Anantha Padmanabha Temple


The Anantha Padmanabha Temple also known as Lake Temple is in Anantapura Village six km from Kumba Town in Kesaragod District is one of the eight self manifested temples of Lord Vishnu. It is believed that Ananthapura is the residence of Anantha Padmanabha Swamy. It is the only temple in a lake in entire Kerala. It is believed that this temple is the origin of Ananta Padmanabha Swamy of Trivandrum known as Tiruvanantapuram. Legend is that Anantha Padmanabha Swamy gone to Trivandrum through a cove in this Temple.  The temple was built in a lake of 2 ½ acres. Pilgrims may visit a cave on the right side of the temple. The local people say that Anantha Padmanabha travelled to Trivandrum through this cave. Hence the deity called in these two places of Kerala with the name of Anantha Padmanabha. Anantapura is in the Northern and Trivandrum is on the Southern side to Kerala State. The priests of this temple are Havyaka Brahmins and the Trantri is from Shivalli Brahmin community. 

Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple-kerala-india

The temple constructed in the center of lake impressing the hearts of the viewers. The lake will be with full of water in all days with spring water. The ruins around the lake show that there is a big temple complex. There are Sanctum, Porch, Jala  Durga Temple, Foot Bridge to sanctum and a portal to the cave. The Chief deity in the Sanctum Lord Vishnu and other idols are not prepared with metal or wood. The original idols were prepared with “Kadu Sarkara Yoga”, a mixture of various medical herbals. Subsequently Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Ji, head of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peet has presented Panchaloha idols. Lord Vishnu appear in sitting pose on the five headed Anantha, the king of snakes. The idols made with wood narrating the stories of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu are on the roof of the temple. The images of Nine Planets are painted in the front Porch. Entrance is permitted into the temple to all devotees irrespective of caste and religion. The village Ananthapura named on the deity Ananta Padmanabha. The sunset is so graceful to visit through the gates of the floors of the temple tower.   

We narrate the legend behind the temple in brief. Sage Bilva Mangal performed penance for Lord Vishnu. Vishnu satisfied to the penance and appeared in the form of a child. Bilva Mangal could not recognise the child as Sri Hari but was attracted to the words, beauty. He has asked the particulars of his parents. The boy answered that he has no parents and the Sage asked him to reside with him. The boy agreed with a condition that the Sage should not shout on him and he shall leave him if he does so.

The Sage agreed to the condition and looks him with utmost love and affection. Sri Hari in the form of the boy has tried to get the Sage angry and the Sage endured with great patience without get angry on the boy. The Sage possessed Saligrams, form of Lord Vishnu and he used to worship them daily. One day the boy kept Saligram in his mouth during worship. The Sage gets angry and shouted on the boy. The boy left the Sage and gone to Forest answering that the Sage exceeded the condition. The Sage could not bear his absence and ran behind the boy. The boy disappeared in a Cave.     

The Sage has entered into the cave and identified a way. He has proceeded in the way and saw the boy under an Aswardh Tree and disappeared. The Sage started crying for the boy and the Tree break down with heavy sound. Sri Hari with four hands appeared relaxing on Anantha Shayana  accompanied with Maha Lakshmi. The Deity is nothing but Anantha Padmanabha Swamy of Trivandrum.  The temple is in the place of the Ashram of Sage Divakara Bilva Mangala and it is the origin. It is believed that there is way to the temple of Sri Ananta Padmanabha Swamy of Trivendrum from the cave and the cave is the residence  of the Crocodile name “Babiya” and believed the Crocodile as the protector of the Deity. The Crocodile receive only the Prasad of the Deity as food developing confidence on the Deity. The Priests enter into the pond in the premises and feed Prasad of the Deity to the Crocodile twice daily in the morning and afternoon. Babiya would not take anything except Prasad. It really unbelievable that Babiya should not harm and only take the Prasad of the Deity. The local history is that a British Officer has shot down the Crocodile and he died with snake bite. But surprisingly Babiya appeared on the next day to receive Prasad from the Priests. It is also believed that there will be only one Crocodile in the pond and another one occupies the place on its demise to protect the temple. 

The pilgrims may visit the cave on right to the lake in Anantapura Temple. The local legend is that Ananta Padmanabha gone to Trivendrum through the cave. The deity in the two places called as Ananta Padmanabha and the two shrines are in two directions Anantapura in the North and Trivandrum in South.  

Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple situated at Trivandrum, capital of Kerala State. The Tower of the temple built nearly seven hundred years ago besides to the Padmnabha Teerth with hundred feet height. The temple atrium built with three hundred and sixty five stone pillars by divine architect named Viswa Karma has special significance as an archeologically monument. The main entrance is on the eastern side. Kathakali dance will be conducted in the play house at the portal under the tower every year for a period of ten days during the Malayalam months Meenam and Tulam. This Temple and the deity mentioned in Brahma, Matsya, Varaha, Skanda, Padma and Vayu Purana besides Epics like Bhagavata and Mahabharat. Some historians described the temple as Golden Temple and the temple exists 2500 years ago possessing various kinds of wealth. The Tamil poet Nammalvaar of ninth century described the town having golden walls and the Town with the Temple is full of Gold. It is believed that in Kerala Mahatyam, part of the Brahmanda Purana it was stated that in the Dwapara Era, Parasu Rama, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu created the idol of Sri Padmanabha Swamy and arranged seven families to maintain the temple. Further the defence and administration to Aditya Varama, King of Kanchi and Yantra to Nambhudripad.             

In the Sanctum, the Idol of Padmanabha is enshrined in “Anantha Shayana” posture like the statue of Vishnu in the Buddhunikanta Temple of Kathmandu. The statue created with Twelve thousand and eight Saligrams deemed to be the form of Lord Vishnu available in Gandaki River. The statue  is in eternal yogic sleep on the five headed serpent Adi Shesha. The right hand will be on the Shiva Ling. Lakshmi Devi (Sri Devi), Bhu Devi is one side and Brahma on a Lotus rose from the naval of Padmanabha to the statue. Separate unguent named “Katusarkara Yoga” prepared with Ayurveda herbals will be  pasted to Lord Padmanabha and the deity will be always clean by using the Oil. Seva perform with scented ingredients and flowers. 

The Devotes have to reach to the Porch and have visit the Deity through three doors. The Devotee may visit the face and the part of body up to right hand on Shiva Ling from the 1st door, Sri Devi, Bhu devi, Sage Brugu, Brahma from the naval and Gold, Silver festival idols from the 2nd door, feet of the deity along with two Gods blowing chamomile, Garudha, Narada, Tumbura, the weapons of Lord Vishnu, Sun, Moon and the seven sages called as Sapta Rishi through the third door. Madhu and Kaitaba idols may also visit in the Sanctum. The King of Travancore has only permission to make prostration salutation to the deity. It is deemed that the devotees enter into the temple presents all their belongings to the deity. It is stated that the King obeyed the custom and he can do so. Hence the devotees wear traditional dress only. There are Ugra Nrusimha and Krishna idols in the temple. The 72 Kshatriya families  of Krishna (Vishnu) clan bring the Krishna (Pardha Saradhi) idol made with granite from Gujarat. Mohini decoration will be made to the Deity on Ekadasi. There are the idols of Rama, Sitha, Lakshmana, Hanuma, Sage Vyasa, Ganesh and big Garuda in the temple.

The temple inscription says that disaster will happens on the submersion of the idol of Anantha Padmanabha Swamy in flood water. During the floods occurred in the recent year, Tiruvananthapuram badly affected with heavy rains and the town submerged with water and the public feared about the existence of the temple. The way from Padma Teerdh to the temple submerged in the rain water. The temple was not opened for three days to perform daily Seva. The Legend says that the Gods will perform Seva in the early morning prior to the opening of the temple with the priests. The priests opened the temple after three days and surprised to the wonder of the temple and sanctum. Flood water has not entered   into the Sanctum. There is no moisture in the Sanctum and appears to be very clean and fragrant with fragrances of cents. There is cresset lamp glowing and the Sanctum is so bright. The flower garlands’ decorated to Anantha Padmanabha Swamy appeared to be fresh. The Flag Pole outside to the temple appear to be clean and without moisture. The flood water has not entered into the sub temples in the complex.              

The wealth of Anantha Padmanabha is infinite. There are seven underground rooms just outside to the temple out of which six rooms were opened to count the wealth as per the orders of the Supreme Court. There is the idol of Lord Vishnu with 3 ½ feet height which hundreds of Diamonds and other Navratna inlaid, a gold chain of eighteen feet long, Gold plate of 500 kg weight, Golden Ornaments and lakhs of golden Roman coins all worth nearly 12 lakh crores. Still one room has to be opened.          

The vision of the Deity organized in different timings morning 3-30 to 4-45, 6-30 to 7-00. 8-30 to 10-00, 10-30 to 11-00, 11-45 to 12-00, and evening 5-00 to 6-15, 6-45 to 7-20. All devotees have to wear traditional cloths only. Males should wear Dhoti and Towel without wearing of banyan. Females should wear traditional cloths Sari. This custom will implement strictly without any deviation.    

Pilgrims are advised to visit the two temples in one tour to know the complete legend behind back the self manifested temple. Pilgrims may reach the lake temple in Anantapura from Kasaragod Railway Station at a distance of 12 km. They may also reach visiting Sri Ananta Padmanabha Swamy at Trivandrum. There is air travel facility from other cities up to Manguluru at a distance of 60km from the temple.