The Padmanabhaswamy Temple is a famous Hindu temple located in the city of Thiruvananthapuram, in the state of Kerala, India. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is considered one of the 108 Divya Desams or holy abodes of Lord Vishnu. It is also known for its exquisite Dravidian style architecture and is a popular tourist destination.
The exact date of the construction of the temple is not known, but it is believed to have been built in the 8th century AD by the rulers of the Chera dynasty. The temple was later expanded and renovated by various rulers, including the Travancore kings.
The temple’s most prominent feature is its 500-year-old gopuram or tower, which is 100 feet tall and has seven stories. The temple is also known for its mural paintings, intricate carvings, and the use of gold in the temple architecture.
The temple is famous for its association with the Travancore royal family, who were the temple’s custodians. The rulers of Travancore believed that Lord Padmanabha, the presiding deity of the temple, was their family deity, and they held the temple in great reverence. The royal family also made significant contributions to the temple’s development and renovation over the years.
In recent years, the temple gained international attention when a secret vault was discovered in the temple complex, which contained an enormous amount of gold, jewels, and other treasures. The total value of the treasure is estimated to be over $22 billion, making it one of the wealthiest temples in the world.
Despite the temple’s rich history, it has also been mired in controversy. In 2011, the Supreme Court of India ordered that an inventory of the temple’s treasures be taken, which revealed the immense wealth stored in the temple’s secret vaults. This led to a legal battle over the ownership and management of the temple, with some arguing that the treasure belongs to the temple, while others claim it belongs to the Travancore royal family. As of now, the issue remains unresolved, and the temple continues to be a significant religious and cultural landmark in India.
Where is Padmanabhaswamy Temple Located?
The Padmanabhaswamy Temple is located in the city of Thiruvananthapuram, which is the capital of the southern Indian state of Kerala. The temple is situated in the East Fort area of the city, near the banks of the Killi River. Thiruvananthapuram is located on the west coast of India and is known for its beautiful beaches, historical landmarks, and cultural heritage. The Padmanabhaswamy Temple is one of the most important religious and cultural landmarks in the city, attracting thousands of visitors and pilgrims every year.
What is so special about Padmanabhaswamy Temple?
The Padmanabhaswamy Temple is a very important and special Hindu temple for several reasons:
The belief of Lord Vishnu’s presence:
The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, and it is believed that the main deity in the temple, Lord Padmanabha, is a form of Lord Vishnu. The idol of Lord Padmanabha is depicted in a reclining posture on the serpent Anantha, which is an iconic representation of Lord Vishnu.
Architechture and art:
The temple is a remarkable example of Dravidian style architecture and is renowned for its intricate carvings, mural paintings, and use of gold in its architecture. The temple’s 100-foot-tall gopuram (tower) is a magnificent structure with seven stories, and it is considered one of the most impressive examples of temple architecture in South India.
Historical and cultural significance:
The temple is believed to have been built in the 8th century AD, making it one of the oldest temples in India. The temple’s association with the Travancore royal family, who were the temple’s custodians for centuries, adds to its historical and cultural significance. The temple is also considered one of the 108 Divya Desams or holy abodes of Lord Vishnu.
In recent years, the temple has gained international attention due to the discovery of secret vaults within the temple complex that contain an enormous amount of gold, jewels, and other treasures. The total value of the treasure is estimated to be over $22 billion, making it one of the wealthiest temples in the world.
The temple’s vast wealth and ownership of the treasures stored in its vaults have been the subject of a legal battle, which has added to its mystique and intrigue.
Overall, the Padmanabhaswamy Temple is a significant religious, cultural, and historical landmark in India and is known for its stunning architecture, art, and rich history.
Can we go inside Padmanabhaswamy Temple?
Yes, visitors are allowed to enter the Padmanabhaswamy Temple, but there are certain rules and regulations that must be followed. The temple is open to all visitors regardless of their religion, caste, or creed. However, there is a strict dress code that must be followed. Men are required to wear a dhoti or mundu (a traditional garment worn around the waist and legs) without a shirt, and women are required to wear a sari or a long skirt and blouse.
Additionally, visitors are not allowed to take cameras, mobile phones, or any other electronic devices into the temple premises. There are separate counters outside the temple where visitors can deposit their belongings before entering the temple. Visitors are also required to remove their footwear before entering the temple.
It’s also important to note that non-Hindus are not allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum (the innermost chamber where the main deity is kept), but they are allowed to visit the other parts of the temple complex.
Overall, visitors are allowed to enter the Padmanabhaswamy Temple and experience its grandeur and spiritual energy, but it’s important to respect the temple’s customs and traditions and follow the rules and regulations.
How much gold is there in Padmanabhaswamy Temple?
The exact amount of gold present in the Padmanabhaswamy Temple is not known, as the temple authorities have not publicly disclosed the exact quantity. However, it is widely believed that the temple contains an enormous amount of gold, jewels, and other treasures.
In 2011, a committee appointed by the Supreme Court of India conducted an inventory of the temple’s underground vaults and estimated the total value of the treasures to be around $22 billion, making it one of the wealthiest temples in the world. The inventory reportedly included several tons of gold in the form of coins, jewelry, and other artifacts, as well as precious stones, silver, and other valuable objects.
It’s worth noting that the temple authorities have been very secretive about the treasure, and there have been various legal battles and controversies over the ownership and management of the temple and its wealth. The temple authorities have maintained that the treasure belongs to the temple and is used for the maintenance and upkeep of the temple and for charitable purposes.
Who builds the Padmanabhaswamy Temple?
The origins of the Padmanabhaswamy Temple are shrouded in mystery, and its exact age and founder are not known. However, it is believed that the temple was built in the 8th century AD by the kings of the Chera dynasty, who were among the earliest rulers of the region that is now known as Kerala.
The temple was later patronized and expanded by various rulers and dynasties, including the Pandyas, the Cholas, and the Venad kings. It was the Venad kings who made significant contributions to the temple’s architecture and art, particularly during the 16th and 17th centuries. The temple was also an important center of the royal court of the Kingdom of Travancore, which ruled over the region from the 18th to the mid-20th century.
The temple’s origins and its association with various dynasties and rulers have contributed to its rich history and cultural significance. The temple is considered one of the most important Hindu temples in South India and is renowned for its stunning architecture, intricate carvings, and rich cultural heritage.