Padmanabhaswamy Temple is the identity of Trivandrum. This huge temple is devoted to lord Vishnu reclining on lord Anantha. It is a unique blend of typical Kerala & Dravidian architecture. The temple is located inside the East Fort. People from the farthest places come here to see its mural paintings and stone carvings. Padmanabha Swamy Temple has a huge pond for ritual bathing. It is among 108 sacred Vishnu Temples in India.
This temple is very popular for the Moolavar, Anantha Padmanabhar. A Shiva-Lingam is also situated near the Thirumugham of the Moolavar. It is the symbol of oneness of Hari and Haran. It explains that both the gods are not separate. They should be worshiped as one.
The main temple tower (Gopuram) is about 100 feet high. The idol of lord Vishnu is 18 feet tall and is covered with gold and several stones. This huge idol is visible through three different doors. You can see only the head and torso through the first opening. The second door provides you the view for the midriff and hands, and the feet are visible through the remaining third door. Giant sculptures made of granite and beautiful corridors supported by nearly 400 pillars are the marvelous results of Kerala architecture. Only Hindus are allowed to enter the temple premises.
The temple celebrates Arattu festival with full vigor and enthusiasm, with caparisoned elephants, cultural dance performances and traditional music patterns.
Padmanabhapuram Palace, was formerly the home of the royal families of Travancore. This impressively grand and beautiful palace is located at Thucklai, approximately 60 km. from Trivandrum. This grand palace is popular among tourists for its unique art forms revealed in murals, carved mahogany ceilings, coloured mica windows, secret underground passages and inner courtyards. The architecture of the palace is purely Travancore based. It is depicted in its Belgian mirror, pictures of Lord Krishna and granite dance halls.
The floor of Padmanabhapuram Palace is also made differently. The floor has a unique black shine, which is the result of egg white, jaggery, lime, burnt coconut, charcoal and river sand. These types of floors were designed in 17th and 18th century. Another major attraction is the King’s bed, which is made of 67 different types of wood from medicinal plants.
The interior walls of the palace have rosewood carvings. The credit for the construction of this palace goes to Iravi Verne Kalasekhara Perumal in 1601 AD. He successfully ruled Travancore between 1592 AD and 1609 AD. A major portion of Thiruvananthapuram's trade, commerce, art and literature is linked with this palace.