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Govt., royal family to obey SC decision on opening temple vault

Govt., royal family to obey SC decision on opening temple vault

Thiruvananthapuram: The State government on Monday made it clear that it would implement whatever decision the Supreme Court took on opening vault ‘B’ of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram.

Devaswom Minister Kadakkampally Surendran held talks with members of the Travancore royal family in Thiruvananthapuram on the matter.

He later told reporters that the royal family was against the opening of the underground chamber as, according to them, there were “ritualistic restrictions” on the opening of the “sacred” vault, which had never been opened before.

However, the government made it clear that whatever decision the apex court takes on the matter would be implemented.

The Supreme Court-appointed amicus curiae (an impartial adviser to a court of law in a particular case) in the matter, Gopal Subramaniam, is expected to meet the royal family members soon.

Aditya Varma, a member of the royal family, said the discussion they had with the Minister was “private” in nature.

“If the apex orders opening of vault B, we will obey it,” he said.

In 2002, when an attempt was made to open the vault, the ''thantri'' (the traditional chief priest) of the temple conducted a ‘deva prashnam’ (astrological examination of the temple affairs) and held that it should not be opened, he said.

The sprawling temple, an architectural splendour in granite, was rebuilt in its present form in the 18th century by the Travancore royals, who ruled southern Kerala and some adjoining parts of Tamil Nadu before the integration of the princely state with the Indian Union in 1947.

Even after the country achieved independence, the temple continued to be governed by a trust controlled by the royal family, for whom Lord Padmanabha (Vishnu) is the family deity.

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