Padmanabhaswamy temple (Malayalam : Padmanabhaswamy Kshetram) is located in the centre of Thiruvananthapura, the capital of Kerala.
Rather unusually for Kerala, the temple was built in the Dravidian style, mostly associated with the temples located in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu, featuring high walls and a 16th-century Gopuram.
The principal deity Vishnu is enshrined in the "Anantha-Sayanam" posture the eternal yogic sleep on the serpent Anantha.
Sree Padmanabhaswamy is the Tutelary Deity of the Royal Family of Travancore. The titular Maharaja of Travancore Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma is the trustee of the temple as Sree Padmanabhadasa, the "Slave of Lord Padmanabha". In line with the Temple Entry Proclamation, only those who profess the Hindu faith are permitted entry to the temple. Devotees have to strictly follow the dress code.
This is one of the 108 Divya Desas of Lord Perumal. His idol (Tirumeni) is made of 12 thousand Salagrama stones measuring 12 feet long in reclining posture.
Presiding deity Lord Anantha Padamanabha Swami blesses the devotees from the sanctum sanctorum under the Hemakoota Vimana-tower above the sanctum. Lord Yoga Narasimiha, Sri Anjaneya and Lord Krishna bless the devotees from the prakara, before the sanctum and behind the sanctum respectively. The butter applied on Sri Hanuman never melts even during scorching summer nor goes junk. Temples of Lord Lakshmi Varaha and Lord Srinivasa are on the southern side.
The presiding deity made of Iluppai wood was destroyed by fire in the year 1686. The second and the present idol was made with 12,000 Salagrama stones of Vishnu importance with a mixture called Kadu Sarkarai Yoga. This is a very rare idol which we are worshipping now. The idol on the Adi Sesha is 18 feet long in a reclining posture, covered fullywith gold.
Devotees pray for removal of obstacles in wedding matter, for child boon and for good education.with gold .There are many festivals related to this temple. The major festivals are bi-annual.
The Aipashy festival which is in October/November and the Panguni festival which is in Tamil month Panguni, March/April, lasts for 10 days each. On the ninth day the Maharajah of Travancore, in his capacity as Thrippappoor Mooppan, escorts the deities to the vettakkalam for Pallivetta.
Centuries back, the Pallivetta procession was said to pass through Kaithamukku, Kuthiravattom (Kunnumpuram),Pazhaya Sreekanteswaram and Putharikkandam. The festivals culminate with the Aarat (holy bath) procession to the Shankumugham Beach.
The word Aarat refers to the purificatory immersion of the deities of the temple in sea. This event takes place in the evening. The Maharajah of Travancore escorts the Aarat procession on foot. The festival idols "Utsava Vigrahas" of Padmanabhaswamy, Krishna Swami and Narasimha Moorthi are given a ritual bath in the sea, after the prescribed pujas..