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Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple is a prominent Vaishnavite temple, located in Thiruvananthapuram. This is one of the 108 Divya Desams, and is considered as the important Vishnu temples. Lord Padmanabha, a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu, is the prominent deity in this temple. The temple is known for its grandeur and intricate architecture. It is interesting to note that more than half the priests are from the Tulu region. This is one of the most visited temples in India.
This temple, considered as one of the oldest shrines in India, was built in 500 BC. This has been mentioned in the ancient scriptures like Skanda Purana, Padma Purana, Brahma Purana.
The temple was built by Divakar Muni, a sage and ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu. Once, he noticed a charming child in the woods and decided to raise it. The child was willing to live with him, but on the condition that Divakar Muni should not scold or discipline the child. One day the child’s mischiefs were beyond control. He tried to tame the child but the child disappeared. To his surprise, the child was again found in Ananthankaadu. Only then he realized that the child was none other than the Lord Himself. The Lord also manifested as a big deity and magnified his appearance. Divakar Muni immediately offered raw mango in a coconut shell as a symbol of his prayers and prostrated before the Lord.
Recent archeological studies conducted at this temple revealed that it is one of the richest Vishnu temples in the world. There are four vaults here filled with gold coins and jewelry, and one vault is yet to be opened, as people fear that if any attempts are made to open the vault, it will cause great destruction.
This temple is a replica of the Adikesavaperumal Temple in Thiruvattar. This is a fusion of Kerala style and Dravidian style architecture. The sanctum sanctorum is placed on a stone slab. The main idol of Lord Padmanabha is about 18ft long, where Lord Padmanabha reclines on the serpent Anantha. This position is called “Anantha Sayanam”, as he is in eternal sleep. The Lord rests his hand on a Shiva Lingam and is surrounded by Goddess Sridevi, the Goddess of Prosperity, and Goddess Bhudevi, Mother Earth. Lord Brahma emerges from his navel and it is a spectacular sight for a devotee to witness the idol of Lord Padmanabha.
Several festivals are celebrated in this temple. Thiruvonom is considered as the birthday of Shree Padmanabhaswamy. Thulam and Meenam are festivals celebrated twice a year, when an elephant is used to carry the idols of Gods and Goddesses. But this festival has been discontinued. Lakshadeepam is a festival where the entire temple is covered with lights.
Lord Padmanabhaswamy protects and benefits his devotees abundantly. He frees them from illusion and guides them to a higher spiritual realm.
Thiruvananthapuram airport is nationally and internationally connected. This is very close to the temple premises.
Thiruvananthapuram city is well-connected from various parts of Tamil Nadu. Thiruvananthapuram has its own railway station, very near the temple.
There is a bus stop very near the temple. Apart from buses, there are numerous autos, taxis which can take one very close to the temple.
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