Travancore royals get managerial right over Padmanabha temple

The High Court verdict that the Kerala State Government had the rights over the Temple has been rejected by the Supreme Court.

A slap in the face of Kerala Government, which was trying to take over Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple by eyeing the property of the Temple.

New Delhi – The Supreme Court on 13th July restored the right of “Managership or the Shebaitship” of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple at Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala to the royal family of Travancore but the administration of the temple will be managed by a committee headed by a District Judge.

A Bench of Justices U U Lalit and Indu Malhotra ruled in favour of the royal family over the right to manage and administer the affairs of one of the richest temples of the world. The family had challenged the order of the Kerala High Court on 31st January 2011 which had held that the royal family could not claim to be in control or management of the temple as the successor to the last ruler. However, the Supreme Court said the family cannot claim the property of the temple as it made an “unequivocal stand” before the apex court that “the temple is a public temple and no claim can probably be made by the petitioner or anyone to owning the temple or its treasures”.

(Courtesy: Republic World)

Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple is the richest temple in India. Its property is nearly Rs. 2 lakh crore. In 2011, a team under the Kerala High Court’s instructions had opened the five vaults to ascertain the extent of wealth in them. But Vault B remained out of their purview. During the proceedings before the Supreme Court, a long time was devoted to the unlocking of Vault B.

Notified in 1949, when the princely states of Travancore and Cochin signed the accession agreement with the Government of India, the TC Act “vested in trust” the administration of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in the Ruler of Travancore. Even after the death of the last Travancore ruler in 1991, the state government allowed the management of the temple to be taken over and retained by the Uthradam Thirunal Marthanda Varma.

Royal family welcomes verdict

Members of the Travancore royal family expressed happiness over the verdict upholding their administrative rights over the temple. Aswathi Thirunal Gowri Lakshmibai said the family wishes to express sincere gratitude to those who supported and prayed, reports regional media.