Sri Padmanabhaswamy – lord who is literally sleeping on money – By VK Ravi

A brave ruler Marthanda Varma, the then king of Travancore (now Kerala) was responsible to build and instate Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple to its current glory. The king once fled from an assassination family conspiracy and went undercover. The plotters who dislodge him from power were mostly his close relatives and deputies. During Marthanda Varma’s covert efforts to regain his kingdom and power he used and took shelter in many places including legendary “Ananthan Kadu” temple as well. Legend says that he vowed to the deity- Lord Vishnu that he would make a grand glorious temple-near by the old temple, if he succeeded in regaining power. King Marthanda Varma was blessed by the lord and thus he built the present Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple very close to the Anandankad temple as soon as he came back to power.
The ancient Ananthakadu temple is still maintained well and pilgrims visiting the greater shrine make it a point to pay a visit here as well. King Marthanda Varma also donated land and wealth for smooth day to day religious operation of Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple. The sanctum sanctorum of Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple is the deity lord Vishnu in yoga nidra on coiled Ananthan(the mythological serpent) used like a bed with lord’s head in a relaxed posture. This special posture of lord is referred as “Ananta-sayanam” in Hinduism. The sanctum sanctorum is made of single block granite and approximately 25 feet long. The pilgrims pray to lord through three doors that allow them to catch glimpse of lord at “Ananta-sayanam” with head, mid section and feet respectively visible through each of the door.

Till half a decade ago this temple was directly administered by the royal family of Travancore Cochin State. The maharajas in power of respective periods used to visit this temple during dawn to pray and start their day. They also had interfered in routine affairs of the temple and administered important ceremonies. Royal families donated most of this wealth when their wishes came true. The temple authorities never accounted these wealth precisely and was stored in the granite store rooms under and near by the deity. There were such six secret vaults discovered so far which was use to store precious wealth that amassed time to time. Two vaults were used for the articles, valuables and ornaments for the special religious ceremonies. Two others were exclusively for storing expensive articles including large precious gem studded ornaments, crowns etc. A dispute filed at the court recently regarding transparency of temple affairs led court to order probe into inventory of these artifacts and quantify the wealth. The Supreme Court order came in conjunction with a private party petition on mismanagement of temple affairs. Court also nominated a bench consisting of retired judges including royal family members and government officials to monitor the stock taking process. The media reported that some of these vaults may have not been opened for more than 1.5 century. Each strong room is about 2.5 meters wide and about 1.5 meters high. These vaults were air tight and securely built using tough granite stones. The articles unearthed were so far of high antique value which was made of gold, silver and precious gems. Reports in daily news paper also mention that the bench discovered gold coins from Napoleon and British era totaling over 1000 kilo grams. Royal families knew about the contents of these vaults and had kept it a closely guarded secret over years through generations and also took great pride to safeguard them. The very fact that these temple lockers remain unopened and safe for 150 years is by itself a proof of their royalty and devotion to Lord Sri Padmanabhaswamy.

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5 comments to Sri Padmanabhaswamy – lord who is literally sleeping on money – By VK Ravi

  • Collins

    very useful.I think you have done an excellent job with your blog. I will return in the near future.I had bookmark it :)

  • Peter

    Wooow , never realized that a temple can have so much richness and history. I hope to visit there once.

  • A reader

    hello ,
    this is god’s money in the form of offerings.it will be accounted and kept where it was.to your knowledge this is an accounting process of the temple and not a treasure discovered.

    • Webmaster www.malayalampoems.com

      Thanks for your comment but articles in Malayalampoems.com are not intended for religious debates and do not claim authenticity. We request our readers to read and enjoy articles published here in it’s true spirit and give us your feedback.

  • Muralidharan

    Did you also follow a new story breaking out, that the petitioner has suddenly died though at the age of 70 reported by major dailies. It mystifies further who believe on the curse. http://www.deccanherald.com/content/176960/petitioner-sree-padmanabhaswamy-temple-case.html