Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple : facts and secrets of the richest temple in India

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The Padmanabhaswamy Temple is located  in Thiruvananthapuram ,  Kerala , India . This grand and  magnificent temple is  dedicated to Lord Vishnu and this temple is the richest temple in the world . There are many temples in Kerala which are dedicated to Lord Vishnu but this Temple is very close to the heart of devotees all over the world .


In 1750 , King Anizhom Thirunal Marthanda Varma transferred his whole Kingdom “ State of Travancore “ to Sree Anantha Padmanabhaswamy by Absolute dedication and from that very time ,  the ruler of that state took the role of “ Dasa “ ( daas ) of Padmanabhaswamy .

Now , the word “ Dasa “ has become a disregarded  word in this modern world . There is a very big difference between the word “ Dasa “ and the word servant

“ Dasa “ means  a person who has dedicated his whole life for someone whom he/she  considered everything . This is done out of love ,  reverence  and dedication . Like – Bhagwan Hanuman who was “ Dasa “ of Sree Ram . Meera Bai who is famous as “ Daasi Meera Bai “ .

While servant means  a person who is doing work just for the sake of survival and not out of  love , reverence and dedication . There is no parallel meaning of “ Dasa ” in the English dictionary till now . So , calling

“ Dasa “ as a slave or servant is like not doing justice to a word for which it is  existed . 

Marthanda Varma was a great Warrior who had stopped Dutch  East India Company from ruling over the state and saved it from destroyer

This was just a glimpse of his work . This warrior had done a great service in the field of trade too . 

What is the real story of Padmanabhaswamy Temple?

There is no mention Of any date on which the original Padmanabhaswamy Temple was built .In some articles you will find 8th century as the history of the Padmanabhaswamy Temple but the  real history is much older  than 8th century . There is a story which goes around the formation of Padmanabhaswamy Temple .  According to “Sthala Purana“ , a man named Divakara Muni Who was a Tulu Brahmin , Living in Kumbala , near Mangalore . 

One day when he was performing his penance , Suddenly  a little kid came near to him . The little kid has some aura  Which compelled  Divakara Muni to ask him about his family .  He replied that he has no family and he is completely alone . Divakara Muni felt  sympathy for that little boy and asked him to  stay with him . 

But with a big surprise ,  the little boy put a condition before living with him and the condition was that he would leave the place if the Muni would scold him even for one time . Divakara Muni agreed to the condition.

One day when he was doing his Puja ,   the little boy who was in a joyful mood put Salagrama in his mouth . The Muni Became angry and started to scold  the little boy . After this incident , the  little boy left that place and Started to go on his own way And told Divakara Muni  that he had to go to the “ Forest of Anantha “ if he wanted to meet him .

Soon divakara Muni  realised that the little boy was none other than Maha Vishnu . After  chasing him ,  he came to the forest near seashore  where he found that the little boy get merged into  “ Iluppa tree  “ .

After merging ,  the tree fell down and transferred into “ MAHA VISHNU “ who was resting on Anantha Which was covering 18 miles of land . The supermassive Darshan of Maha Vishnu made Divakara Muni bend himself  in deep  gratitude .

Divakara Muni requested Maha Vishnu to shrink his  giant shape . Maha Vishnu took the request and  limited his  shape upto 18 feet and this is how the main idol of  Padmanabhaswamy Temple came into existence .

Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple architecture

Temple deity

The main idol , Padmanabhaswamy , is made up of 12008 salagrama stones and the mixture of herbs which is known as Kattusarkkara

Maha Vishnu is resting on five hooded Serpent ( Anantha ) and his right hand is resting on Shivling . Brahma sitting on the lotus is emerging  from the navel of Maha Vishnu .  This posture  of Maha Vishnu is known as “  anantha Shayanam “ means he is in deep yogic sleep on his serpent . 

The idol ,  Padmanabhaswamy ,  cannot be viewed from a single door because the idol is 18 feet long . So , there are three doors through which you can have darshan of Padmanabhaswamy.

Temple door

Through the first door you are able to view the face  and the chest of  Padmanabhaswamy . He is in yogic sleep and his right hand resting on Shiv Linga . 

Through  the second  door you will have a darshan of Brahma arising from the navel of Maha Vishnu . The speciality of this temple is that you will have  a darshan of  all Brahma Vishnu Mahesh which is rare to find .

The Grand Padmanabhaswamy Temple which we are  seeing today is a Masterpiece  work of the king Anizhom Thrunal Marthanda Varma  in the 18th century . The temple is based on chera and dravidian style of Architecture . 

The temple  covered around 25,700 square feet . Mainly ,  there are four entrances facing the four directions and the Gopura situated at the eastern entrance . It rises about 100 feet . There is a deepastambha outside the temple piazza . There is a Nataka sala ( dancing hall ) where the classical dances are being performed during the Malayalam months of Meenam and Thulam . 

There are various carvings on the pillar that can be seen in the temple . Like – Maha Vishnu ,  Gayatri ,  Mahalaxmi , Parvati ,  VenuGopal and many more . 

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Padmanabhaswamy temple vault

  • There are total six vaults in the temple out of which five vaults has been opened by the supreme court’s order in 2011 .
  • In these five vaults , state officers have found a huge pile of treasure which include gold , silver , ornaments , idols made of gold , coins , vessels and many more things .
  • The six vault is known as vault B which didn’t get open till now . There is a big carving of snakes on the vault’s door and door doesn’t look similar like other five vaults .
  • Carvings of snakes on the vault gives a signal that Lord Vishnu himself is protecting this vault from getting opened .
  • Many learned tantric and vastu experts were contacted to help the state government to open this vault but all have the same voice that this vault can only be opened through a particular chanting of hymn by sadhus . None have the ideas which hymn and what kind of sadhus can open it .
  • There is also a belief among people that opening of this vault can bring disaster to world .
  • Lord Vishnu who is ” king of Nagas ” who is protecting this vault . So , no one has dare to go further because no one get succeeded in opening this vault .

How to visit Padmanabhaswamy Temple

  • Only Hindus are allowed to visit the temple
  •  There is  free entry  for all Devotees .
  • Dress code must be followed by devotees .  Men should wear dhoti while women should be allowed to wear saree . 
  • Photography or videography is prohibited in the temple .

Padmanabhaswamy Temple timing

The Padmanabhaswamy Temple opens at 3:30 a.m. and closes at 7:20 p.m. 

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FAQ ( Frequently asked question )

Who is the owner of Padmanabhaswamy Temple ?

The royal family of Travancore is the owner of Padmanabhaswamy Temple . They call themselves “ Dasa of Padmanabhaswamy “ .

Why Padmanabhaswamy temple is the richest temple in the world ?

In 1750 , King Anizhom Thrunal Marthanda Varma transferred his whole Kingdom “ State of Travancore “ to Sree Anantha Padmanabha Swamy by Absolute dedication . Since then , the contribution of “ state of Travancore “ over the centuries to the temple in the form of Jewelles , cash , land , gold , coins and renovation make this temple the world richest temple

When was Padmanabhaswamy Temple built ?

The Padmanabhaswamy Temple was built much before the 8th century . Parshurama , sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu , is Considered to be the one who built the Padmanabhaswamy Temple .

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