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


Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple dazzled people when they found that the treasure in secret vaults could easily run a kingdom.

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Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple is a famous Hindu shrine dedicated to lord Vishnu maintained by the erstwhile Travancore Royal Family and located inside the Fort at the city of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala state, South India. Rs 100,000 crore (US$22.3 billion) is just a lower side ballpark value of the treasure unearthed from Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple’s underground vaults on the month of June 2011. The exact inventory is yet to be made public but most of the articles accounted so far are reported to have high antique value too.

The temple is considered to be one of 108 Holy Hindu Abodes. Evidences point that this temple was built during 6th-9th centuries AD, and restructuring and expansions are thought to have taken place until the 18th century.

The legend of this temple is as interesting as its riches. Many years before, the locality where the temple is currently located was dense forest extending to southwest part of Indian Subcontinents peninsular region. Western side is Arabian Sea shore and Eastern part is Sahyadri Mountain range . Kerala is blessed with plenty of Lakes, rivers, forests and fertile beautiful landscapes all around. Coconuts trees and paddy fields intermingled to create feast for eyes even today.

Thiruvananthapuram, the current capital of Kerala was originally named as Anandankadu as some historians point out. Anathan is a Hindu mythological giant serpent with thousand head. “Kadu” in native language (Malayalam) translates to forest. Legend has it that, once a native tribal at the forest started sharpening his sickle (a kind of cutting tool used by natives) on a stone at “Anandankadu” and blood started to ooze from this stone. He immediately reported his deviant experience to his local chief. Local chief escalated this phenomenon to then rulers and eventually the king and his deputies visited the spot. Much to their amazement, they found ruins of an old temple and a very ancient stone deity of lord Vishnu. The king immediately ordered structural restoration and daily prayers to commence without fail in future. Since then, the royal family has administered this temple and worshiped there regularly. Legend has it that this is how Ananthakadu temple became traditional royal temple.
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