Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, maintained by the erstwhile Travancore Royal Family, and located within the East Fort in the city ofThiruvananthapuram, Kerala state, South India. The temple is one of 108 Divya Desams(Holy Abodes of Vishnu) – principal centres of worship of the deity in Vaishnavism. The temple, constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture is glorified in the Divya Prabandha, the early medieval Tamil literature canon of the Tamil Alvar saints (6th-9th centuries CE), with structural additions to it made throughout the medieval Chera periodup to the 16th century CE, when its ornate Gopuram was constructed. The most recent renovations to the temple occurred in the 18th century CE. Services were provided to the local community with the Kovil’s revenue. The temple gave its name to Kerala’s state capital Thiruvananthapuram. ‘Thiru’ ‘Anantha’ ‘Puram’ means Sacred Abode of Lord Anantha Padmanabha.
The principal deity, Padmanabhaswamy is enshrined in the “Ananta-sayanam” posture (in the eternal sleep of Yoga-nidra on the serpent Ananta). Travancore Kings, descended from the Kulasekhara line of the Chera Dynasty regarded themselves as ‘Padmanabha-dasa’ (Servant of Lord Padmanabha).
In late June 2011, a review of the temple’s underground vaults was undertaken by a seven-member panel appointed by the Supreme Court of India to generate an inventory, leading to the discovery of a vast hidden collection. Estimates suggest that the temple could be the richest in the world; unofficial estimates on the sixth day of the inventory placed the value of contents at close to 100,000 crore (US$22.3 billion). Donations were made by traders, pilgrims and various royal families at the city in the former Malabar country as offerings to the temple. It served as a depot for looted wealth from conquered states and a safe house for assets of other temples; they were sealed within the thick stone walls and vaults of the temple for over a millennium.
The temple is now considered wealthier than the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple inTirupati, Andhra Pradesh – by official records considered to be the richest place of worship in the world
Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple