TIRUNELVELI: Workers who were engaged in structural renovation work at Lord Kailasanathar temple in Srivaikundam near here stumbled upon a hidden vault on Saturday night. As the news spread on Sunday, residents of Srivaikundam and nearby villages became anxious, possibly due to the treasure trove unearthed at Lord Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram recently. It may be noted that the workers informed about the findings to the HR&CE and police officials immediately and on Sunday, the hidden vault was unearthed in front of the officials. But, no articles were found in the hidden vault, even after digging the structure to three feet.
It may be noted that Lord Kailasanathar temple at Srivaikundam is considered as one among the nine Siva temples or ‘Nava Kailayam’. Renovation work like laying new stone plates on the floor is being undertaken in the temple by Indian National Trust For Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). A square-shaped stone surrounded by four rectangular shaped stones were found in the vault. With the unearthing of the hidden chamber in this temple, devotees opined that state archaeology department should find out whether there are any such hidden chambers in other Siva temples which are part of ‘Nava Kailayam’ and in the ‘Nava Thirupathi’ temples also.When asked, Dr RS Lal Mohan, convenor, INTACH, told Express that there was renewed interest in knowing about the hidden vaults in temples after the treasure trove was found at Lord Padmanabhaswamy Temple. Speaking in the context of unearthing of the hidden chamber at Srivaikundam, he said that there are such vaults and chambers in many temples in Tamil Nadu and demanded that an inventory should be carried out.