The much-anticipated opening of two vaults (kallaras) inside Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple here, which were supposedly last opened more than a century ago, had an anti-climactic ending on Wednesday with one vault being nearly empty and the other proving inaccessible beyond a point.
It was widely believed that these two vaults contain large quantities of gold, diamonds, other precious stones and invaluable artefacts. A civil engineer and a fire safety official inspected the vaults and surrounding areas for structural stability before they were opened.
Vault B located on the southwest corner outside the Chandanamandapam inside the Nalambalam was the first to be opened. Once the grill and the teak door on the outside were opened, the chamber was found to contain numerous silver pots. Though the vault led on to another chamber, access was blocked by a thick metal door resembling that of a strong room. It was decided to requisition the services of a blacksmith on Thursday to open this door.
Vault A on the southern side of the Nalambalam inside the Chandanamandapam was found to be virtually empty. A golden ‘anki,' a handful of other ornaments and a few jars were all that were found inside. It could not be immediately ascertained whether this vault had any secret ante-chambers. This is expected to be done on Thursday.
Prior to the commencement of the Wednesday's proceedings, the former IPS officer and Supreme Court lawyer, T.P. Sundara Rajan, submitted a written complaint to the panel chief M.N. Krishnan pointing out that the inventory was not being taken in a proper manner.