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Padmanabhaswamy Temple

Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple is a Hindu Temple located in Thiruvananthapuram. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple is built in an intricate fusion of the indigenous Kerala style and the Tamil style of architecture. The temple is currently run by a trust headed by the royal family of Travancore. It is the replica of the Adikesava Perumal temple located in Thiruvattar, Kanyakumari District. The principal deity of the temple, Lord Vishnu is enshrined in the "Anantha Shayanam" posture, the eternal yogic sleep on the serpent Adisheshan.

History of the temple
There are no reliable historical documents or sources that proves when and by whom the original idol of Sree Padmanabhaswamy was consecrated, as the origin of the temple was lost in antiquity. The temple finds its reference in Epics and Puranas. Some well known scholars, writers and historians, like the late Dr. L.A.Ravi Varma of Travancore, have expressed the view that this Temple was established on the first day of Kali Yuga (which is over 5000 years ago).

Temple Shrines
Other than the main shrine, there are two other important shrines inside the temple, Thekkedom and Thiruvambadi. Thiruvambadi shrine has an independent status and predates the shrine of Padmanabha. The temple also houses shrines of Lord Rama, accompanied by Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman. Other idols in the temple are Vishwaksena (the Nirmalyadhari of Vishnu and Remover of Obstacles), Vyasa, Ganapati, Sasta, and Kshetrapala (who guards the temple).

There are various festivals celebrated in the temple. The major festivals of the temple are bi-annual. The Alpashy festival which is in October/November and the Panguni festival which is in Tamil month Panguni, March/April, lasts for 10 days each. All the festivals here culminate with an Aarat (holy bath) procession at the Shankumugham Beach.

The festival idols "Utsava Vigrahas" of Padmanabhaswamy, Narasimha Moorthi and Krishna Swami are given a ritual bath in the sea, after the prescribed pujas. After this ceremony, the idols are taken back to the temple in a procession that is lit by traditional torches, marking the conclusion of the festival.

A major annual festival of the temple is the Navaratri festival. This festival lasts for 9 days. The biggest festival in this temple is laksha deepam, which means hundred thousand (or one lakh) lamps. This festival is unique and commences once in 6 years.

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