Are you an Indiana Jones fan? Do you fantasize about exploring the world, meeting new cultures, learning their history, and then searching their most historically significant landmarks for untold treasures? Well then get ready for a real-life Steven Spielberg movie that takes place in southern India.
The Golden Temple
In the southwestern Indian state of Kerala lies the city of Thiruvanathapuram. This is where you will find Padmanabhaswamy Temple, and the infamous Kallara (Vault) B. First referred to in ancient texts dating back to 500BC, the temple was known as “The Golden Temple” due to its unimaginable wealth. Ancient literature and poetry referred to this temple as having walls of pure gold.
The temple was last held by the Travancore Royal Family before being taken over by the Indian government, and an inspection was conducted. This inspection revealed that Padmanabhaswamy Temple had six vaults, or Kallara, buried twenty feet under the ground. What the inspection of those vaults revealed though, was much more interesting…
The Six Underground Treasure Vaults
Adorned with iron cobras to scare and intimidate intruders, the vault doors had been unopened for several centuries until 2011 when the Supreme Court of India ordered that all of the treasure vaults be opened and their contents inventoried. All of them, except for the largest one… Kallara Vault B. When the contents of vaults A, C, D, E, and F were opened, incomparable riches were uncovered and catalogued.
Here’s what they found:
- Over 1800 lbs. of gold coins, each coin valued at over $410,000
- A throne made of pure gold and adorned with diamonds and other previous stones
- Golden elephants
- Golden idols wearing diamond necklaces up to 18 feet (6 meters) long
- 66 pound solid gold coconut shells studded with rubies and emeralds
- Multiple solid gold crowns covered in diamonds and other previous stones
The market value of the gold and jewels found was estimated to be around $20 Billion, and if you take the historical and cultural significance of these artifacts into account, their value rockets up to $200 Billion. That’s right. TWO.HUNDRED. BILLION. DOLLARS.
How Did All The Gold and Riches Get There?
The magnitude of this find puzzled scholars and historians until they came up with the most prominent and widely accepted theory. The riches were believed to have been acquired over the course of thousands of years, donated to the Hindu god Vishnu by the past rulers of the region.
The Mystery of Temple Vault B
Five of the six vaults were opened… except for Vault B! The doors to the vault have no locks, bolts, latches, or any other means of entry. It is a modern-day mystery! What treasures await inside? Will we ever know? According to Hindu astrologers, if we open the vault without heeding the power that awaits inside, we could put the region, India, and even the world at risk. It really does sound like the plot of an Indiana jones movie, doesn’t it?! Well let’s hope it never comes to that!
Do you know have a burning desire to explore archaeological sights or explore India? Do you know of any other archeological mysteries? Let us know in the comments below!