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Old August 30th, 2011, 09:57 AM   #341
reachmeprop
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinodtnt View Post
False allegation is not new to VSA. Somewhat similar thing was happened in 2002 based on an anonymous letter received by him.


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Not directly related to this but there seems to be some underlying threads.

VS and MLA Jameela Prakasam are voicing against erstwhile king and temple wealth. She even went to the extent of calling the mayor a sycophant for attending a harvest ceremony in putharikandom where the paddy was offered to temple.

Seems like they are hobnobbing on many issues. Now VS is against the vigilance director whose wife was infamously accosted by the MLA'a husband.
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Old August 30th, 2011, 07:02 PM   #342
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Originally Posted by pradeeptnair1
Rajesh was quoting something that appeared in a news website which is widely read by mallus in UK, ofcourse with a dissent note.
That is something related to this temple as well. Just because a person was "democratically elected" and "has done far more" does n't give him the licence to talk rubbish about some one who is still respected for all the good deeds they have been.

And if VS has some "strong evidence" as he claimed, let him go to Court rather than calling press meets to gain some political mileage.

And yes as you said, as an exception, we can agree to disagree in this matter of Trivandrum.
Lol, Pradeep, why do you think this thread exists and why all of us are waxing eloquent about so-called treasure? Because the Maharaja came forward with details or because folks raised allegations and brought this to the notice of the Courts? To confuse the institution of the Royal Family with one individual is a big mistake. Furthermore, it should be noted that incumbent is not party to the current request for a stay based on crystal balls and cowrie shells. Rather, another member of the family seems to be the one with the problems.

Anyways, let the SC have the final word,
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Old August 31st, 2011, 12:47 AM   #343
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True, the matter is sub judice and that is why we ask people to maintain calm. This is not a time for 'vaayadappichu 'pottassu' vedi' if I could borrow and modify scorpio's phrase.

Last edited by BabuCS; August 31st, 2011 at 08:44 AM.
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Old August 31st, 2011, 09:10 AM   #344
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Treasure puts temple on Kovai's travel map

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COIMBATORE: The recent discovery of a huge treasure at Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram has made it a big tourist attraction, especially among those in Coimbatore, who are planning tours to the Kerala capital during the Ramadan, Vinayaka Chathurthi and Onam festival season. According to travel operators, there is a greater demand for packages that includes among travelers from Coimbatore.

As a result, the temple now figures in backwater packages of Kollam and Alapuzha and also on featuring Coutralam, Amba Samudram and Kanyakumari.

"As the Ramadan and Vinayaka Chathurthi are falling on consecutive days close to weekend, I thought of going on a five-day package to Alapuzha-Kollam backwaters. It was only after the discovery of treasure at the Thiruvananthapuram temple that I came to know of it. So I included that also in my package,'' said M Vishnunath, who works with an IT firm in the city.
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Old September 3rd, 2011, 05:47 AM   #345
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Padmanabha temple pilgrims' favourite
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Old September 20th, 2011, 04:46 PM   #346
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 12:48 PM   #347
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‘No Opening of Vault ‘B’ for Now’ – Supreme Court
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Old September 26th, 2011, 05:38 AM   #348
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Old September 29th, 2011, 03:26 PM   #349
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The road leading to the eastern entrance of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple has been limited to traffic since September 20, 2011.


Five-tier security system for Padmanabhaswamy temple



The Kerala Government has given approval to a five-tier security system for the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple which has huge treasures locked up in its vaults.

The hi-tech security system, approved by a high-level meeting of officials and experts called by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Wednesday, took into account all possible dangers to the shrine, including theft, sabotage and natural disasters, official sources said.

The committee comprises experts from ISRO, Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), the Centre for Earth Sciences Studies and top officials of Kerala police.

The system, which will have such advanced components like satellite surveillance and seismographic-linked alarm system, is expected to cost Rs. 41 crore.

It would also have metal detectors, X-ray scanners and hidden cameras at various points of the temple complex, spread around seven acres in the heart of Kerala’s capital.

Installation of sophisticated locks and alarms at the vaults are also under consideration. An infrared beam-based intruder detection system, linked to a security camera network, has also been proposed.

