Padmanabhaswamy

Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is located in Thiruvananthapuram , the southernmost part and the capital of Kerala. This temple is one of the most famous and Oldest temple in Kerala that belongs to the 8th century. Back in olden days, king of Travancore, the great Marthanda Verma did a major renovation to the temple which resulted in the present day structure of the temple. The shrine is currently run by a trust headed by the erstwhile royal family of Travancore.

Padmanabhaswamy temple is located on a stone slab and the main idol, which is about 18 ft long, can be viewed through three different doors. The head and chest are seen through the first door; while the hands can be sighted through the second door and the feet through the third door. The presiding deity of this temple Lord Vishnu, reclining on Anantha, the Serpent, Signifying meditation. The idol of the presiding deity of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple is noted for its composition, which has 12008 salagramams, which were brought from Nepal, taken from the banks of the River Gandhaki.

The temple also has some interesting structural features in the form of Bali Peeda Mandapam and Mukha Mandapam. These are halls, decorated with beautiful sculptures of various Hindu deities. Another structure that captures attention here is the Navagraha Mandapa the ceiling of which displays the navagrahas (the nine planets). There is a ground floor under the main entrance in the eastern side, which is known as the nataka sala, where Kerala's classical art form - the Kathakali is performed during the annual ten-day festival at the temple, held during the Malayalam months of Meenam and Thulam.

There are many festivals related to this temple. The major festivals are bi-annual. A major annual festival related to Padmanabha temple is the Navratri festival which lasts for 9 days. And the other one is laksha deepam, which means hundred thousand (or one lakh) lamps. This festival is unique and commences once in 6 years. Prior to this festival, chanting of prayers and recitation of three vedas is done for 56 days. On the last day, hundred thousand oil lamps are lit in and around the temple premises.

The temple and its assets belong to Lord Padmanabhaswamy, and are controlled by a trust run by the Royal family. The temple has 6 vaults (Kallaras),which has many valuables that have been unopened over the past years. These valuables are thought to have been in the temple for hundreds of years, having been put there by the Maharajahs of Travancore, while some historians have suggested that a major chunk of the stored riches reached the kings in the form of tax, gifts, as well as conquered wealth of states and offerings stocked in the temple for safekeeping.

Tourist from all over the world are interested and attracted to this temple because of its popularity and the mystery filled chambers yet to be opened.Padmanabhaswamy

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