The Tirumala temple in Andhra Pradesh is reported to have 3,000 kg (6,600 lb) of gold, a third of which it deposited with the State Bank of India last year, while spiritual guru Sai Baba, who died in April, left behind an estimated $9 billion estate.
Investigators searched the vaults to draw up an inventory of the riches because of worry about security but they had no idea of the amount of treasure they would find.
Devotees throng to Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple after offering prayers on the eve of Pongala festival in Thiruvananthapuram, capital of Kerala February 18, 2011.
Investigators plan to pry open the final vault hidden deep under the centuries-old Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple as police guarded round the clock the shrine where billions of dollars worth of treasure has been discovered.
The HinduInvestigators turn to final vault at Sree Padmanabhaswamy templeReuters IndiaDevotees throng to Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple after offering prayers on the eve of Pongala festival in Thiruvananthapuram, capital of Kerala February 18, 2011.
The Supreme Court Monday set up a Special Investigation Team – to probe black money stashed abroad by Indian citizens. The committee will be headed by former apex court judge B.P. Jeevan Reddy.
The supreme court of India has been dealing with the Sree Padmanabha Swami Temple in a casual way.
Police set up a dedicated control room close to the temple on Monday, as state Chief Minister Oommen Chandy pledged full state security for the hoard and promised it would remain the property of the temple after an inventory was made.
The government has said it would adhere to the Supreme Court's ruling on ownership of the treasure found in the temple, which is still controlled by the royal family unlike other temples in Kerala which are managed by the government.
Yoga guru Baba Ramdev, who staged a fast against corruption last month that lead to protests against the government, has built a $40 million-a-year global empire through yoga and various spiritual products and services. ($1 = 44.630 rupees)
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