Select doors, windows and ventilators of the majestic temple known for its structural grandeur would be fortified with steel bars and impact-resistant glass.

The plan suggested safe-keeping of the invaluable articles ranging from stone-studded crowns and idols to piles of gold and silver coins in tamper-proof steel safe-deposit boxes.

The temple has six vaults, most of them underground, filled with priceless articles. During the recent inventory by a Supreme Court-appointed panel, five of these vaults were opened, leaving out one chamber, called “vault B”.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/...cle2496807.ece
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 03:23 AM   #350
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Venunair View Post


Five-tier security system for Padmanabhaswamy temple



The Kerala Government has given approval to a five-tier security system for the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple which has huge treasures locked up in its vaults.

The committee comprises experts from ISRO, Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), the Centre for Earth Sciences Studies and top officials of Kerala police.

[B]The system, which will have such advanced components like satellite surveillance and seismographic-linked alarm system, is expected to [COLOR="Red"]cost Rs. 41 crore.


http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/...cle2496807.ece
Vakdanam Nalkan Aellavarum Undu.. Ethokkae nadanna Kollam...
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 04:39 AM   #351
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The riches belong to nobody, certainly not to our family

The head of a former royal family renounced any personal claim to billions of dollars' worth of ancient treasure discovered in a temple in Thiruvanantharam, the kingdom his ancestors once ruled. Padma Rao Sundarji speaks to Uthradam Thirunal Marthanda Varma, the former King of Tranvancore.

PRS: What is your family's connection with the Padmanabhaswamy temple?
Varma: We are the Cheras, one of the four erstwhile royal families of South India and have a long and dynastic family tree. By 1750 Travancore had become rich and big. So my ancestor, the then king, made a unique spiritual and historical contribution. He decided to surrender all his riches to the temple - Padmanabhaswamy is also our family deity. He said our family would look after that wealth, the temple and the kingdom forever. But he did want the ego that comes with possessing it. He was influenced by Emperor Ashoka's catharsis in the killing fields of Kalinga. So he declared our family to be Padmanabha's 'dasas', devotees. A servant can resign his job, but a dasa can do so only when he dies.

PRS: You are one of the wealthiest families in India and yet, you live in a spartan way, unlike many other ex-royals. Why?
Varma: I have to go back a bit in time, to explain why. Everybody thinks that we Indians first rose against British colonial rule in 1857. Wrong. In 1741, Travancore was the only Asian power to defeat the Dutch when they arrived here. After the battle, all the Dutch soldiers kneeled before my ancestors. One Dutchman, Benedictus Eustachius, even joined our army. We called him the Great Kapitan. Later, I learned that he was [US president] Franklin Roosevelt's ancestor when the latter's grandson came to look at our historical records.

Then in 1839, almost two decades before the mutiny, we rose against the British. Our punishment was severe. They disbanded our police and army of 50,000, transferred our capital to Kollam, dumped two British regiments on us, and ordered us to pay for their upkeep. Thomas Munroe named himself Diwan of Travancore. When our spirit still did not flag, they brought in missionaries. But we did not get gobbled up by Western thought. We travel abroad occasionally, but it has not affected or changed our simple way of life. Why am I telling you this? So that you get an idea of how much our life has revolved around our faith, despite so many outside influences and kept us going.

PRS: How do you feel about what is happening around the temple right now - its cellars being opened up, your donations being discussed around the world, the criticism, the furore?
Varma: Sorry, I cannot comment on what is happening there - the matter is sub-judice. But this much I will say. I have no problem with the inventory and additional security being provided by the state to the temple. But please don't remove those objects from the temple. They belong to nobody, certainly not to our family. They belong to god and our law permits that. All these debates swirling around the riches is unfortunate. That's all I can say - I have to listen to my doctor, lawyer and auditor. Our family has been donating objects to the temple for centuries. As chief patron of the temple, I go there every day. If I miss a day, I am fined Rs 166.35 - an old Travancore tradition.

PRS: But you cannot deny that such wealth could be put to better use for the poor.
Varma: We Indians are more educated now. But this reaction to donations inside a temple is anything but progressive. We are slowly losing our Indian identity. Money has become everything. But I am not surprised. I would rather be philosophical than disillusioned because I can't change the world.

