Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple

Thriuvananthapuram, Kerala
Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple


Inside the sanctum sanctorum, Padmanabhaswamy is shown assuming the reclining position. The massive idol rests on the bed of the coiled Adishesha; the snake’s five hoods facing inwards and forming a protective cover over Prabhu. Vishnu’s right hand is stretched below, in such a way as to be placed over a Shivalinga there. His divine consorts, Sridevi, the Goddess of Wealth, and Bhudevi, the goddess of the Earth, are by his side. Brahma sits on a lotus, which comes out from Prabhu's navel.
This massive deity is made from 12,008 saligramams, which had been gathered from the banks of the Gandaki River in Nepal. The idol is covered with Katusarkara Yogam, which is a special plaster mix, to keep the deity clean. The daily worship routine includes abhishekham, flowers, arati, and other rituals.
The two platforms in front of the vimanam where the deity reclines are carved out of a single stone. Hence they are called "Ottakkal-mandapam". This rock had been cut out of a rock at Thirumala, about 4 miles north of the temple.
To take darshan or to perform puja, the devotee has to ascend to the mandapam. The deity is visible through three doors, symbolic of how the sage had seen the god. The face of the god and the Shivalinga is seen through the first door. His torso, along with his consort Sridevi and Brahma and other divine beings can be seen through the second door. The third door gives the devotee a darshan of the god's feet, Bhudevi, and several other Rishis (sages).
Only the King of Travancore can perform a sashtanga namaskaram (offering obeisance lying completely prostrate on the ground) on the Ottakkal mandapam. Traditionally, it is believed that anyone who prostrates on the mandapam has surrendered his or her everything to the god. Since the ruler has already done that, only he has the permission to prostrate thus.

The Shrines
The temple includes two other major shrines within itself, namely, the Thekkedom and Thiruvambadi shrines, for the deities, Ughra Narasimha and Sri Krishna respectively. The Thirvambadi shrine is older than the main shrine and hence, enjoys independent status. It has its own namaskara mandapam, Bali stones, and flag mast. The deity here is Parthasarathy, the Divine Charioteer of Arjuna, during the Great War of Kurukshetra. The granite idol is depicted in standing posture, holding a whip in one hand, with the other resting on the left thigh, holding a conch close to it. On Ekadasi days, the god is dressed up as Mohini.
There are yet other shrines for Rama and Sita, Vishwaksena, Vyasa, Ganapati, Sasta (Ayyappa), Garuda, and Hanuman. the thevara idols of Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma and Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma can be found on the southeast side of the temple.

The temple features a massive 100-foot, seven-tier gopuram, constructed in the Pandyan style. The temple, which is located by the side of a tank, called Padma Theertham, has a corridor with 365 and one-quarter sculptured granite pillars having elaborate carvings on them. This corridor extends from the eastern side, right to the sanctum sanctorum. An eighty-foot flagstaff stands proud, right in front of the main entry from the prakaram. There is a Nataka Sala on the ground floor under the gopuram. Here, Kathakali performances were staged all through the night during the ten-day uthsavam, conducted twice a year, during the Malayalam months of Meenam and Thulam.

Timings of Temple

Darshan Timing

Monday3:15 am – 12:00 pm
5:00 pm – 7:20 pm
Tuesday3:15 am – 12:00 pm
5:00 pm – 7:20 pm
Wednesday3:15 am – 12:00 pm
5:00 pm – 7:20 pm
Thursday3:15 am – 12:00 pm
5:00 pm – 7:20 pm
Friday3:15 am – 12:00 pm
5:00 pm – 7:20 pm
Saturday3:15 am – 12:00 pm
5:00 pm – 7:20 pm
Sunday3:15 am – 12:00 pm
5:00 pm – 7:20 pm

The legend about the Temple

Legend has it that the sage Vilvamangalathu Swamiyar, who lived near the Ananthapuram temple, prayed to Vishnu for his darshan. The Bhagwan came to him in the guise of a mischievous little boy and defiled the idol that he kept for his pooja. Enraged, the sage chased away the boy, who disappeared in front of his eyes.

After searching high and low, the sage was walking on the banks of the Arabian Sea, when he heard a pulaya (untouchable) lady threatening a child that she would throw him in the Ananthakadu. The moment he heard the word “Ananthakadu”, he was elated and enquired from the lady as to how he could reach the place. He then went there, hoping that he could find the boy in that place. Sure enough, he saw the boy merging into an Iluppa (Indian Butter) tree. The tree fell and became the Ananthashayana Moorthi (effigy) of Sri Vishnu.
The effigy, however, was extremely large, with Bhagwan’s head at Thiruvallom, his navel at Thiruvananthapuram, and His Lotus Feet at Thrippadapuram. This spanned about 8 miles in length. Dismayed, the sage requested the Bhagwaan to shrink in size. Immediately, Prabhu shrank to the form that can currently be seen at the Padmanabhaswamy temple.

The sage saw Prabhu in the above-mentioned three parts. He prayed to Bhagwan to be forgiven for his sins and offered rice kanji and uppumanga (mango in brine) placed in a coconut shell – he had obtained this from the pulaya woman.
He then took the assistance of the ruling king and some Brahmin households to construct a temple for Prabhu. This temple, which is located to the west of the Padmanabhaswamy temple, still stands as the Ananthakadu Nagaraja temple. Later, a Krishna temple was built over his Samadhi. This temple is known as the Vilvamangalam Sri Krishna Swami Temple.

How to reach ?

West Nada, Fort, East Fort, Pazhavangadi, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala - 695023

By Train: You can easily get regular trains to Thiruvananthapuram from other major cities of the country.

By Air: Thiruvananthapuram is not well connected to other major cities of the country via regular flights. The nearest airport is in Trivandrum at a distance of 3kms.


Create an Impact!

Keep Alive and Thriving

or Connect on Social

Soulful Sanatan Creations

Explore our Spiritual Products & Discover Your Essence
Best Sellers

Best Sellers

Discover Our Best-Selling Dharmic T-Shirts
Sanatani Dolls

Sanatani Dolls

A new life to stories and sanatan wisdom to kids
Dharmic Products

Dharmic Products

Products for enlightment straight from kashi
Sanskrit T-shirts

Sanskrit T-shirts

Explore Our Collection of Sanskrit T-Shirts
Yoga T-shirts

Yoga T-shirts

Find Your Inner Zen with our Yoga Collection