Two more rooms of treasure found in Indian temple

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The Independent Online

A vast treasure trove of gold coins, jewellery and precious stones unearthed at a Hindu temple in India and valued in the billions was expected to grow in value yesterday as experts opened two more secret vaults sealed for nearly 150 years.

The discovery has turned the 16th-century Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple into one of the country's wealthiest religious institutions and prompted a big increase in security at the site.

The four vaults opened in recent days at the temple in Trivandrum, the capital of the southern state of Kerala, held a vast bounty estimated at £13.7bn. Treasures unearthed so far include solid gold statues of gods and goddesses, studded with diamonds, rubies and emeralds. There are so many gold and silver coins that investigators are weighing them by the sackful, rather than counting them.