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Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple

Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple is situated in Thiruvananthapuram town in Tamil Nadu. Visited by more than 5,000 devotees per day, this is dedicated to one of the forms of Lord Vishnu and makes one of the richest temples in India. as per the Vaishnavism culture, this is one of the important temples where Lord Vishnu is worshipped from among the 108 divya deshums in the country. Presently, the administration of the temple which has a spread of about 30-35 acres is done by a trust formed by the kingdom of Travancore. It was because of the presence of this temple that Thiruvananthapuram got its name. The city name means Sacred Abode of Lord Anantha Padmanava, or Lord Vishnu in the reclining position. Mentions of Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple has been found in ancient Tamil literature, especially in Divya Prabandha. This is a very well known temple in South India and visited by thousands of devotees, who have to follow the temple rules and dress code and only hindu religious believers are allowed entry.


Devotees of hindu faith are allowed entry into this temple. Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple is visited by thousands of pilgrims. Mostly, the visits are during the times of festivals. One of the important times for pilgrimage is during the Alphasy festival, which is held during October, while the Painkuni is held during the month of March. Both these are held for a period of 10 days. Various types of prayers are held during these 10 days, with the 9th day being the most important. Designate king of Travancore accompanies the procession of the Lord to Vettakkalam for the purpose of Pallivetta. This process originated thousands of years ago in a grand manner. In the evening, the idols are immersed on the beaches of Shankumugham with aarat. The idols are bathed in the waters of the beach.
Another annually held festival is the navarathri festival, where there is a huge flow of pilgrims. Saraswati Amman, Kumara Swami and Mun Udhitha nangai are the idols, which are taken out in a procession to the front of the Padmanabha temple. It is during this festival that the annual music festival of Swathi is held, while the festival continues for about 9 days.

Biggest kind of festival that is celebrated in Sree Padmanabha temple is that of Laksha Deepam, during which, hundreds of thousands of lamps are lit, which are usually one lakh in number. The uniqueness of this festival is that it is held once in 6 years and there are recitations of chants, Vedas and other scriptures, which go on for about 56 days. Laksha deepam is done on the last day, the next occasion being scheduled for 2014, when a huge number of devotees will gather.

Getting There

Since the temple of Sree Padmanabha Swamy is located in the eastern part of Thiruvananthapuram city, it is easily accessible.

By road, devotees can reach the city from nearby cities by bus or taxis and even by personal cars.

Flights from various parts of the country, connect to the Thiruvananthapuram international Airport.


Sree Padmanabha temple is significant because it is considered to be present in one of the 7 Parasuram Kshetras of India. these places have found references in many scriptures.

One of the most prominent features of the temple is the idol of the lord himself. It is said to be made from 12 Salagram stones, which add to the temple being called as a Great Temple. These stones have been further made from about 12008 small stones being collected from Nepal from the banks of river Gandhaki.

Lord Shiva has a special place in the temple with an idol placed near the main deity, while the rest of the temple has idols of Shiva at different places. The Mandapam or Ottakkal Mandapam is made of one stone platform, which is in front of the sanctum sanctorum of the Lord. It is made out of a single granite piece and measures twenty square feet and half feet thick. On this mandapam, the abhisekham pooja is performed. Abhisravana mandapam is located in front of the Ottakkal mandapam. During the festivals, it is used for various pujas. Kulasekhara mandapam is another platform which is made of stone with great architectural work. There are 28 pillars supporting it and have the property of emanating music when tapped and these have beautiful carvings.

Dwaja Stambham is a staff of height eighty feet, found near the eastern corridor and was built by Anizham Tirunal. Garuda Swamy idol is placed at the top of this teak pole, which is surrounded by golden foil.

Temple entrances are 9 in number, which indicate the nine orifices of the body. Gopuram is a huge structure with seven storeys, built at the eastern entrance side. The style of architecture is based on Dravidian architecture. Lord Vishnu’s ten incarnations are depicted inside the first storey. There is a magnificient corridor called Sreebalippura is made in a square shape around the main shrine, where the idols are taken out during a procession. There are about 365 and 1/4th pillars in this corridor, with ornate carvings. Nearby, there is the nataka sala, where kathakali dance form is practised and performed during festivals. One more feature to be marked is the presence of a number of Theerthams or water ponds inside the temple, which are used for different purposes. Padmatheertham is located in the eastern side of the temple and is supposedly one of the oldest ponds in the city.

Apart from the various architectural styles and designing of the main shrines, there are sanctums belonging to different gods and goddesses. Multiple bells can be seen spread out all around in the temple. A large number of mandapams are present in the temple premises, each having its significance and usage. Dress code is a must for entering the temple and there are certain timings for the offerings made to the Lord, which can be anything which people want.


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