The President asked many questions on the treasure found in the temple, however, he wasn’t shown the actual treasure since it’s sealed under a Supreme Court order. Sheela Bhatt/Rediff.com, who accompanied the President, reports from Thiruvananthapuram.
President Pranab Mukherjee had a darshan at Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday. He spent around 45 minutes at the temple premises.
The President was joined by the chief temple priest and also Aditya Verma and his uncle Martand Verma belonging to the former royal family of Travencore.
President Mukherjee was also accompanied by Kerala Governor Sheila Dikshit.
The temple tour was a serene and outstanding experience for all. President Mukherjee, a Bengali brahmin, on reaching the temple changed into the traditional mundu. He wears a janeu -- the sacred thread -- since childhood.
Inside the temple Member of Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram Shashi Tharoor guided the President with mythological stories.
The spic and span Padamanabhaswamy temple is majestic and divine. Visitors weren’t allowed inside the temple during the President’s visit.
President Mukherjee had the darshan of Sree Padmanabhaswamy and later he was shown the saptaswaram mandap and the seeveli corridor with 365 pillars -- where knocking at one of the pillars creates a sound on all others. Its ceilings are made of stone with flower carvings.
The President asked many questions on the treasure found in the temple, however, he wasn’t shown the actual treasure since it’s sealed under a Supreme Court order.
The President, who asked twice how much gold was found, was informed that some 3,000 gold coins of 7th century given by Arabs and other traders have been found. The Arabs and other merchants bought spices and gave gold coins in exchange.
Some 1,500 sarapoli malas -- necklaces studded with precious stones -- have also been found, the President was told.
When President Mukherjee had darshan of Lord Ayyappa, Shashi Tharoor narrated the mythological story which in essence talks about cerebral amalgamation of the Shaivite and the Vaishnavite tradition.
The President was inquisitive and attentive during the temple visit. He was shown the store wooden almirah made from a single tree trunk to store sugar and jaggery to make payasam to distribute as prasad.
Image: President Pranab Mukherjee visits the Shree Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday. MP Shashi Tharoor is also seen.
Photo courtesy: PIB