We will be sharing some interesting facts of Padmanabha Swamy temple and its vaults. The Padmanabhaswamy temple is located in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala and is considered as one of the richest temples in the world.
Just recently, the Supreme Court on 13th July 2020 upheld the administrative rights of the family over the temple. This decision comes as a relief to the erstwhile royal family of Travancore. This case gained attention for the temple’s mysterious Vault B, which is 1 of 6 vaults in the temple. The royal family refused to open the vault, claiming that it had some mystical curse.
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Although the SC did not mention anything about opening Vault B, it however said that the interim expert committee will continue to manage the temple’s affairs, until the royal family forms a final committee. This committee will be temporarily headed by a Thiruvananthapuram District Judge.
Padmanabhaswamy temple vault
The Padmanabhaswamy temple has a total of 6 vaults, namely A, B, C, D, E, and F. These are also called chambers that are full of treasure worth Rs 1 trillion. In 2011, 5 of these 6 vaults were opened up. In them lay nearly 3,000 tonnes of gold, coins, sacks of diamonds, and jewelry which the rulers of Travancore had accumulated over its centuries-long rule over the prosperous area that covers almost all of central and southern Kerala. The treasure includes gold in the form of pots and jars, crowns, religious iconography, and also as gold coins from different civilizations around the world including Romans, French, Dutch, Venetians, and the Mughals.
Now let’s take a look at the facts of Padmanabha Swamy temple:
- The history of the temple dates back to the 8th century and is one of the 108 sacred Vishnu temples or Divya Desams in India.
- The temple was originally built in 6th century A.D. and later beautified further by the Kings of Travancore after 10 centuries.
- Once every six years, Murajapam is conducted in this temple. This means continuous chanting of prayers.
- The temple’s architecture stands out for its work in stone and bronze and its interiors are adorned by beautiful paintings and murals.
- The temple is a blend of Kerala and Dravidian styles of architecture.
- In 1750, Marthanda Varma dedicated the kingdom of Travancore to Lord Padmanabha. He vowed the royal family to rule the state on behalf of the lord. He also vowed that he, along with his descendants, would serve the kingdom as ‘Padmanabha Dasa’ or ‘the Servant of Lord Padmanabha’.
- The name of the temple is unique in its own way as the city of ‘Thiruvananthapuram’ in Malayalam translates to ‘The City of Lord Ananta’. This refers to the deity that holds the most value in the Padmanabhaswamy temple.
- According to belief, the temple is located at 1 of the 7 Parasurama Kshetras.
- The temple stands close to the holy tank, ‘Padma Teertham’, which means ‘lotus spring.’
- The sanctum sanctorum of the temple is located on a stone slab.
Here are some more facts of Padmanabha Swamy temple:
- The idol in the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple is noted for its composition. It has 12008 salagramas, which were brought from Nepal. taken from the banks of the River Gandaki.
- The idol at the temple is about 18 feet long and can be viewed through 3 different doors.
- From the eastern side of the sanctum sanctorum is a broad corridor with 365 and one-quarter sculptured granite-stone pillars with beautiful carvings.
If you plan a visit to the Padmanabhaswamy temple, here are things that you must know:
Morning worshipping hours:
03:30 AM to 04:45 AM (Nirmalya Darshanam)
06:30 AM to 07:00 AM
08:30 AM to 10:00 AM
10:30 AM to 11:10 AM
11:45 AM to 12:00 PM
Evening worshipping hours:
05:00 PM to 06:15 PM
06:45 PM to 07:20 PM
These timings also sometimes vary according to the festivals. The dress code to visit the Padmanabhaswamy temple is strict. Men are only allowed to enter the temple in a mundu or dhoti while women can only enter wearing a sari, Mundum neriyathum (set-mundu), skirt and blouse, or half sari.
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