A Temple with Many Secret : The Padmanabhaswamy Temple
The Padmanabhaswamy temple is the one if the richest temple in the world. Padmanabhaswamy temple is located in the centre of the Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala. The temple is also known as Sree Padmanabhaswamy Kshetram. The temple is dedicated to lord Vishnu. Padmanabhaswamy temple is the blend of the Kerala and Dravidian styles of architecture. Many few people know that the temple is a replica of t he Adikesava Perumal temple located in Kanyakumari. The temple is known for his treasure and its history. But it still not included in world heritage sites..!!
Padmanabhaswamy temple has big history about its construction. Divakara Muni was the big Bhaktha (worshipper) of lord Vishnu. While at ‘Aanarthadesa’, he performed deep tapas. One day lord Vishnu appeared against him as a child. The child took attraction of sage. The sage decided that the child live with him. The child made a conisation on it. If the sage will angry on child then child will disappeared. One day, when the sanyasi was in deep meditation, the chills took the ‘salagram’ which the sanyasi was using for worship and put it into his mouth and made such a nuisance of himself that Divakara Mini was greatly angered and could tolerate it no further. He thereupon chastised the child. In accordance with the earlier agreement, immediately the child ran away and disappeared from the spot. After that Muni realize that the child is no another than lord Vishnu. One day sage reached at Ananthankadu in search for boy. There he saw the boy merging into an Iluppa tree (Indian Butter Tree). The tree fell down and became Anantha Sayana Moorti (Vishnu reclining on Anantha). But the Lord was of an extraordinarily large size with head at Thiruvallom, navel at Thiruvanananthapuram and feet at Thrippadapuram (Thrippappur). The spot where the Sage had darsan of the Lord belonged to Koopakkara Potti and Karuva Potti. With the assistance of the reigning King and some Brahmin households a Temple was constructed.
According to some legend Padmanabhaswamy Temple was established on the first day of Kali Yuga (which is over 5000 years ago). In 1729 A.D. after the end of the ruler some invent occurred at the temple. In 1459-60 A.D. for the purpose of re-construction of the roof of the sanctum sanctorum the idol of Sree Padmanabhaswamy was removed to a ‘Balalaya’. The idol was reinstatement and an Ottakkal Mandapam (Single granite stone slab abutting the sanctum sanctorum) was put up in 1461 A.D. In 1566 A.D. the foundation was to put down for the Gopuram (pagoda) over the main eastern entrance. But in 1686 A.D. the Temple was almost fully destroyed in a big fire accident. Work on the re- construction of the Temple was started only in 1724 A.D. In 1729 A.D. Marthanda Varma renovated the temple. In 1730 the idol was again moved to ‘Balalaya’.
The temple is known for its architecture and paintings. The wall of the temple was fully painted with beautiful paintings. Some of the paintings are very gigantic like lord Vishnu, Narasimha Swamy (half-lion, half man incarnation of Lord Vishnu), Gaja Lakshmi and Lord Ganapati. The temple has a flag post named adhwaja stamba which is 80 ft long and it is covered with gold plated covered sheets. The deity is made from approximately 12,008 saligramams. These saligrams are from the banks of the Gandaki River in Nepal. The deity of Padmanabha is covered with, “Katusarkara yogam”, a special ayurvedic mix, which forms a plaster that keeps the deity clean. The daily worship is with flowers and for the abhishekam, special deities are used. The construction of the sreebalippura’s (the oblong corridor) credit goes to 4000 sculptors, 6000 labourers and 100 elephants worked for a period of 6 months to finish. This huge rectangular corridor built of solid stones protects the Deities during seeveli on rainy days. The temple also has some interesting structural features in the form of Bali Peeda Mandapam and Mukha Mandapam. These are halls which are decorated with beautiful sculptures of various Hindu deities. There is a ground floor of eastern side, which is known as the nataka sala, where Kerala’s classical art form – the Kathakali is performed during the annual ten-day festival at the temple. This festival held during the Malayalam months of Meenam and Thulam.
The temple is known for its treasury. According to legend temple has approx $963.51 crore treasuries. Recently Indian Government found some vaults in the temple. They found six vaults. Among them Sri Mahabharatakonathus (vault B, also known as Kallara B) it is not a part of temple treasury. There is a serpent image’s on vault B indicating danger to anyone who opens it. The holy Vault houses a Srichakram, an idol of Padmanabha and many valuables meant to improve the potency of the Principal Deity. The vault B is locked by some verse. Nobody knows that verse. So this vault is still closed.
Some people think that it was a house of god or some sages which worshipping to God. Recently Indian Government open some vaults and they collect some precious which include 1 lakh Gold Coin, rare priceless Gems, Diamonds like Indraneelam and Belgium, Rubies, Emeralds, 1200 Sarappoli Gold Chains, Gold Crowns like Kulashekharaperumal, Crown which was used by Kings of Travancore, KashuMala (Necklaces), Golden rings, 400 Gold Necklaces with Marathakam stone, Swarna(Gold) Dhanuss, Swarna(Gold) Pathakams, Gold Kazhuthu Kudam, Kazhuthukootam, Gold Chains of up to 3 and 10.5 kg and of about 18 ft also, More than 2000 Gold ornaments, KhadikaThadi, Gold Plates (Swarna Thalika), Golden Idol of Pad manabha Swamy, 4 Feet tall Golden statue of Lord Vishnu studded with precious emeralds, Gold Pots, Kumbheeyam, Silver Moola Pattika, Golden Umbrellas (Thankakuda), Gold Varpu, Uruli (Big Utensil), Gold, Silver Nilavilakku, Gold Staffs, Golden Utensils, Gold Kindi, Serpents idols in Gold, Kudumudi, Gold Bangles, Gold Dharakidaram, God Shiva Idols made of Gold, Narayam and Gold Thali (dish). Two coconut shell fashion out of pure god were found too. Because of this gigantic treasure we can saw tight security at the temple. According to some legend there is also some yellow metal in vault B. However, the Amicus Curiae Mr Gopal Subramanium in his report submitted to the Supreme Court in April 2014 recommends opening of this Kallara after conducting another Devaprasnam. Because of that Indian Government temporary decided not to open vault B and any other not open vault. Padmanabhan believed that these reaches were still hidden in the basement, uncounted and unguarded.
There are many festivals related to this temple. The major festivals are bi-annual. The Alpashy festival which is in October/November and the Panguni festival which is in Tamil month Panguni, March/April, lasts for 10 days each. Because of temple’s great attractions and festival held at Kerala, visitors at temple day by day increasing.