On the day of Makarasankranthi, January 15, 2020, Lakshadeepam will be organised in all its splendour and grandeur at Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram. Lakshadeepam is a festival of 100,000 oil lamps at the Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple and it denotes the culmination of the renowned 56-day Murajapam that commences on November 21, 2019. The Murajapam is the ritual chanting of the mantras of the four Vedas by Vedic scholars hailing from various corners of the country in eight muras or rounds, each of which is of seven-day duration. This festival is celebrated once in six years.

The Murajapam combined with Lakshadeepam traces its origin to a date more than 250 years ago. On Makarasankranthi day in 1750AD (which was in mid-January
1750AD) the first Lakshadeepam was organised by Maharaja Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma, who conquered all the neighbouring principalities up to Kochi and expanded Venad into Travancore. He celebrated the Lakshadeepam after conducting a 56-day Murajapam for the first time with the participation of Vedic scholars from all parts of Kerala and South India. On January 3, 1750, he surrendered his crown, sword and the entire country of Travancore at the feet of Lord Padmanabha Swamy. This act of relinquishment is known as Thrippadidanam. From that day onwards, the Supreme Ruler of Travancore is Lord Padmanabhaswamy. Marthanda Varma vowed to rule the country as the servant of Lord Padmanabha Swamy, assuming the honorific title of Padmanabha Dasa.

During the 56-day period of Murajapam, mantras from the Vedas are continuously chanted in eight cycles or muras. Each cycle ends on the eighth day with a sacred procession in which the idol of the Lord is carried on the
shoulders of the priests in a decorated vehicle. This sacred procession, which moves through the Seevelippura is known as the Muraseeveli. The idol of Lord Padmanabha Swamy in the first Mura Seeveli on the first day of Murajapam is carried in Simhasana Vahanam and the last and the eight on the day of Lakshadeepam on GarudaVahanam. A darshan of the Lord on January 15, 2020 will
be equal to “Vaikunta Priyadarshanam”.

The Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple, which is a Mahakshethra and is one of the 108 Vishnu shrines in India, identified as Divya Deshas or Thiruppathies by the great saints, came into being at least 5,000 years ago.

The idol of the Lord in the temple contains 12,008 shaligram-silas brought from the Gandaki river in Nepal, and is made of a unique amalgam known as Katusarkara
Yogam. This mix is made of divine earth brought from various parts of the country and a combination of various ayurvedic compounds. Lord Vishnu lies on the serpent Ananta in Yoga nidra. From his navel rises Brahma and Siva is under his right hand.

The rituals performed in the temple are elaborate and broader than in other temples. There are daily three full poojas from dawn to night. Two Ulsavams (Painkuni and Aipasi), and two Kalasams are celebrated here.

The Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple shot into prominence for its treasures when it was declared by the Book of Guinness Records as the richest Hindu temple in the world, following the opening of the hidden vaults of the temple on June 27, 2011, after an order of the Supreme Court of India. Of the six vaults numbered as A to F, the B Vault has not been ordered to be opened by the Hon’ble Supreme Court. The valuables in the form of ornaments and artifacts in gold and precious stones have since been inventoried and kept under safe custody and special security. The Supreme Court has not ordered to evaluate the valuables. However, based on unofficial sources the Guinness Book of records has named the Temple as the world’s Richest Hindu Temple.

As part of the celebration of Murajapam –Lakshadeepam of 2020, an ambitious project to cover the Sreekovil roof of Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple with
gold at an estimate of Rs.9 crore has been initiated. The temple administration is to complete the gold covering before the commencement of Murajapam – Lakshadeepam.

Devotees are requested to participate in the Murajapam – Lakshadeepam from the beginning to the end and to be benefiaries of the blessings that can be availed of only once in six years.

Though there is immense wealth at the temple, it can carry out its activities only with liberal donation from devotees, because the treasure with archaeological importance cannot be spent for any purpose. For the Murajapam – Lakshadeepam, the temple administration has estimated an expenditure of Rs.3 crore.

Donation for Murajapam/Lakshadeepam
Any amount is welcome
One day expense of Murajapam-Lakshadeepam (On any day of the devotee’s choice including devotee’s Janmanakshathra)
₹ 4,00,000
One day Dakshina for chanting of 3 Vedas (On any day among 56 days)
₹ 2,00,000
One day expense of Murajapam-Lakshadeepam (On any day of the devotee’s choice including devotee’s Janmanakshathra)
₹ 4,00,000
One day dakshina for chanting of the Rigveda (On any day among 56 days)
₹ 66,666
One day dakshina for chanting of the Yajurveda (On any day among 56 days)
₹ 66,666
One day dakshina for chanting of the Samaveda (On any day among 56 days)
₹ 66,666
One day dakshina for chanting of Sahasranama (On any day among 48 Days)
₹ 30,000
One day dakshina for chanting of Sookthams (On any day among 56 Days)
₹ 61,000
Expense for one Muraseeveli (On any day among 8 Days)
₹ 60,000
One day expense for special Kalabham (On any of the 12 days)
₹ 50,000
One day expense for Cultural programme (On any of the 56 days)
₹ 30,000