The royal family of Travancore holds a notable share of the country’s gold reserves. This royal family has a history of riches and power. After losing control of the Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple, the family regained it in 2020.
Travancore Royal Family- Who are they?
Travancore was a region that was separated from India before independence and the royal family of Travancore used to rule the region. In 1949, the royal family lost all their ruling rights as the kingdom of Travancore become one with India, thereby abating every right of their rulers.
The last ruling Maharaja of Travancore was Shree Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma who died in 1991, leaving no heir to the throne. After his death, his younger brother Shree Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma took control, who passed away in 2013 and was succeeded by Shree Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma, son of Maharani Karthika Thirunal Lakshmi Bayi.
Being a custodian of the Shree Padmanbhaswamy Temple is itself a powerful position. However, Shree Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma is not more than a titular ruler of the Travancore kingdom.
The Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple case:
In 2011, the Supreme Court ruled out public petitions which demanded Travancore royal family to step down as the last ruler giving up the custodial rights.
The royal family of Travancore won a nine-year-long legal battle in the Supreme Court for control of the richest temple in the world, the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram.
Wealth of Travancore royal family from the Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple In 2011, before the High Court, the vaults of the centuries-old temple were opened. A gold reserve of 9,000 kilos and an enormous stock of valuable diamonds were discovered in the secret chambers, which was estimated worth Rs 1.4 lakh crore, as per Aljazeera.
The Supreme Court’s decision in the Travancore royal family’s favor has given them the custody of the temple, making them the rightful owner of the Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple.
This massive treasure makes Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple the wealthiest temple on earth.