Location: Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala, India)
District : Thiruvananthapuram
Sree Padmanabhaswami temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu who reclines on the sacred serpent Anantha is located in Thiruvananthapuram, Capital of Kerala. This largest and most renowned temple in Kerala is a pilgrimage centre as well as one of the major attractions in the city. There are innumerable pillars, intricate carvings and mural paintings of natural pigments. The temple houses a seven storied tower called ‘Gopuram’, it is a typical Dravidian architectural feature which is adorned with splendid array of different gods, goddesses, nymphs, sprites and demons.
The Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple was built in the 16th Century by the kings who ruled over the then kingdom of Travancore. Local legends say the Travancore kings sealed immense riches within the thick stone walls and vaults of the temple. Since India’s Independence, the temple has been controlled by a trust run by the descendants of the Travancore royal family. After 1947 the kingdom of Travancore merged with the princely state of Cochin, which eventually became the present-day state of Kerala.
The temple was recently in the news because of treasures unearthed from secret underground chambers of the temple by a court order. Precious stones, gold and silver are among valuables found at the temple. The riches are thought to have been languishing in the temple vaults for more than a century, interred by the Maharajahs of Travancore over time. They have not been officially valued, unofficial estimates say that the treasure discovered may be valued at more than 50 billion rupees ($1000 m). But historians say that assessing the true value of these objects is likely to be extremely difficult.
Festivals of Sree Padmanabhaswami temple : The biggest festival in this temple is Laksha deepam, which means hundred thousand (one lakh) lamps. This unique festival commences once in 6 years. Prior to this festival, chanting of prayers and recitation of three vedas is done for 56 days. On the last day, hundred thousand oil lamps are lit in and around the temple premises. The last Laksha deepam was celebrated on January 2014. A major annual festival here is the Navaratri. Navarathri Festival is held every year during October/November. Musical concerts are held during the festival period at the Navarathri Mandapam adjacent to the main temple building.
By road: Thiruvananthapuram (0 km),
By rail: Nearest railway station is Trivandrum Central (1 km),
By air: Nearest airport is Thiruvananthapuram International Airport (6 km).