It was close to 10 am on Wednesday morning and workers at the Jambukeswar Akilandeshwari in temple were clearing a space behind the Prasanna Pulaiyar sannidhi. The plan for the day was to move plants from a portion of the banana plantation and instead make space for a well-thought-out garden. But two hours into the activity, the appearance of a metal object which was protruding through the ground, brought all work to a halt.
Much to the shock of temple workers and authorities near the Udhiyam tree in the garden-to-be was a copper vessel filled with coins. They had dug upto six feet into the ground when it appeared. When they got down to counting it, temple authorities found 504 small coins and one large coin, in the 'hundiyal'. According to district authorities, the 505 coins were kept aside till the joint commissioner of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department (HR&CE) and jewellery experts made their way to the temple.
On examining the coins it was revealed that they were in fact made of gold.
"The large coin had letters similar to the Arabic language on it while the smaller coins had Hindu gods on them," a source who was present at the site tells TNM. "From the spot it was taken to the Government treasury. They will now attempt to determine how old the coins are," he adds.
District authorities who weighed the coins have said that the large coin is 10.960 grams while the small coins weigh 1705.050 grams. Going by these figures the total worth of the gold (Based on prices as of February 27 ) could be estimated at Rs. 70,04,752 if it 22 karat and Rs.82,81,464 if it is 24 karat.
The Srirangam Inspector and two other witnesses were then summoned to the spot and at 8.45 pm on Wednesday the gold was sent to the district treasury.