Treasure trove discovered in Indian temple

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A treasure trove, estimated to be worth US$11.2 billion, was discovered in a temple's vaults in southern Indian.

A treasure trove of gold, diamonds and other precious objects was found in underground vaults that have been unopened for 139 years in a 16th century temple in southern India.

The hoard of treasure is estimated to be worth US$11.2 billion, but the local authorities said the value of the findings were yet to be assessed.

The treasure was found in the 16th century Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in southern Kerala state, the royal chapel of the former rulers of Travancore, now part of Kerala.

The findings included 17kg of coins from the Napoleonic and East India Company’s era, a four-feet-tall gold statue studded with emeralds, 15-feet-long gold necklaces and jewel-encrusted crowns.

The vaults were searched after a local lawyer petitioned a court to order the government to take over the temple as it did not have adequate security to protect its wealth. India's top court had then set up a committee to open the long-sealed vaults and take stock of the treasure, according to a Reuters report on Sunday.

V.S. Sivakumar, affairs minister of  the temple, said the Indian government would ask the Supreme Court on how to deal with the treasure.

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