PRS: Then there is the rationalist argument that this is blind faith.
Varma: Please think of England's Henry VIII in the late 1500s. He had two passions. Wives and money. So he pillaged churches. Finally, he ran into a problem because he wanted a divorce from Catherine of Aragon. The church refused, because she was a zealous Spanish Catholic. His cardinal advised him to invent his own church. So he did that - just to get a divorce. Is that rational?
It is rather difficult to explain our faith to the new world where people have none anymore. When selfishness grows, everything you do seems right, and everything others do seems wrong. It's all about what do I get, not about what do I do. I like the memory of my trip to a game reserve South Africa. After seeing many wild animals, I asked the guide which was the most rapacious and fearsome. He showed me a mirror.

PRS: What is your source of income? What does your family live off ?
Varma: We have travel and hotel businesses. I am chairman of a former British company that exports various items from Kerala - but no, not pepper to Buckingham Palace, as reported. We also run seven trusts. We spend R5-8 lakh a year on education, health and housing for the poor. We pay good salaries. And the family itself contributes money every month. No government has acknowledged our work but that is all right. We do it because we want to do it.

PRS: Gold statues studded with rubies and diamonds, saphhires, gold coins of the Napoleonic era and the East India Company. Is all that true?
Varma: I have never been inside those cellars. Our philosophy has always been not to look at such objects and get tempted. But of course I know what is inside them.

PRS: Are the younger members of your family angrier than you about the heated public debate?
Varma: I am the most hot-blooded in this family but on this matter, we all feel the same. I was a soldier - a colonel for 15 years in the Madras Regiment. I would like to ask those criticizing us for donating these objects: why are they bothered about what someone else has done? What are they doing in the name of faith themselves ? Why the hot gossip over a donation to God?

PRS: At 90, you don't even use a walking stick. What is your daily routine ?
Varma: We have all been brought up very strictly and frugally. My day starts at 4 am with yoga. I only drink milk, I am a vegetarian and a teetotaler. I read the Vedas everyday. I go the temple for a ten-minute private audience with the deity every morning. After that, I indulge in one of my hobbies - "media surgery." I read the newspapers and clip articles over breakfast. I have a collection of the past 30 years. I will give those to the Trust because my children may not be interested. People come to meet me, they invite me to inaugurate functions. I speak extempore. I go from vertical to horizontal for about 20 minutes in the afternoon. I am in bed by 945. I have always slept well. Since there is nothing on my conscience, sleep comes swiftly.

PRS: Are you now thinking of insuring those treasures, now that the whole world is talking about them, or are they already insured ?
Varma: (laughs) I am least worried that they will be stolen. If that happens, then it was the Lord's will.

PRS: Among your ancestors were famous Carnatic musician Swati Thirunal and painter Raja Ravi Varma. What are your passions?
Varma: Those two ancestors gave music and art divinity and humanity respectively. That continues. I love art. I once saw a piece of exquisite china in Venice. It was a girl on a swing with the sand looking worn just where her feet touched the ground each time. It cost 100 pounds, I could only afford 40, as foreign exchange was limited those days. So I went away. The dealer called me back and gave it to me. He said he could tell that I was not one of those who ordered 200 pieces of one kind, that I valued minute details.

PRS: Kerala has been a Communist bastion for more than 50 years. Don't you find it peculiar that people here still flurry around you, they respect you, they still call you Your Highness.
Varma: Yes, that is quite amazing because I am a simple man, I don't expect it at all. At religious gatherings in Haridwar where one of my two gurus lives, I always sit in the last row and am always dressed like this - mundu and bush-shirt. People who don't know me come looking for the Raja of the South. When I raise my hand, they don't believe me.

PRS: How wealthy is your family, compared to the other - and internationally more famous - royals of Rajasthan and elsewhere?
Varma: That is a mere technicality and has never been relevant to me. But I'll tell you a story which will give you an idea. There used to be a British gun salute for the princely states of India: 21, the highest for the richest ruler, 11 for the poorest. When Tranvancore refused to contribute soldiers to the British Army in World War I, our slipped from 21 to 19.

