Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple: Inventory to Begin Today

The much awaited inventory and documentation of the treasures found in the vaults of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple will begin on Monday. The inventory will be conducted by an eight-member team in the presence of an expert committee headed M.P Nair and the overseeing committee headed by Justice M.N Krishnan.

The eight-member expert team will include officials from KELTRON, VSSC, Archaeological Department, Gemologist and Antique Experts. The inventory will begin at 9 am and no timeframe has been fixed for completing the process. The first inventory will target the ‘C’ vault where jewels and other utensils used for daily use in the temple are kept. During the first phase, the inventory of five vaults will be completed and a decision on vault ‘B’ will be taken later.

The advanced inventory system developed on an open source software by KELTRON will be used for the purpose. Rs 2.5 crores have been spent to strap the inventory process in place

A group of officials from KELTRON completed a two-week training module to use this software.

The inventory will be performed a specially formed enclosure set up inside the temple campus. A tight security will been set up in and around the temple for the process. The artifacts will be brought out of the temple vault in a trolley and immediately a unique ID, which is a running number, will be generated. The item will then be photographed using 2D and 3D camera.

An accession code with a drop-down menu will be added to the unique ID. The accession code essentially classifies the artifact into ornament, vessel, ritualistic item etc as per international archaeological standard. Malayalam words can be used in inverted coma to describe artifacts and ornaments. The accession code will include date, vault in which the artifact was found. The entire code of an object can run up to 18 digits and contain meaningful data.

Then an electronic weighing machine interfaced with the computer system will register the weight. If the artifact is big enough to measure, then its length and breadth will be charted.

A purity testing machine will chart all metals according to a periodic table classification and test each metal for individual purity. If there are precious stones in the ornament, two gemologists on stand-by will determine the age, and clarity of the gem. This is the only manual process in the inventory and documentation procedure. The artifact will then be packed in natural yarn, put in a pouch, bar-coded and kept in the outbox that will be taken back to the vault.

To avoid redundancy and to double the workflow in coming days, two numbers of each machine have been brought. It includes, a purity testing machine 4 categories of weighing machines totalling to eight, laser engraving machine borrowed from ISRO, 2D and 3D photography cameras, bar coding machine.

KELTRON is using FOSS software for the documentation and inventory process and works on two independent isolated networks. Surveillance and videography is also being carried out by KELTRON with the police as its monitoring agency. The inventory takers will have to stand the entire time, as no one is allowed to sit before the God, and dress according to temple rules in ‘Mundu’. Some of the artifacts may only be handled by temple priests.

News Sourced from “Times of India”

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