The Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Kerala, India, is considered to be the richest temple in the world.
The temple was built to honor the Hindu deity, Lord Vishnu. The original temple structure may have been built from the 6th to the 8th century but parts of the present structure were built in the 1500s.
The temple is famous in India and there are many Hindu festivals celebrated at the site.
More recently, the temple has gained fame because it is supposedly the source of immense treasure. The temple has secret subterranean vaults. There are reported to be 8 vaults located underground.
So far, 5 of the reported 8 vaults have been opened by archaeologists and government officials. The amount of treasure they found is astounding and is worth billions of dollars or more.
In just one vault alone, they found an 1800 lb hoard of ancient gold coins dating to around 200 BCE. Each gold coin was appraised at $340,000. In addition, there are solid-gold idols, sacks filled with diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires. There is also a golden throne and diamonds as large as a person's thumb.
There are three vaults that remain unopened including the infamous Vault B. Vault B is difficult to open and remains locked. There is also a "curse" associated with the vault. Two enormous cobras are said to guard this vault and anyone who opens it would be met with misfortune and death according to the curse. Historians estimate that the treasure in Vault B could be worth one trillion dollars.
Currently, there are several controversies associated with the temple's treasure regarding ownership. The Indian Supreme Court has appointed the Travancore royal family (an ancient Indian ruling family) to serve as custodians of the temple.
As for the treasure, it still remains within the temple and its contents have not been completely revealed to the public.