Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple is one of the most famous temples in the world. It is situated in the Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala. This temple is dated back to 500 BC. This is the same time which was in the news a few years back as riches worth millions of dollars were uncovered here.
One of the most prominent temples in the Vaishnava sect, the Padmanabhaswamy temple is also one of the 108 Divya Desams. Lord Padmanabhaswamy who is considered to be a reincarnation of Vishnu is the main deity of the temple. The name Padmanabhaswamy means the Lord with a lotus flower in his navel. The Lord is seen in the sleeping position in this temple. The idol of Lord Padmanabhaswamy is 18 feet long and tranquility is depicted on the Lord's face. You need to see the idol through 3 doors, the head and chest through the first door while the hands through the second door and the feet of the Lord through the third door.
Once inside the temple, you will feel an invisible mist of inner calm engulfing you and emptying you from all kinds of negative thoughts. The Anantha Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Trivandrum is a magnificent temple which is a wonderful amalgamation of Dravidian and Kerala style of architecture. There is a beautiful hall known as Othakalmandapam in the temple which is carved out from a single stone. This hall is the finest specimen of the architectural marvel. The flag post is one of the main attractions of the temple, which is made from gold plated copper and is 80 feet high.
The entire Padmanabhaswamy temple of Thiruvananthapuram is adorned with captivating paintings and murals. Depicting the life and activities of Lord Vishnu in his various avatars. It is interesting to note that even after all these years of construction, the sheen of these murals has not been lost to the wrath of time. You will find various attractive sculptures of Hindu deities in the Balipeeda Mandapam and the Mukha Mandapam halls.
The history of Padmanabhaswamy temple is an interesting one. There is a mention of this temple even in the holy Puranas, where it is detailed that Lord Balarama, the brother of Lord Krishna visited this temple, bathed here and offered his prayers to the Lord Padmanabhaswamy. According to Hindu mythology, the temple is said to have been constructed on the first day of Kali Yug, which was around 5000 years ago.
The intricate carvings both on the outside and inside of the Padmanabhaswamy temple are sure to take your breath away and make you adorn the skillet of artists of those times. Many people do not know that the Padmanabhaswamy temple is built as a replica of the Adikesava Perumal Temple which is located in the town of Thiruvattar.
The Padmanabhaswamy Temple was renovated by King Marthanda Varma. After constructing the temple the king dedicated not only the temple but his entire Kingdom to Lord Padmanabhaswamy. He declared publicly that from now on the Royals of Travancore shall be ruling in the name of Lord, and since then each ruler of Travancore has taken the title of Padma Nabha Das (servant of Lord Padmanabhaswamy) which signifies that they are ruling in the name of Lord Padmanabhaswamy.
The Padmanabhaswamy temple is famous for its two festivals which were started by Marthanda Varma, Murajapam and Bhadra Deepam. In the local language, the Murajapam means continuous chanting of prayers, in this festival, the hymns from Vedas are chanted continuously for 56 days and 1 lakh (one hundred thousand) Diyas (oil lamps) are lit.
A high level of Mystique surrounds the Padmanabhaswamy Temple after hordes of gold ornaments were recovered from this temple a few years ago. The mystery around vault B is still intact as all efforts to open the door have been greeted with failure.
Connectivity is not an issue if you want to reach the Padmanabhaswamy Temple, as it is located in Thiruvananthapuram which is the capital of the state of Kerala. Thiruvananthapuram is well connected with rest of India as well as internationally through the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, which is only 6 kilometers from the temple. Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway Station connects Thiruvananthapuram to the rest of India through a well-connected railway network. State, as well as private bus operators, ply between Thiruvananthapuram and other major cities of Southern India like Chennai, Bangalore, Cochin and Hyderabad.
There is a unique dress code that needs to be followed to enter the temple. The men have to wear dhoti and have to go inside the temple bare-chested. Women need to wear traditional Sarees. In case you do not have a Sarees or a dhoti then you do not need to carry or buy one to visit the Padmanabhaswamy Temple. Dhotis and Sarees are available on rent in shops outside the temple.
Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple Timings (Morning):
- 3:15 A.M to 4:15 A.M (Nirmalya Darshan)
- 6:30 A.M to 7:00 A.M
- 8:30 A.M to 10:00 A.M
- 10:30 A.M to 11:10 A.M
- 11:45 A.M to 12 Noon
Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple Timings (Evening):
- 5:00 P.M to 6:15 P.M
- 6:45 P.M to 7:20 P.M
Note: The above-indicated time schedule is subject to changes during festivals and other special occasions. During the festival occasions the darshan time is reduced in order to performing the special Poojas.