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Time Required : 2-3 hrs

Entry Fee : Special darshan: INR 150
Special darshan with prasad: INR 180

Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Trivandrum Overview

One of the 108 Divya Desams, Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple is located in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala. Embellished in gold-plated covering, the temple is opened only to Hindu followers. Dedicated to Lord Padmanabha; one of the avatars of Lord Vishnu, the Padmanabhaswamy Temple is one of the principal centres of Vaishnava worship in the dharma of Vaishnavism.

Built as a replica of the Adikesavaperumal Temple in Thiruvattar, the Padmanabhaswamy temple is well-preserved antiquity. Although the origin of this temple still remains a mystery, devotees believe it to have existed since the first day of the Kali Yuga, which was 5000 years ago. The Padmanabhaswamy temple also has a mention in the Bhagwad Gita. The scripture states that Balarama, the older brother of Lord Krishna frequented the temple, bathed in the Padmatheertham and also made several offerings the deity here. 

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Darshan Timings


    Morning Timings
    03:15 AM to 04:15 AM (Nirmalya Darshanam)
    06:30 AM to 07:00 AM
    08:30 AM to 09:15 AM
    Evening Timings
    05:00 PM to 06:15 PM
    06:45 PM to 07:20 PM

Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple Vault B

The temple vaults are labelled for documentation purposes. There are A, B, C, D, E and F vaults, all of which except Vault B are opened at least 8 times annually. Famous historians, priests and archaeologists believe that the mysterious contents of this vault are extremely sacred and it may be risky to unveil.

The chamber is believed to have been sealed by the Siddha Purushas or the Ever-Ready Male Devotees of the 16th century using the Naga Bandham or the Snake Guard. The door of Vault B which is guarded by snakes can be opened only through a knowledgable sage who knows well about the Naga Bandham. The Muni would have to chant the Garuda Mantram or the Eagle Chant to open the door, which would only easily open then. Any attempt to open the door using machinery or technology is believed to own the potential to wreck the whole country.

Temple Treasure

In 2011, the Supreme Court of India sent a seven-member team in the presence of the Head Trustee of the Travancore Trust of Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy to open the six vaults that were locked inside the temple. When these chambers were opened, everyone was awestruck!

The chambers contained sacks of diamonds, piles of priceless gems, hundreds of gold statues, numerous gold idols, heaps of gold utensils, thousands of gold coins from different nations and pricey ancient weaponry. The priceless items found weighed over 1 ton of pure gold and diamonds and were worth more than 1000 billion dollars!

Many gold statues that were found were over 9 feet in height and studded with precious gems. Colossal solitaire diamonds lay in the vault and were bigger than a human thumb. Gold and diamond necklaces were about 18 feet long, and heaps of solid gold coconut shells were discovered that weighed more than 66 pounds.

Read more about Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple Treasure.

Festivals at Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple

Thiruvonam
The temple joyously celebrates the festival of Thiruvonam, the birthday of Shree Padmanabhaswamy. Traditional customs are carried out as handed-down by the ancestors' several generations ago.

Thulam and Meenam
The temple celebrates bi-annual festivals such as Thulam and Meenam, which is a ten-day festival that celebrates the deity, Shree Padmanabhaswamy. Conventionally, the ritual had elephants carrying the idols, but it has been stopped after an elephant ran and caused great fright and distress to the locals.

Lakshadeepam
Lakshadeepam, a festival of a thousand lamps, is celebrated by decorating the entire temple with several lamps. The sight of the temple during this festival is truly mesmerizing.

Temple Dress Code

  • Women are required to wear sarees, Mundum Neriyathum (set-mundu), skirt and blouse, or half-saree.
  • Young girls below the age of 12 may wear gowns.
  • Men are similarly required to wear mundu or dhoti and bare their torso.
  • Dhotis are easily available for rent at the entrance.
  • These rules have been recently relaxed a little to avoid inconveniences tp the devotees.

