scientific evaluation, the articles will be kept in large iron trunks which would be kept under tight security.
The evaluation of vault C and D has almost been completed and the remaining process will be carried out simultaneously with the evaluation of the articles of the vault A.
"The interim report regarding the evaluation process of vaults C, D, E and F will be submitted to the Supreme Court on August 9. A decision to open the B vault will be taken after getting the permission of the Supreme Court once the evaluation of A vault is over,’’ said one of the officials.
The Digital Archiving of Temple Antiques (DATA) has been installed to ensure that there are no manual intervention.
Once taken outside the vault using trolleys and documented, the articles will be placed inside the vault itself.