Travancore royal against 'commercialisation' of temple's riches

A member of the royal family of Travancore said that he is against the 'commercialisation' of God's sacred riches, as he deprecated a government proposal for displaying the treasures of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple at a museum.

Aditya Varma, a member of the royal family which once owned and managed the centuries-old shrine dedicated to Lord Padmanabha, said it is against any plan to shift the treasures out of the temple complex located in the heart of the Kerala capital.

He, however, said 3D images of select rare jewels, now kept in sacred vaults of the temple, could be displayed at a facility on the shrine precincts itself.

Aditya said that also should be done with the consent of the 'tantri', the head priest, and other people concerned.

He said the Centre and the state government had approached the family with the proposal for a museum where these articles could be kept.

Union Minister of Tourism Alphons Kannanthanam and his state counterpart Kadakampally Surendran recently brought before the family a proposal to set up a hi-tech museum to exhibit the rare treasures of the temple, Aditya told.

"But we have made it clear that we are against any kind of commercialisation of sacred temple treasures. Devotees also have concerns in this regard," he said.

Aditya said the matter relating to the temple's wealth and other affairs was pending before the Supreme Court and nobody can take a final decision on shifting the articles before its disposal by the apex court.