Econintersect: When RBI purchased 200 tons of Gold from IMF for $ 6.7 billion in November 2009, it made headlines in financial circles. (See The Hindu.)
If the latest news reports are to be believed, a temple in South India has so far been found to have far greater wealth. According to The Times of India, Rs 1 lakh crore of Gold, diamonds and other precious metals has been counted by the RBI (Reserve Bank of India), and the RBI team is still counting, following an order of the Supreme Court. According to IBN Live, the six stone cellars of the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple in Kerala (Thiruvananthapuram) contain a vast hoard of treasures. One of the chambers is centuries old.
Getting into the ancient vaults has been difficult. According to Times of India:
The team conducted the examination using artificial lights. Cylinders were used to pump in oxygen to the chamber to guard against breathing problems for the members.
One lakh is 100,000 and 1 Crore is 100, 00,000. This comes to 1000,000,000,000 [Rupees thousand billion] or $ 22 billion at Rs 45 to a dollar.
The final value of all the precious materials unearthed from this temple will be revealed only after the report is submitted to the Supreme Court of India.
The accounting of the temple’s wealth was ordered following a petition charging mismanagement of temple affairs.
Article by Sanjeev Kulkarni
Sanjeev Kulkarni is an entrepreneur based in Pune, India. He worked for large organizations in board level position before venturing on his own. He is currently involved as an investor in health care software company and as an investor, mentor in an automation company. Very widely traveled, he has experience of working in different geographical areas with people of varying nationalities. He did his BS from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.