Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple, is considered as an important landmark of Trivandrum city. It is also one of the seven Parasurama temples in Kerala. Main deity is Lord Vishnu in the Anananthasayanam posture.
The city derived its name from the deity. Divine Padmanabha Swamy Temple is the one of the oldest one in Kerala and it is famous for its architecture. Any visitor is sure to be stunned by the exquisite workmanship and architectural elegance of this historic creation. The temple was renovated to the present state of grandeur by the King of Travancore, Maharaja Sri Anizham Tirunal Marthanda Varma in the eighteenth century. The Travancore kingdom was surrendered to Lord Padmanabha and the rulers became “Padmanabha daasas” means servant of Lord Pamanabha., Continued patronage of the royal family has made it possible for this structure to preserve it’s glory and dignity. Many customs inside the temple resembles to royal rites and traditions! Devotees are not allowed to enter into the inner sanctorum when Travancore Royal family visit the temple for idol darshan. The temple is in the centre of the city and has a large complex with a huge Gopuram. It has a tank called the Padmatheertha beside it for bathing and other religious rituals.
For taking part in darshan and puja, devotees have to climb on a stone slab. Different parts of Vishnu’s idol–the face, the navel and the feet—can be seen from three different door like openings.
Famous festivals of the temple are Alpashy festival and Painkuny festival, both are being celebrated for 10 days.These festivals conclude with Aarat procession in the evening to Shanmugham beach and Travancore King accompanies the procession by foot.
The famous Swathi music festival is held every year during Navaratri festival in the temple. Laksha deepam,a unique festival, once in 6 years, celebrates in the temple by lighting up one lakh oil lamps in and around the temple premises. The next laksha deepam will be on January 2014.