|A scenic view of the temple in Trivandrum, Kerala ..|
DwarfsTirupati Tirumala temple at least twenty five times,
also Vatican and the Pharoahs of Egypt (as of August 2012)
Former Chief Secretary of Kerala C P Nair says that the wealth of Sri Padmanabha Swamy temple in Trivandrum could be a whopping rs 500,000 crores i.e. $ 120 billion !!
Dwarfs the Vatican and ( I think even equals the riches of all Pharoahs of Egypt !!) Just one temple with one more vault to be opened ..
Even though the present titular Maharaja of Travancore, Uthradam Tirunal Marthanda Varma ( from 1991) is the trustee of the temple and hence the holder of the wealth, he says it is the donation from people, even VijayaNagara kings have donated here, and according to him all wealth belongs to Lord Padmanabha. ( but, the Sankaracharya of Kanchi says that the wealth belongs to the royal family)
The dedication of the royal family to Lord Padmanabha and to serve the people of Travancore with the title, Padmanabha Dasa, is evident from this incident of 1900. http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/kerala/article75146.ece
In 1981, when I used to wait at Vanchiyoor, Trivandrum for the College of Engg Trivandrum college bus everyday in the morning, I used to find an old Ford vehicle with a strange registration "KLT 1", the very first registration of the state of Kerala, passing by mostly everyday at about 8 AM. I tried to find out who the tiny, dignified man sitting inside was. Not sure whether His Royal Excellency was staying at the Pattom palace or Kowdiar palace then .. Snap of the present residence, Kowdiar palace is given here ..
"The Travancore Maharajas were known for their austere lifestyle and pledged to rule for the welfare of their subjects on behalf of Lord Padmanabha, and the reigning prince assume the title Padmanabhadasa (Servant of Padmanabha). "
Swami Vivekananda called Travancore as a mental asylum in 1890s before he was to go to Chicago for the World Council of Religions..
The Travancore of those days which historians like M.G.S. Narayan view as the paragon of Dharma(virtues). Swami Vivekananda called a lunatic asylum thanks to caste rigidity and social suppression of the masses for centuries. Let us see what the census commissioner of 1931 had to say about the country of Padmanabha Swami, “Kerala is generally considered to the the most caste - ridden part of India. This inference is generally drawn by outside observers from the prevalence, in a more accentuated form in Kerala than elsewhere of touch and distance pollution between higher and lower castes and from the denial of the polluting castes of the right of entering into and worshipping in the Hindu temples. It is true that in those two respects Kerala is a worse sinner than the rest of lndia” (census report, 1931. P. 364). Dr. T.K. Ravindran. Historian and former vice Chancellor of Calicut University says “of all the territorial divisions in India. Kerala particularly Travancore took the sin of pride in the matter of extending the limits of social inequality’’(vide Vaikom Sathyagraha and Gandhi, preface)Quote from Modern Rationalist ..
Maddy's Blog on Swami Vivekananda's Visit to Kerala..
Maybe this remark by Swami Vivekananda pained the Maharajah so much, that it was Travancore the first state in the country to implement the Temple Entry Proclamation in 1936, responding to the call by Gandhiji to allow all caste Hindus permission to enter temples..
Following this we find, no other royal family in Indian history has been as philanthropic as the Travancore Royal family.. Their contributions to the building and extension of the Govt Medical College in Trivandrum and Sri Chitra Tirunal Centre for Neurology, Sri Avittom Tirunal (SAT) Maternity Hospital etc running into hundreds of crores can never be matched by anybody else.
Public opinion on an increasing scale wants the wealth which was mainly gathered during the time of Anizham Tirunal Marthanda Varma ( 1729-1758 CE) be with the temple itself. The political class also wants it that way, the royal family has washed its hands off it and the Supreme Court has warned anybody from raising any frivolous claims on the wealth ..
|Anizhan Tirunal Marthanda Varma|
Unlike all other colonial conquests and the ugly display of war booty and war loot, the wealth at Sri Padmanabha Swamy temple is not from any war booty, by killing people and destroying cultures and societies ... The Dutch East India company led by Admiral Eustacious De Lennoy who was defeated by Anizham Tirunal Marthanda Varma in the battle of Colachel in 1741, has gifted all the Dutch and Portuguese and Belgium cut-glasses found in the vaults. ( source The Hindu) Click here
An interesting link on the wealth at the palace ..
Dr Binu Thomas thru this writing writes of the generosity of the Travancore royal family to xians, esp Marthoma
Why am I so upbeat about the Travancore Royal family ?