The huge treasure found in the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram was the “exclusive property” of the Travancore royal family which dedicated its kingdom to the presiding deity of the temple, Kanchi Sankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi said on Tuesday.

“For long the erstwhile royal family was the custodian of the temple and they dedicated their kingdom to Lord Sree Padmanabhaswamy. The treasure was the offerings made by the erstwhile rulers to the temple, hence the recovery belongs to the royal family,” he told PTI here.

“However, the treasure should be kept in the temple cellars itself,” he said.

The cellars of the temple, closed for several decades, were ordered to be opened by the Supreme Court to prepare an inventory while considering a private petition recently.

The deity of Padmanabha Swami Temple is the family deity of the Travancore royal family. Members of the erstwhile royal family had dedicated their kingdom to the deity and pledged that they will live as servants of Padmanabha. The Shrine is run by a trust floated by the Travancore royal house.

A vast collection of gold, silver, precious stones and priceless jewellery was discovered in the cellars of the temple while preparing the inventory.