Maha Kshetrams of Kerala- Sree Padnabhaswamy Temple,Trivandrum
Sree PadmanabhaSwamy Temple is in Thiruvananthapuram,capital of the Kerala State.
The Temple is situted inside the East Fort of Thiruvananthapuram.
This Temple is one of the Most famous in India dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
This Mahakshetram is a blend of Kerala&Dravidian style of Architecture.
The History of this Temple dates as back as 8th CenturySree PadmanabhaSwamy Temple is
one of the 108 sacred Vishnu Temples in India or to call better the Divyadesams in India.
DivyaDesams are the HoliestAbodes of the Lord Vishnu
Yhe Presiding Diety of this Mahakshetra is Lord Vishnu,reclining on Anantha,the Hooded
Marthanda Varma,the noted king among the Travancore Kingsdid a major renovation to the
Temple resulting in the Present Day Structure we are seeng&Worshipping daily at the
Sree PadmanabhaSwamy Temple.
It was this King Marthanda Varma who introduced Muralapam&Bhadradeepam festivals in
Murajapam literally means continous Chanting of Prayers.This is still being conducted
once in every six years.
In 1750,Marthandavarma dedicated the Kingdom of Travancore to Lord Padmanabha Swamy.
Martyhanda Varma vowed that the Royal family would rule the State on behalf of Lord
and he& his descendants would serve the Kingdom as Padmanabha Swamy Dasa or the servant
of Lord Padmanabha.Sice then, the name of every Travancore King was preceded by the
titlePadmanabha Dasa.The donation of the Kingdom of Travancore to PadmanabhaSwamy was
known as Thripadidanam.
Thiruvanantha puram ,the capital city of Kerala takes the name from the presiding Diety
of the Sree PadmanabhaSwamy Temple who is also known as Anantha.
Anantha carries the meaning "One who reclines on the serpent Anantha.The name
Thiruvananthapuram literally means "The land of Sree Anantha Padmanabha Swamy.
Sreepadmanabhaswamy Temple as per belief is located at a place that is considered as One of the
Seven Parasuramakshetras.References of this great Temple exists in Puranas like Skandapurana&
Padmapurana.The Temple is situated very close to the Padmatheertham a holy Tank of theTemple.
The meaning ofPadmatheertham is "Lotus Spring"
The Shrine is being run by a trust headed by The erstwhile Royalfamily of Travancore.
The Idol ofthe Presiding Diety OfvtheSree Padmanabhaswamy Temple is famous for it's composition
Which Has 12008 SALAGRAMAMSWhich were brought from Nepai taken fromthe banks of Gandhaki.
The Garbhagriha or the Sanctom Sanctorum of sree padmanabhaSwamy Temple located on a stone Slab and the
MainIdol which is about 18 feet long can be seen from three different Doors.The Head & Chest can be seen from the
first door,While the hands can be sighted through the second door and the feet through theThird Door.
The Architecture of the Temple:
The Temple Architecture is outstanding for its work in stone&bronze.
The inyeriors of the Temple are adorned by beauriful paintings&murals.some of them are
those of the life size imagesof Lord Vishnuin the recliningposture.Narasimhaswamy(half
Lion&half man incarnation of Lord Vishnu)Lord Ganapathy&Gajalakshmi.The Temple has a
Dhuaja Stambha(Kodimaram or Flagpost) that is about 80 feet high &is covered with
Goldplated copper sheets.
The Temple also has some more interesting structural features in the form of BALI
PEEDA MANDAPAM&MUKTHA MANDAPAM.These are halls decorated with beautiful sculptures of
various Hindu DDieties.Another sculpture that captures attention here is the Navagriha
Mandapa,the ceilings of which displaysthe Navagrihas(The Nine Planets).
Broad Corridor with 365 &1/4 sculptured Granites stone pillars extending from the
eastern side into the Sanctom Sanctorum is a broad Corridor which also has a 365&1/4
sculptured granite stonepillars with beautiful carvings.There is a Ground Floor below
under the main entrance in the eastern side which is known as Nataka Saala where
Kerala's classic art form,the KATHAKALI is performed during the annual ten day
festival at the Temple held during the Malayalam months of MEENAM&THULAM.
The worship and daily Poojas in this great Temple is from morning 3-30 to 12-00 noon
and again from evening 5-00PM to 7-20 PM.
The morning hours of visit are too long.But this is necessary because one can not have
Darshan&rerturn quickly as thev Darshan would bre complete only if one spends a
minimum of 3 to 4 hours in the Temple.
Good news for Devotees&Worshippers visiting the Temple is that there is Free Annadanam
daily in the Temple after 11-00AM for every one who visits the T%emple as is being
held at Guruvayoor&Thirupathy.
This attempt to write a few words on this Great Mahakshetram would not be complete or
near Completion unless a Legend on the Origin of the Temple is remembered.
The LEGEND goes like this:
Villwamangalath Swamiyar who was residing near the Ananthapuram Temple neart Kasaegod
prayed to Lord Vishnu for his Darshan.The Lord came in disguise as a small,mischievous
boyThe boy defiled the Saligrama which was kept for Pooja.The teasing was in force
since many centuries as is evident from what the boy-cum-God did.The Swamiyar got
terribly annoyed ,enraged at the boy&chased him away.The Boy disappeared.After a long
search,he was found to be walking on the Arabian Sea.The Swamiyar heard a Pilaya Lady
threatening her child saying that she would throw away the Boy in Ananthankaadu.
The moment the Swamiyar heard the word Ananthan Kaadu,he was delighted.He proceded to
Ananthan Kaadu based on the direction from the Pulaya Lady.
The Swamiyar reached Ananthan Kaadu searching for the Boy merging into the form of an
Indian Butter Tree.
Yhe Tree is stated to have fell down in front of the Villwamangalam Swamiyar& turned
into "Ananthsayanam"(Vishnu reclining on Anantha)
But the Lord was of an Extraordinary Large size with Head at Thriruvallam,Navel at
Thiruvananthapuram,and Lotus feet at Thrippadapuram(Thrippappur)
The Swamiyar requested the Lord to shrink to a smaller proportion-thrice the length of
Though the Lord shrank to a smaller size the entire figure consisting Face,Body&
feet were not simultaneously visible to the eyes of the Swamiyar as the trunks of the
trees were obstructing the view fully.
In fact the Swamiyar saw the Lord in three Parts,THIRUMIGHAM,THIRUVUDAL,and THRIPADAM
HE PRAYED lORD TO FORGIVE HIM.This place where the Swamiyar had Darshan of Lord is
There still exists a temple with this name.
Besides,the Ananthankaadu Nagaraja Temple still exists to the northwest of
Padmanabhaswamy Temple.There is a Villwamangalam SreeKrishna Temple also managed by
Naduvil Madham of Thrissur.
Now of late the Ananthapadmanabhaswamy Temple became World famous not only of the
Divine nature of the Temple alone but as a result of discovering enormous wealth on
opening hiddem rooms in the Temple.
As the Supreme Court is involved in relation to deciding the ownership of the wealth
,it is not worth discussing this in this Blog at this time.A decision is awaited.
It is enough for the time being for all devotees to know that the sreePadmanabhaswamy
Temple is one of the Most wealthy Temples in the World.
SREE PADMANABHA SWAMY SARANAM.ANANTHAKRISHNAYA NAMA!
SreedharanMundanat,6th August 2014,