PRS: Who is your heir?
Varma: We have a matriarchal system of inheritance. I have a daughter and a son but it is my sister's son who will be king after me. I remember a European lady visiting us. I explained this complicated law of succession to her. When she went back, she told her friends that she had not understood a word, but only knew that whatever it was, it was good for women. Kerala is slowly turning patriarchal again. That is not good. Overall in our country, we treat women as second-class citizens. When you look at a man, you are looking at a human being, when you look at a woman, you are looking at a family.

PRS: What is the feeling you get, when you spend those ten minutes at the Padmanabha shrine ? The daily communion between ruler and master, as you put it ?
Varma: Gooseflesh. Everything is surrendered. It is a great, elating feeling. My hair stands on end with joy. Each and every time.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryP...nt/719270.aspx
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Old October 4th, 2011, 06:23 AM   #352
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Hi-tech security for Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple



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Intelligent, invisible and unobtrusive layers of space-age devices would soon cocoon the centuries-old Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple here as part of a Rs. 41-crore, five-tier, security system readied by the State government.

This system is designed to insulate the riches recently found in the subterranean vaults of the temple from possible theft, sabotage and natural disasters.

A possible no-fly zone above the temple complex, spread over seven acres in the historical Fort area; a seismograph-linked alarm system to detect attempts to tunnel through to the vaults; satellite surveillance of the complex; and an infrared beam-based intruder detection system linked to a security camera network would be at the heart of what would perhaps be the most elaborate security system to be installed for a place of worship in Kerala.

64 surveillance cameras

Administrative sanction has already been given for the purchase of 64 surveillance cameras. These will be in addition to the ones installed outside the temple premises by the Kerala police. The electrical and related work for this is almost over and the cameras are expected to be put in place by Keltron by October 15.

The outermost layer of security will begin from the East Fort, while the innermost layer will be at the sanctum sanctorum. Permanent barricades will be erected on the roads leading to the four gates of the temple.

“We have worked out plans to make the temple's security as ‘unobtrusive and invisible' as possible with least human interference. The scheme will not interfere with any temple rituals or practices,” security sources said. Once the system is up and running, the Fort area and the temple complex will be under round-the-clock video surveillance.

The ‘intelligent' systems to be installed in the temple complex are designed to take ‘decisions' on their own in case of a theft, sabotage or a natural disaster. For instance, if an intruder ‘breaks the line,' of the invisible infrared beam an alarm will automatically alert the armed guards at the control room proposed. The system will identify the point of intrusion and surveillance cameras will automatically zero in on the intruder.

A similar infrared beam-based ‘invisible' intruder detection system linked to a security camera network will protect the perimeter during the night. The entire complex will be lit up automatically in case a fire alarm is triggered.

The security control room will be wi-fi enabled and the personnel manning it will be able to view every nook and corner of the complex. All the equipments that are to be installed as part of the security system will be inter-linked.

Select doors, windows, skylights, and ventilators will be fortified with steel bars and impact-resistant glass. The entry and exit points for visitors will be limited. The riches are likely to be stored in the vaults in tamper-proof steel safe-deposit boxes. The vaults will be armed with a wide range of alarms sensitive to sound, motion and heat and also fitted with sophisticated locks. Armoured doors too will be put in place.

“Even the doors of the temple can be controlled from the control room. Arrangements will be made so that the city police control room also gets the messages in case the control room of the temple suffers any damage,” sources said. Already, the police have mooted a special security zone for the temple by invoking the provisions of the Kerala Police Act.

The Kerala Police will soon approach the Airports Authority of India to request a no-fly zone over the complex. ‘The multi-layer security system is fully funded by the State and the first phase is likely to be commissioned within two months,” the official sources said.

The temple is being guarded by a 239-strong contingent of the Kerala Police led by an SP and by a team of Quick Reaction commandos. “The number of personnel can be scaled down once the security system is in place,” a senior police official said.
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Old October 15th, 2011, 04:44 PM   #353
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Kerala temple treasure documentation in November

Documentation of the nearly Rs.1 lakh crore-worth treasure unearthed at the famed Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in Kerala would begin Nov 9, said the head of a Supreme Court-appointed committee Saturday.

