Kanyakumari temple claims treasure share

The treasure unearthed from Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, has triggered speculation that the Sri Adikesavaperumal temple of Thiruvattar, in Kanyakumari district, which was under the rule of the Travancore kings, has a share in the treasure.

According to advocate Radhakrishnan, who brought up the issue of a share for the Thiruvattar Adikesavaperumal temple, which was the prime deity of the Travancore maharajas before they shifted their capital from Padmanabhapuram in Kanyakumari district to Thiruvananthapuram, the kings would not have completely forsaken their prime deity and given the treasure to a temple they built later.
“Had the kings wanted to give more importance to Padmanabhaswamy temple, they would have created a much longer idol of Padmanabhaswamy reclining on the snake couch, which is 18 feet long, against the 22-foot-long idol of Adikesavaperumal. The Adikesavaperumal idol is the longest reclining idol of the Lord in all the 108 Divya Desams, the holy sites of Vaishnavites, in the country,” said Mr Radhakrishnan.
Like the other Kanyakumariites, Mr Radhakrishnan argues, “As the Thiruvattar temple has rivers on three sides, constructing underground chambers at Adikesavaperumal temple would have been impossible. So the jewels of Adikesavaperumal, believed to be the elder brother of Lord Padmanabhaswamy, would have been saved in the Thiruvananthapuram temple vaults” against the invading Dutch.
Mr Rajasekaran said King Marthanda Varma, during whose period the capital was shifted to Thiruvananthapuram, in a “thali olai grantham (writing on a palm leaf)”, had stated that the treasure in the vaults of Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple should be used in times of famine. “In such a case, it is very clear that the kings had saved the treasure at Padmanabhaswamy temple for religious purposes and the welfare of his entire Travancore state, of which Kanyakumari was a part,” he contended.
However, Sri Adikesava Perumal Seva Trust chairman C. Anantha Krishnan disagrees, stating that nowhere in the history of the Travancore dynasty has it been stated that the kings put the jewels of Adikesavaperumal temple in Padmanabhaswamy temple for safety.

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