THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the state government welcoming the Supreme Court verdict in the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple case, the debate over the right to administer the temple is over. Now, the million dollar question is whether Vault B would be opened.All five other vaults in the temple were inventoried by an expert committee appointed by the apex court during the course of the case. The Sree Pandara Nilavara in the temple records, known as Vault B in court records, is believed to contain a treasure almost equal or above that of Vault A. The treasure in Vault A is roughly estimated to be worth `2 lakh crore.
The temple thantri and the Travancore royal family had opposed the opening of the Vault B as it would affect the sanctity of the shrine. In 2011, a devaprasnam, the ritual to know the god’s wish, had ruled against the opening. The apex court later kept the opening of the vault in abeyance. Now the present verdict has left the vault’s opening at the discretion of the advisory and administrative committees to be formed for the temple administration. It is highly unlikely that the vault will be opened since the royal family and the temple thantri haven’t changed their stand. The thantri and a representative of the royal family will be members of the temple’s new five-member administration committee.
Temple thantri Tharananalloor Satheesan Namboodiripad refused to comment on his present position. “My previous opinion was based on the devaprasnam’s findings. If I’m asked to give a fresh opinion I will have to revisit those findings to know the reasons put forth against reopening. I need to change my stand only if those reasons have turned invalid,” he told TNIE.
The Travancore royal family’s opinion will be based on the advice of the temple thantri, according to its member Aditya Varma. “I think the present verdict too has upheld the thantri’s opinion as supreme in religious matters. If the thantri is part of the new committee, I guess the opening would be out of question,” he told TNIE.