07/03/2011 02:26 pm ET | Updated Sep 02, 2011

Treasure Worth 'Billions' Found In Hindu Temple In Southern India

A Hindu temple in southern India seems to have delivered the motherlode.

Archeologists have reportedly uncovered over $11 billion in treasure at Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, according to AFP. The treasure has been found in at least 5 vaults.

The temple, which is typically known for its statues, is located in the Kerala state, near the Southern tip of the country. MSNBC reports that the foundation for the current tower, containing the treasure, was laid in 1566.

From AFP:

The valuables have an estimated preliminary worth of over 500 billion rupees ($11.2 billion), said Kerala Chief Secretary K. Jayakumar, catapulting the temple into the league of India's richest temples.

The thousands of necklaces, coins and precious stones have been kept in at least five underground vaults at the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple which is renowned for its intricate sculptures.

Apparently, devotees have been donating to the temple for centuries. Among the treasure in the find was what archeologists described to be an 18-foot necklace. Other pieces have included gold, silver, coins, and precious stones.

However, the best may have been saved for last. According to the AFP, researchers are yet to have opened one secret chamber that hasn't been opened in 140 years.

The exact value of the treasure will be determined after archeologists take a closer look at the find.