Situated in Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, South India, Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The principal deity, Padmanabhaswamy, is enshrined in the ‘Anantha-sayanam’ yogic posture (in the eternal sleep of Yoga-Nidra on the serpent god Anantha).
The idol of the Lord 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. In the idol of the Lord, Brahma is depicted as rising from his navel and Siva is under his right hand. Two consorts of Vishnu, Sridevi, the Goddess of Prosperity, and Bhudevi, the Goddess of Earth, are by his side.
The Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, which is a Mahakshethra, is one of the 108 Divya Desams in India. Legend has it that the temple was built on the first day of Kali Yuga at least five thousand years ago. According to the epics, it is believed that Balarama had visited the temple and bathed in the temple pond before giving offerings. Most of the facts and legends associated with the temple are known through the book titled ‘Anantasayana mahatmya’. According to it, a Tulu Brahmin named Divakara Muni consecrated the temple.
A glorious event in the history of the Temple and Travancore was Thrippadidanam. On 3rd January, 1750 Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma, surrendered the kingdom of Travancore to Padmanabhaswamy and pledged that he and his descendants would be vassals of the deity and would serve the kingdom as Padmanabhadasa (Servant of Lord Padmanabha). This event known as Thrippadidanam, has conferred supreme over lordship on Sree Padmanabha Swamy in the entire country.
Lavishness of gold in the Temple
The idol of Lord Sree Padmanabha Swamy is covered almost entirely in gold by a “Thanka Anki” or golden dress. The Ottakkal (or single store) Mandapam in front of the main Sreekovil is covered in gold. The flag mast of Sree Padmanabha Swamy is also covered in gold. Further, the Nivedyamcalled Navaratna payasam for the Peruthiru amrith pooja is offered to the lord in Gold Vessels.
Treasures in the Vaults
Situated on seven acres in the midst of the city, the temple, built in an intricate fusion of indigenous Kerala style and Tamil style, is an architectural marvel. The eastern entrance is dominated by the glorious gopuram, built in traditional Dravidian architectural style.
The temple, which had been known all over the country as a Mahakshetra, shot into prominence for its treasures, following the opening of the hidden vaults of the temple on 27 June 2011, consequent on an order of the Supreme Court of India in SLP (C) 11295 of 2011. 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 so far. 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.
According to the orders of the Supreme Court of India, repairs, conservation and renovation of the roofs of the Sreekovils of Sree Padmanabha Swamy, of the sub shrine of Sree Narasimha Moorthy and the flagmast of Thiruvambadi Sree Krishna Swamy has been carried out with teak wood brought from Nilambur and other Forest Depots.
Earnest Appeal to devotees for Donation
To preserve its cultural and historical significance, the temple administration currently plans to cover the roof of ‘Sreekovil’ of Sree Padmanabha Swamy in gold. As per the tradition, devotees fund renovations of the temple. Devotees have already offered enough gold for covering the ‘thazhika kudam’.
The gold in the temple vault can’t be used for this purpose because of its archaeological importance, heritage values and ritualistic aspects.
Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple Administration is humbly requesting all devotees of Lord Sree Padmanabha Swamy to wholeheartedly support and be a part of this noble initiative to gold plate the sree kovil by donating 10gm or multiples of 24 Carrot gold coin/gold bar or Rs 40,000/- for one unit to finish the Gold covering of the roof of Sree Kovil of Lord Sree Padmanabha Swamy by October 30, 2019.
As per the calculation by the administration, the total cost for the project would be Rs.9 crore. The money collected shall be accounted under the “Sreekovil gold covering fund”. The names of the individuals and institutions that make offerings would be displayed on a ‘Wall of Fame’ in the temple premises.
The “Sreekovil Gold covering” shall be a shining golden event ever to be remembered in the history of the Temple. The devotees are earnestly requested to make generous contributon in gold or in money to the noble purpose of “Sreekovil Gold Covering” and enjoy the divine blessings of Lord Sree Padmanabha Swamy.
പത്മതീർത്ഥക്കരയിൽ നിന്നും വാദ്യഘോഷങ്ങളോടെ കതിർക്കറ്റകൾ എഴുന്നള്ളിച്ചു ക്ഷേത്രത്തിനകത്ത് കിഴക്കേ നടയിൽ ഗോപുരത്തിന് താഴെയായി പൂജ ചെയ്ത് ശീവേലിപുര വഴി പ്രദക്ഷിണമായി അഭിശ്രമണമണ്ഡപത്തിൽ കൊണ്ടെത്തിച്ചു അവിടെ പെരിയനമ്പി പൂജകൾ നടത്തി ശ്രീ കോവിലിനകത്തും, ഉപദേവന്മാർക്കും നിറയ്ക്കുന്നതോടൊപ്പം പുത്തരിച്ചോറും, പുത്തരി പായസവും നിവേദ്യമായി സമർപ്പിക്കുന്നു…
നാളെ നടക്കുന്ന നിറയും പുത്തരിയും ചടങ്ങിന് വേണ്ടിയുള്ള കതിർകറ്റകൾ ബഹുമാനപ്പെട്ട മേയർ ശ്രീ.വി.കെ.പ്രശാന്തിൽ നിന്നും എക്സിക്യു്ട്ടീവ് ഓഫീസർ ശ്രീ.വി.രതീശൻ ഐ എ എസ് ഏറ്റുവാങ്ങുന്നു…
The Honourable Prime Minister Shri.Narendra Modi Offers Prayers At Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple….Honourable PM also inaugurated the multi-crore developmental works carried out at the shrine as part of the union government’s flagship Swadesh Darshan Scheme on Tuesday, 15.01.2019
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday offered prayers at the centuries-old Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, known as one of the 108 ”divyadesams” of Lord Vishnu.
PM Modi, who entered the sprawling shrine through the eastern entrance, spent about 20 minutes there.
Earlier, while speaking at a function at neighbouring Kollam district, the Prime Minister said he would seek blessings of Lord Padmanabhaswamy for the “welfare of people of Kerala and other parts of the country”.
Governor Justice P Sathasivam and state Devaswom minister Kadakampally Surendran accompanied PM Modi inside the shrine.
Before the darshan, PM Modi inaugurated the multi-crore developmental works carried out at the shrine as part of the union government’s flagship Swadesh Darshan Scheme, which is aimed at developing the basic facilities in and around religious institutions across the country.
He unveiled at the east gate, a plaque on the project “Development of Spiritual Circuit: Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple-Aranmula-Sabarimala”, being implemented under the Swadesh Drashan Scheme of the union tourism ministry.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Minister of State for Tourism, Alphons Kannanthanam and Shashi Tharoor, legislator were among those present during the occasion.
People and party workers gathered on both sides of the road leading to the shrine to have a glimpse of the prime minister, officials said that under the Swadesh Darshan project, the Ministry of Tourism had sanctioned Rs. 92.22 crores during 2016-17 and a majority of the work under this project was carried out at the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple.
The construction of the heritage walk footpath, bio toilets and bathrooms, renovation of the Padmatheertham temple tank, electrification and setting up of security systems have been completed at the shrine, dedicated to Lord Padmanabha, under the initiative.
Courtesy: NDTV January 16, 2019 16:16 IST