The Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu located within the Eastern Fort of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of the Indian state of Kerala. This temple is a unique example of Kerala and Dravidian architectural style. It is considered to be the richest temple in the world. The history of Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple dates back to the 8th century. It is one of the 108 holy temples of Vishnu also known as Divya Desam of India. Divya Desam is the holiest abode of Lord Vishnu which is mentioned in the manuscripts written by Tamil sages. The presiding deity of this temple is Lord Vishnu who is reclining on Bhujang Sarpa Anantha. The Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple is believed to be situated at a place which is one of the seven Parashurama Kshetras. Reference to this temple is found in Skanda Purana and Padma Purana.
The idol of the presiding deity of the Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple is known for its construction which has 1,2008 Shaligrams that were brought from the banks of the river Gandaki in Nepal. The sanctum sanctorum of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple is situated on a rock and the main idol which is about 18 feet tall can be seen through separate doors. The head and chest can be seen from the first door while the hands can be seen from the second door and the feet through the third door.
The architecture of this temple is famous for its stone and bronze carvings. Beautiful paintings and frescoes are carved in the interiors of the temple. Some of these images are images of Lord Vishnu in recumbent posture, Narasimha Swamy (half lion, half male who is the form of Lord Vishnu), Lord Ganapati and Gaja Lakshmi. The flag pillar of this temple is about 80 feet high which is covered with gold coated copper sheets. The temple also has some interesting structures in the form of Bali Peeda Mandapam and Mukha Mandapam. These are large halls decorated with beautiful artefacts of various Hindu deities. Another structure that will attract your attention is the Navagraha Mandapa with the Navagraha mandapa on its roof.
From the eastern side to the sanctum there is a large corridor consisting of 365 and a third artefacts granite stone pillars with beautiful carvings. Below the main entrance on the east side is the ground floor called the Natakasala where the classical art form of Kerala – Kathakali – is performed in the annual ten-day festival held during the Malayalam months of Meenam and Tulam.