|Padmanabha Swamy temple,Thiruvanantha Puram, Kerala/in.images.search.yahoo.com|
|Padmanabha Swamy temple,Thruvanantha Puram, Kerala vaikhari.org/|
This temple is widely mentioned in various texts like Skanda Purana, Padma Purana, Vayu Purana, Varaha Purana and Brahmanda Purana In Padma Purana there is a note on this famous temple where the Lord is having his yoganidra - Anantasayanam. In Brahmanda Purana, a whole chapter named Anantapura Mahatmyam, is dedicated to this temple. Considered as as one of seven 'Mukti Sthalas' in the 'Syanandoora Purana Samuchayam,' Chaitanya Maha Prabhu of modern times was of the view that it is one of the six seats of Narayana.
Tradition states that in this place, Lord Vishnu gave darshan (revealing his divine appearance) to sages like Divakaar Muni and Vilwamangalam Swamiyar. Legend has it the temple was first built on the 950th day of the Kali Yuga by Divakara Muni, a Tulu Brahmin ascetic and an ardent devotee of Sri Vishnu. For the pious sage it was his daily chore to spend his time meditating on Lord Vishnu. When sage Divakara was intensely doing penance and Tapas in 'Aatharta' desa one day Maha Vishnu wanted to test the sage's piety and appeared before him in the guise of a mischievous, naughty child. The sage mystified by the charms and aura of boy asked him to stay with him and help him with his daily chores and routine religious activities. The child agreed to his request on condition that he should not question his activities and get upset with him. The Muni agreed and put up with the kid's childish and playful pranks One day, while playing, the child swallowed the 'saligrama (a Saligrama stone is actually a Paleozoic fossil form of Ammonites found in the Himalayan mountain ranges and in the river beds;. because of the presence of whorls in the fossilized stone that look like Lord Vishnu's Sri Chakra, Saligrama stones are considered holy by the Hindus) that was kept for Puja purposes. Diwakara Muni was not happy about it and was on the look out for the child. He chased the kid who, at last, hid himself behind a tree saying "if you wish to see me again, you will find me in Anantankadu, the forest of Ananta". The sage was in grief and followed the child. Finally, he reached a wooded area near the sea shore and saw the child vanishing into a huge Ilippa (bassia longifolia) tree. Soon, the tree fell to the ground, assuming the shape of a recumbent Maha Vishnu. The manifested divine form was so huge his head was at Thiruvallam and its feet at Trippapur. Overawed by the majesty and grandeur of the resplendent divine form, the sage pleaded pardon and requested him to come back to his normal size, so that he could see his blissful, divine appearance. Accordingly, Lord Vishnu shrank in size and asked the Muni that he cold be worshiped here through three doors. Later sage Divakara offered pujas to the deity. That is the reason why Theidol of Lord Vishnu is viewed through three doors in the Gabagrah (Sanctum Sanctorum) or Sri Kovil at this temple.
This temple has vast treasures worth more than 20 to 30 billion dollars hidden in the secret chambers right below the temple and hence considered as the richest temple in the world. The vast treasures came to light a few years ago while routine inventory work was on.