The famous Padmanabhaswamy Temple which is now one of the richest temples of the world, is located in Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), the capital city of Kerala. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple is considered as one of the 108 ‘Divya Desams’ present on earth. A Divya Desam is the holiest of the abodes of Lord Vishnu. The idol of Vishnu inside the temple is in lounging position lying on a large multi hooded serpent – the position known as Ananthasayanam. The name of the city Thiruvananthapuram is itself derived from one of the names of Lord Vishnu. The temple is famous because of its religious importance, its grandeur and the magnificent Dravidian style of architecture. Numerous renovations have taken place since the constructions of the temple. Each renovation has added something or the else to the structure of the temple, which have molded the temple into its present shape.
The history of Padmanabhaswamy Temple can be traced back to the eighth century AD. However, during the 15th century, after the initial years of the renovation of the Padmanabhaswamy temple, the temple and the properties which came under this temple was divided into eight districts. These eight districts were controlled by eight powerful upper class feudal lords. They are collectively known as ‘Ettuveetil Pillamar’, which literally means the Lords of the Eight Houses. They, under the guidance of the Council of Eight and a Half, used to govern the working and maintenance of the temple.
In 18th century AD, King Anizham Thirunal Valiya Marthanda Varma suppressed the Ettuveetil Pillamar along with the conspiracies against the royal house, to take control of the temple and the province which came under it. The last major renovation was also done during the reign of Marthanda Varma. Anizham Thirunal, the successor of Marthanda Varma, surrendered the kingdom to the temple deity on 3 January, 1750. He vowed that his successors will ‘serve’ the kingdom as ‘Padmanabha Dasa’ (literally meaning the servants of Lord Padmanabhaswamy). Since then, the name of the successors to the throne of Travancore was suffixed with the title Padmanabha Dasa.
Padmanabhaswamy Temple is an architectural marvel. The first thing which you will notice is the architectural magnificence of its Gopuram, which stands 100 ft tall with seven tiers. There is a spring in front of the temple, which is wonderfully crafted in shape of lotus flower. This spring is called Padma Theertham. The temple also includes an extensive corridor which is adorned with 365 pillars, made up of granite, each one of which is extensively carved with intricate stone work. This corridor is located on the eastern side of the Garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum of the temple). There is an eighty feet high flagstaff, which embellishes the main entrance of the corridor. On the eastern side of the main entrance a Nataka Sala is located where stunning Kathakali performances are organized during the festival days. The architecture of the temple is of traditional Kerala style. The stonework which is done inside and on Gopuram is commendable, as it is intricately designed and embellished.
How to Reach
Traveling to Padmanabhaswamy temple by road is a viable option, as the temple is located at a place easily accessible by public as well as private transport. The city bus station is located at walking distance from the temple.
Trivandrum International Airport is the nearest airport to the Padmanabhaswamy temple, which is just 7 km away from the temple. From this airport you can easily board a flight to almost all the major cities of India and abroad.
The nearest railhead to Padmanabhaswamy temple is Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway Station which is situated just 1 km away from the temple. This is one of the main railway stations in South India and hence you can catch a train to any of the major Indian city from here.
Padmanabhaswamy temple in Trivandrum/Thiruvananthapuram is one of the major temples in Kerala.
|Nearest Airport/Railway Station||Trivandrum International Airport / Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway Station|
|Nearby Attractions||Government Arts and Crafts Museum, Sri Chitra Art Gallery, Natural History Museum|
|Best Time to Visit||October to February|