The Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, also known as the Sree Anantha Padmanabhaswamy Temple, is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Padmanabhaswamy (a form of Lord Vishnu) located in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of the Indian state of Kerala. This temple is renowned for its architectural beauty, historical significance, and the immense wealth discovered within its vaults.
Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple is considered an important landmark of Trivandrum city. It is also one of the seven Parasurama temples in Kerala. The main deity is Lord Vishnu in the Anananthasayanam posture. The city derived its name from the deity. Divine Padmanabha Swamy Temple is one of the oldest ones in Kerala and it is famous for its architecture. Any visitor is sure to be stunned by the exquisite workmanship and architectural elegance of this historic creation.
The temple was renovated to the present state of grandeur by the King of Travancore, Maharaja Sri Anizham Tirunal Marthanda Varma in the eighteenth century. The Travancore kingdom was surrendered to Lord Padmanabha and the rulers became “Padmanabha daasas” which means servant of Lord Padmanabha, Continued patronage of the royal family has made it possible for this structure to preserve its glory and dignity. Many customs inside the temple resemble royal rites and traditions! Devotees are not allowed to enter into the inner sanctum when the Travancore Royal family visits the temple for idol darshan.
To take part in darshan and puja, devotees have to climb on a stone slab. Different parts of Vishnu’s idol – the face, the navel, and the feet—can be seen from three different door-like openings.
Famous festivals of the temple are the Alpashi festival and Painkuny festival, both are celebrated for 10 days. These festivals conclude with the Aarat procession in the evening to Shanmugham beach and the Travancore King accompanies the procession by foot.
The famous Swathi music festival is held every year during the Navaratri festival in the temple. Laksha Deepam, a unique festival, once in 6 yrs, celebrates in the temple by lighting up one lakh oil lamps in and around the temple premises. The next Laksha Deepam will be in January.