Padmanabhaswamy Temple

4.2 / 5 62 votes


Weather:

Ideal Time: 2-3 hrs

Timings:

Morning hours: 3:30 AM - 4:45 AM (Nirmalya Darshanam), 6:30 AM - 7:00 AM, 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM, 10:30 AM - 11:00 AM, 11:45 AM - 12 PM.
Evening hours: 5:00 PM - 6:15 PM, 6:45 PM - 7:20 PM.

Entry Fee:

Special darshan: INR 150,
Special darshan with prasad: INR 180
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Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Trivandrum Overview

Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple stands tall in the Thiruvananthapuram, capital of Kerala in its decadent gold-plated glory. It is one of the 108 Divya Desams, the principal centres of worship in the dharma of Vaishnavism. Divya Desams are the holy abodes of the great Lord Vishnu, and the temple worships Lord Padmanabha- a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. This divine temple is one of the very few temples in India where the entrance is only granted to people that practice the Hindu faith. The mystery and grandeur of the temple fill the air and leaves you awestruck in its magnanimous beauty. The premises of the temple echo tranquillity and every breath you take under the roof of this holy structure feels like a soul cleansing experience.

Built as a replica of the Adikesavaperumal Temple in Thiruvattar, the Padmanabhaswamy temple is lost in antiquity. Even after detailed research and study, historians and archaeologists are unable to determine the exact age of this ancient temple. With its references in the Biblical Epics and Puranas, we know that the temple holds great importance in the history of Hinduism. The Bhagwad Gita iterates that the great Balarama not only visited this temple but also bathed in Padmatheertham and made several offerings the lord. They say that this temple was established on the first day of Kali Yuga, over 5000 years ago.

The temple is known for its strict rules of worship and has specific dress codes to be followed by its devotees. Despite all of this, devotees gather in large numbers to get a glimpse of the deity and attain some peace of mind. The majestic temple has also been the focus of many media reports and press coverage owing to the incredible discoveries being unearthed. The mystery surrounding Vault B is fascinating and has been contributing to a rise in visitor count since its discovery.

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    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


The temple finds mentions in holy texts like the Puranas namely Skanda Purana, Padma Purana, Brahma Purana, etc. It is considered to be one of the seven Parasurama Kshetras. Between 500 B.C. nd 300 A.D., it has also been a topic of Sangam literature. Legend says that Divakar Muni, who is said to have consecrated the temple, was an ardent Vishnu Bhakta and performed deep tapas for Lord Vishnu.

One day the sage noticed a very charming child and fell deeply for him right away. He didn't ever want the child to leave his sight, and so, he requested the child to stay with him. The child agreed on the condition that Divakar Muni must always treat him with love and respect and if he ever fails to do so, the child would disappear at once, to which the sage readily agreed. The hermit took great care of the child and lovingly tolerated the child's tantrums and mischiefs.

Once, Divakar Muni was in deep meditation when the child started mishandling the salagram that the sage used for Lord Vishnu's worship. The hermit was profoundly enraged, and he yelled at the child for his misconduct. The child, as agreed before, immediately began to run away from the spot. However, before leaving he told the sage, "If you wish to see me again, you will find me again in Ananthankaadu". The hermit soon realised that this was no ordinary child and set out to him while foregoing food, rest and sleep and continued along the route the child had taken.

He spotted the child at a distance disappearing into a tree. Once he got closer, the tree fell down and assumed the form of Shree Maha Vishnu- a divine form which was about 8 miles long! Overawed by the Lord's presence and his enlarged form, Divakar Muni requested the lord to condense himself so that he could behold him. The Lord obliged and shrank to a size which was three times the length of the Sanyasi's Yoga Dand.

The sage immediately offered the lord a raw mango in a coconut shell, which is continued as a tradition in the temple every day. TheLordd instructed that prayers and poojas to him must be conducted by Tulu Brahmins, and that is why more than half the poojaris at the temple represent the Tulu region.

The vaults in the temple, as named for documentation purposes, are A, B, C, D, E and F. All the vaults in the temple are opened at least about 8 times a year, except Vault B. Vault B is an exceptionally special vault.

Famous historians, priests and archaeologists believe that the mysterious contents of this vault are extremely sacred and it may be risky to unveil them.

The chamber is believed to have been sealed by the siddha purashas of the 16th century using the naga bandham. The door can only be opened when a learned, erudite sage, who is well versed with the naga bandham, chants the garuda mantra to open it, and the door will then willingly give way. Any attempt to open the door using machinery or technology is believed to wreak havoc in the entire country.

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 6 vaults that were locked inside the temple. When these chambers were opened, everyone was left dumbfounded!

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


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 essentially featuring high walls. The garbagriha or the sanctum sanctorum is located on a stone slab, and the main idol of the deity is about 18ft long.

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 and spectacularly ornate carvings. The Navagraha Mandapa is one other major attraction which is a ceiling displaying the nine planets.

In the temple, Sri Padmanabha reclines majestically on the serpent Anantha. The serpent has five hoods facing inwards forming an umbrella over the deity's head and signifies contemplation.  This is known as the 'Ananatha-sayanam' posture, the posture of eternal sleep, 'Yogi-nindra', on the serpent, Anantha. The Lord rests his right hand over a Shiva lingam and is surrounded by the great goddesses- Sridevi, the Goddess of Prosperity and Bhudevi the Goddess of Earth. Lord Brahma emerges on a lotus that emanates from the navel of the resting lord.

The temple joyously celebrates the festival of Thiruvonam, the birthday of Shree Padmanabhaswamy. Traditional aartis and customs are carried out as dictated by the ancestors several generations ago.

The temple celebrates bi-annual festivals of Thulam and Meenam. It's a ten-day festival that celebrates Shree Padmanabhaswamy. Traditionally, they used elephants to carry the festive idols, but after an elephant starting running amuck at one such occasion, this ritual has been discontinued.

Lakshadeepam, a festival of a thousand lamps, is celebrated by decorating the entire temple in burning flames of the numerous lamps. The sight of the temple during this festival is truly mesmerizing.

The temple has a strict 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 go bare in the torso. Dhotis are easily available for rent near the entrance. Nowadays, there has been some relaxation in this respect to avoid any inconvenience for the devotees.

The Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway station is closest to Shri Padmanabhaswamy temple at a mere distance of 600 meters, an 8-minute walk. You can also opt to travel from Kochuveli Railway Station which is at a distance of 9 km, approximately 17 minutes by road.

Vizhinjam Bus Station is the nearest bus stop to the temple and is only 16 km away, approximately 30 mins by road.

You can hail a cab or auto rickshaw from anywhere in the city at an economical cost and is a speedy and comfortable way to commute to the temple.

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Padmanabhaswamy Temple Reviews

7 months ago by Arka Das

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.

7 months ago by Vipul Chaudhary

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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