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Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple

Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple

Typical Dravidian style of architecture, 18 feet high idol of Lord Padmanabhaswamy, about 400 pillars supporting the temple corridors, and ancient sculptures, mural paintings & wood carvings - all these fascinating features make Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple one of the 108 shrines sacred to Vaishnavas in India. This ancient and historic Vishnu temple, located 3 km. from Thiruvananthapuram, is considered to be around 2000 years old.

Main Features Of The Temple

The huge idol of Lord Vishnu sitting on the holy serpent Anantha is the most prominent attraction of the temple. It is made of 12000 saligrams (a special kind of stone) and is adorned with gold & other precious stones. The temple has four entrances and an impressive seven-storey Gopuram (tower). The entire Gopuram and the pillars of the corridors are curved from granites.

Another wonderful art work of the temple is the Time Clock, which depicts a Muslim and a Sheep. One can also see small temples for Lord Krishna (Tiruvambadi) Lord Narasimha, Lord Ayyappa, Lord Ganesha and Lord Anjaneya (Hanuman) in the temple complex. There is a 33 meter high golden 'kodimaram' (flagstaff encased in gold stands) located in the chuttambalam. The walls of the 'sreekovil' (sanctum sanitarium) can be seen well decorated with mural paintings.

It is purely a Hindu temple, and men should wear only white dhoti while entering the premises. It organizes daily processions of the idols, which are wonderfully decorated with jewels, sandal paste and flowers. The idols are taken in procession around the Siveli Mandapam with various musical instruments, silver and gold umbrellas, elephants, horse and bull. This entire procession is known as 'Siveli'.

The temple is famous for Arattu festival, which is headed by the royal family of Travancore. People from far off places visit the temple to take part in the two festivals. One is celebrated during Thula month (October) and the other in the Meenam month (March). The Maharaja of Travancore leads the procession twice daily during the ten-day celebrations, which conclude with 'Palli Vettai' (symbolic of a wild animal hunt) on the 9th day and the 'Arat' (holy bath at the Sankumugham beach) on the 10th day. Meenam Uthsavam is popular for 'Velakali', which depicts the Kurukshetra war between the Pandavas and the Kauravas.

Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple is a major landmark of Thiruvananthapuram and the holiest pilgrim centre of Kerala.

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