The current Maharajah of Travancore has been the managing trustee of the temple
…Anand Padmanaban, counsel for Sundar Rajan, was present when observers appointed by the Supreme Court opened the treasure chambers.
“Treasures included very old gold chains, diamonds and precious stones which cannot be valued in terms of money,” he told the BBC Tamil service.
“Many of those things were pretty old, going back to the 18th Century. They could not count it, so they are weighing it.”
Only two of four chambers had been opened so far, he said.
The current Maharajah of Travancore, Uthradan Thirunaal Marthanda Varma, who is also the managing trustee of the temple, appealed to the Supreme Court against Sundar Rajan’s petition.
He said that as Maharajah he had every right to control the temple because of a special law enacted after Independence, which vested the management of the temple with the erstwhile ruler of Travancore.
But his appeal was rejected – Maharajahs have no special status in India and they are treated like ordinary citizens.
The members of the Travancore royal family consider themselves to be servants of the presiding deity at the temple, Padmanabhaswamy, which is an aspect of the Hindu God Vishnu in eternal sleep. This is why they historically entrusted their wealth to the temple.
But there was a public outcry when the Maharajah attempted to retain control of the temple by citing the special law, with many arguing that the wealth belonged to the people now. …
Which god do you suppose has the most treasure, if you added it all up?