Director General of National Museum C.V. Ananda Bose, who heads a five-member panel set up by the court, said here that before the documentation "we will be able to complete all formalities as stipulated by the Supreme Court".

Apart from the five-member panel headed by Bose, the court set up a three-member committee, headed by a retired judge. The joint committee of the two panels is headed by Bose.

While speaking to reporters after a meeting of the joint committee Saturday, he said: "The state government also has to sanction funds required to meet the expenses for it. We are on course to do the job that has been entrusted to us. On Nov 4 we will again meet here to make an assessment of the preparations needed to begin the documentation."

Sources close to some joint committee members pointed out that a highly specialized agency would also assist it to do the valuation of the temple treasure.

The committee members felt that the documentation might take up to one year, sources said.

The temple is believed to have a treasure trove of precious jewels estimated to be worth more than Rs.1 lakh crore, making it the richest temple in the world.

In all, there are six vaults in the temple of which five have been opened based on a petition filed by former Indian Police Service official T.P. Sunderarajan, who died July 17.

In July, a court appointed-committee stumbled upon the treasure from the temple's vault A which remained closed for more than 150 years.

The apex court in August appointed two committees - one consisting of five experts headed by Bose mandated to videograph and photograph the articles found in vault A of the temple and another three-member committee, to be headed by retired Kerala High Court judge M.N. Krishnan, to oversee the operations of the experts'

Source : Express Buzz
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Old October 17th, 2011, 11:25 AM   #354
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Maidan may be open for parking

The City Corporation is open to the idea of providing parking space inside the Putharikandam Maidan at East Fort here for vehicles carrying pilgrims to the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple on their return from Sabarimala during the forthcoming Mandalam-Makaravilakku pilgrimage season.

The Maidan is one of the parking spaces identified by the police to accommodate an estimated 13,000 vehicles bringing Sabarimala pilgrims to the city daily.

A heavy influx of pilgrims is anticipated this season following the discovery of riches estimated at hundreds of crores of rupees in the subterranean vaults of the temple in July. The police have imposed parking restrictions in the immediate vicinity of the temple as part of an elaborate security system.

Corporation authorities said they were yet to get a formal communication from the police to provide parking space inside the sprawling grounds which was currently undergoing a major beautification process.

They said they were open to the idea.

The police estimate that up to 1,000 light motor vehicles can be accommodated in the space earmarked for holding public meetings and exhibitions.

Officials feel the Corporation could earn good revenue by collecting fees for parking and toilet facilities on the ground during the pilgrimage season. “The income can be utilised for maintenance of the facilities,” an official said.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/...cle2545351.ece
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Old October 30th, 2011, 09:30 AM   #355
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Image Copyright Biju G.T @500px with Image Title "Sree Padmanabha Swami Temple Trivandrum"
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Old October 31st, 2011, 07:37 AM   #356
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Padmanabha Temple on world tourism map

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: After the treasure trove was unearthed in the Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple, the number of foreign and domestic tourists visiting the temple has increased manifold, making it a hotspot for pilgrimage tourists.

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Courtesy: Indian Express
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Old October 31st, 2011, 01:12 PM   #357
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Old November 26th, 2011, 12:32 PM   #358
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Old November 26th, 2011, 12:35 PM   #359
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KSRTC is operating 3 schedules between Padmanaswamy temple and Attukal Temple’s ground; where the parking facility is arranged for the devotees.The service will start from 03:00am daily till late night.

It is also decided to place the boards showing “Attukal Parking Ground-Padmanabha Temple” in these KSRTC buses in Tamil,Kannada,Telugu & English.

http://bit.ly/v8Akwu
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Old November 26th, 2011, 11:54 PM   #360
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Originally Posted by ajithv View Post
It is also decided to place the boards showing “Attukal Parking Ground-Padmanabha Temple” in these KSRTC buses in Tamil,Kannada,Telugu & English.
Hats off to the quadri-lingual signage which is in stark contrast to the parochial attitudes seen in many parts of India with respect to the local lingua!
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