Gold has been very popular in the country of India and continues to be to this day. However, the world gained a whole insight on India’s gold when the government took inventory at the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple. It was found to contain at least $26 billion (yes, billion) in gold and silver artifacts.
The treasure at the temple wasn’t “lost” in a traditional sense. As a matter of fact, the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple is widely known for its beautifully intricate sculptures. Its six underground vaults, however, were not visited often. Priests did open four of the vaults for certain occasions, but others less frequently – with one having been sealed for nearly 140 years.
The temple has been around for hundreds of years. It was built by the Travencore royal family during the 16th century, but is controlled by a trust run by the Royal family, presently. Questioning the security of the temple’s assets, the Supreme Court of India ordered that the vaults be opened and inventoried. Naturally, the sheer amount of treasure inside came as a great surprise. Thousands of gold coins, massive golden idols, sacks of diamonds, and more incredible treasures have been catalogued. Currently, the treasures are being valued by the market price of their precious metal or gem content alone. If official’s were to factor in craftsmanship and historical significance, the treasure of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple could exceed $1 trillion.
How did it all get there? Archaeologists believe the treasures to be hundreds of year’s worth of temple offerings and donations. The temple is situated near what was once a popular trade route, so it’s likely that many prominent merchants and royalty made many tributes over time. It all eventually added up to be one of the biggest gold hoards in the entire world.