The Supreme Court appointed Experts Committee for scientifically documenting priceless treasures of the famous Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram has resumed its work by opening another underground vault.
According to temple sources, the committee members on Thursday examined "Vault-A" and documented few gold chains, some gem-studded, with the help of sophisticated equipment, a few imported from Europe.
The panel, headed by eminent conservationist MV Nair, had drawn up a list of experts experienced in assessing the value and antiquity of gold and precious stones, to be engaged in the process.
The members of the oversight committee, tasked last year with inventorying the priceless treasures, were also present.
The oversight committee, also set up by the Supreme Court, had opened four of the six vaults of the temple in 2011 and found them holding a glittering array of precious wealth, drawing worldwide attention to the temple and its history.
Though the panel was not mandated to quantify the value of the treasure in money terms, it has been widely speculated that it was more than Rs one lakh crore, even by modest estimates.
Experts and historians, however, have cautioned against quantifying the value of such a rare and antique wealth without considering their cultural and heritage value.
The sprawling temple, an architectural splendour in granite, was rebuilt in its present form in the 18th century by the Travancore Royal House, which ruled southern Kerala and some adjoining parts of Tamil Nadu before the integration of the princely state into the Indian Union in 1947.
Even after independence, the temple continued to be governed by a trust controlled by the erstwhile royal family, to whom Lord Padmanabha (Vishnu in reclining posture) is their family deity.