History of Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple

Divakar Muni and the Holy Child
The story behind the Padmanabhaswamy Temple begins with the sage, Divakar Muni who was a staunch believer in Lord Vishnu and also deeply meditated in his name. One day the Muni noticed a child and felt paternal towards it, he never wished to let the child out of his sight, and thus pleaded the kid to never leave him. The child agreed, but on one condition, that he must always be treated with love and respect. In failing to do so, the child said that he would disappear and never return. The eager sage agreed and took care of the child and fondly tolerated the child's tantrums and mischief.

Breaking the Vow
Once when Divakar Muni was meditating, the child began mishandling the salagram, an instrument used by the Muni to worship Lord Vishnu. Enraged by this incident, the sage shouted at the kid, upon which the latter began the run from Divakar Muni. However, before leaving the child told the sage, "If you wish to see me again, you will find me again in Ananthankaadu", which is a present temple situated behind the present Padmanabhaswamy temple in Trivandrum. 

Lord Vishnu's Magnificent Manifestation
This episode made the Muni realise that the child was an extraordinary being, and thus set on a mission to find the kid again. He gave up food, rest and sleep and continued along the route the child had taken. He spotted the child at a distance disappearing into a tree. When he neared, this tree fell and took the form of Shree Maha Vishnu - a divine avatar which was about 8 miles long. Terrified by this sudden manifestation, Divakar Muni requested Lord Vishnu to retract to his original self so that the former could worship him. Vishnu agreed and condensed three times the length of the Sanyasi's Yoga Dand.

Present Tradition and Belief
The sage immediately offered the Lord a raw mango in a coconut shell, which is a continued daily tradition in the temple even now. Lord Vishnu instructed that any devotion in the form of prayers or worship to him must be performed by Tulu Brahmins, which happens to be the reason why more than half the priests at the temple represent the Tulu region.

Temple Architecture

The architecture of the temple can be described to be a fusion of the Kerala style and the Dravidian (Kovil) style which can be found in many nearby temples. One main characteristic of this type of architectural design are high walls. The temple also houses a sanctum sanctorum or the garbagriha on a stone slab. The main deity of the temple is an 18-feet-long idol.

The entire construction has been carried out with precision in stone and bronze with beautiful murals and paintings adorning its walls. A broad corridor extends from the eastern side and is said to have 365 and one-quarter of granite stone pillars spectacularly carved with ornate designs. Another attraction is the Navagraha Mandapa, which is a ceiling displaying the nine planets.

In the temple, Sri Padmanabha reclines majestically on the serpent Anantha, which has five hoods facing inwards forming an umbrella over the deity's head, signifying contemplation.  This is known as the 'Ananatha-Sayanam' posture, the posture of eternal sleep, 'Yogi-Nindra', on the serpent. The idol rests its right hand over a Shiva Lingam while surrounded by the great goddesses - Sridevi; the Goddess of Prosperity and Bhudevi; the Goddess of Earth. Lord Brahma emerges on a lotus from the idol's naval.

How To Reach Padmanabhaswamy Temple

Via Train
The Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway station is the closest station to Shri Padmanabhaswamy temple. It is just 600 meters away and can be covered with an 8-minute walk. Visitors can also board trains from the Kochuveli Railway Station which is 9 kms from the temple, approximately 17 minutes away.

Via Bus
Vizhinjam Bus Station is the nearest bus stop to the temple. It is only 16 km away and can be covered by a 30-minute journey on road.

Via Cab/Auto
You can hail a cab or auto-rickshaw from anywhere in the city at an economical cost. It is a quick and comfortable way to reach the temple.

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Trivandrum Reviews

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Arka Das 2 years ago
Walking distance from Trivandrum Railway Station. Dhoti with bare chest for men and Saree for women are must. These are available at the shops outside the Temple for rent at around INR 40/- . Note : Temple remained close from 1pm to 5pm everyday.
Vipul Chaudhary 2 years ago
It houses a sleeping Lord Vishnu idol. If you buy a ticket worth 150 they will take you inside the garbhagraha. The unique experience was the dress code: Men have to wear a dhoti and go in bare chested. Women have to wrap around the dhoti if not wearing a saree. You can get a dhoti outside the temple from govt stall for fixed nominal prices.

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Q. Should child of 6 yrs also wear lungi.and girls to wear dhoti?

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