Updated May 25, 2023
Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Trivandrum
What do you see when you walk into the most famous temple in south India? Some nice-looking statues, a small idol of an elephant-headed deity, and an altar with many fineries. However, when you start digging into the history of the Padmanabhaswamy temple, you’ll find out there is so much more to this temple than what meets the eye. Here are some of the most interesting facts about this treasure chest: the Padmanabhaswamy temple.
Architecture of Padmanabha Swamy Temple
India is known for its beautiful monuments, both old and new. But there’s one uniquely designed temple that is hard to describe the experience of being inside. The Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Trivandrum, Kerala, where you can worship Lord Padmanabha (also known as Lord Vishnu), is an avatar of Vishnu. The temple has four entrances and is square with two concentric squares. This unusual design is present throughout the entire temple complex. The inner temple building where Lord Padmanabha resides is a square with eight chambers surrounding a central chamber.
The temple has intricate carvings of mythological stories on its walls, ceilings, and pillars. In addition, many sculptures depict scenes from the Mahabharata, Ramayana, and Puranas (ancient Hindu texts). The detailed images on the walls resemble miniature paintings.
Symbol of Tolerance and Harmony
The Padmanabhaswamy Temple is one of the most beautiful places in India, and it’s a symbol of tolerance and harmony. The temple’s architecture is Dravidian, a style once prevalent in South India—the original home of Hinduism. It was built in the 12th century. The temple is also considered one of the 108 Divya Desams, or sacred abodes of Lord Vishnu.
Collection of 365 Idols in Padmanabhaswamy Temple
One fascinating fact about the Padmanabhaswamy Temple is its collection of 365 idols. These idols represent one idol for each day of the year. These idols are a rare combination of eight metals: gold, silver, platinum, copper, iron, tin, lead, and mercury.
The owners of these idols believe that they possess special powers, collected from various parts of India, granting them success in business and protection from snake bites and other dangers. These idols are securely in an underground vault that can reach through seven gates (one for each day of the week). To contact the final gate, you must turn a ring inscribed with planetary symbols that can only be turned by chanting a specific mantra against each gate.
Hidden Gates in Padmanabhaswamy Temple
It is also one of the most mysterious temples in the world. Certain gates in the temple have had a seal for centuries and only recently have a few sections opened for public viewing. However, one of its most fascinating aspects is that no one knows what’s inside!
Some have speculated that secret underground passageways lead to libraries of ancient texts or even to other temples. Others believe the treasure room holds vast amounts of gold and precious metals. On the contrary, some individuals continue to speculate that it could serve as a repository for the swords utilized in ceremonies throughout the years or even as a burial site for Rajput royalty. No one can say what is present behind these gates, but that makes it worth opening up!
Within the extensive list of facts about the Padmanabhaswamy Temple, affectionately known as “Padma,” lies the story of a cherished ritual that has endured over time. The temple, dedicated to Vishnu and attracts millions of pilgrims yearly, has a special bathing tank called the “Padmatheertham,” or “Tank for Bathing.”
The tank’s water is said to have magical powers, as one will never be able to accumulate bad karma after taking a dip there. Some people even believe that one can wash away their lifetime sins with just one visit to this holy tank!
While the Padmanabhaswamy Temple is widely regarded as one of the world’s architectural marvels, boasting intricate carvings that trace back over 1000 years, there remain numerous lesser-known facts about this temple that elude most people. This article strives to bring forth some lesser-known facts about the intricate work done in this temple and the exciting anecdotes attached to this structure. These facts will give you a great insight into India’s rich heritage and culture.
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