Fact 1 – About the deity of the temple
The main diety of the temple is Padmanabhaswamy which literally means those whose nabhi is like a lotus (Padmam). He was the royal dirty of Travancore Kingdom. The Lord is in sleeping position covered by nagasheshu (bed of snakes) with left hand holding the lotus flower. This posture is called “Anantha Shayanam”; the eternal yogic sleep and is titular deity of Travancore royal family.
The city of Trivandrum (in which this temple is located) is actually called Thiruvananthapuram (Thiru means Sri, Anantha means Anantha Padmanabhaswamy and Puram means city). It means the city where Anantha (Anantha comes from the name Anantha Shayanam mentioned earlier) Padmanabhaswamy is located.
Fact 2 – Inside the temple
The idol is so huge that we cannot see Him from one door. It has 3 doors where you can see his face from the 1st door, his nabhi part (navel) from the 2nd door and his legs from the 3rd door. Every morning at 4 AM there will be nirmalaya darshan where you can see the diety without any decorations. The idol is made of blackstone and it shines with the diyas lot inside the temple. This is a great treat to watch.
Fact 3 – The temple of Gold
Legend has it that the deity has settled down somewhere in Kumbla in the northernmost part of Kerala. There is a mention of this temple during 300-500 BCE mentioning “Golden Temple” which means then the people were cognizant of the fact that very very wealthy even at that point.
Fact 4 – The legends about this temple
There are 2 legends on how this temple came into existence. One being that this temple was built by Lord Parusurama himself and entrusted the temple administration to seven potti families. The king of the Venad dynasty (The ruling dynasty when the temple was built) was asked to be the Protector of the Temple. Another legend is that Lord Vishnu answering a legendary sages prayers appeared before him at this very location where the temple was built. However it is said that when the Lord appeared he was so huge that the idol was eight miles in length. On sages request the lord had shrunk to his present form.
Verification of this truth is subjective to personal beliefs. But the existence of this marvelous structure and the story behind it makes this place fascinating.
Fact 5 – Strict rules on dress code
As usual no mobiles or any electronic items are allowed. The security has even checked if my watch is smartwatch. Only veshti is allowed for males and only sarees and langas are allowed for females. You will get them just outside the temple for rent so nothing much to worry about. And males should be bare chested. Even the police and security inside the temple follow these rules.
To know more about the city of Trivandrum; please read this post.
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