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Lakshadeepam at Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple, Trivandrum

On the Makar Sankranti day, Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple in Trivandrum, Kerala, will celebrate the unique festival of Lakshadeepam – lighting of one lakh deepams or one hundred thousand lights. Laksha-deepam was last held on January 14, 2008 after a period of six years.

Lakshadeepam marks the culmination of ‘murajapam.’ Murajapam is nearly two month long chanting of mantras for the welfare people and the land. The tradition of murajapam and lakshadeepam was started in 1750 AD by the then Travancore King primarily to mitigate the sins occurred during wars and annexations. Murajapam and Lakshadeepam are held once in six years.

This year the Lakshadeepam day marks the end of ‘murajapam’ which began on November 20, 2007. There is also a 19-day ‘kalabham’ ritual before the lighting on one hundred thousand diyas. Murasiveli procession, accompanied by the members of Tranvancore royal family, will be held on the same day. All these rituals are primarily intended for the welfare of the people and prosperity of the region.

Entry during Lakshadeepam to the temple is through passes and if newspaper reports are to be believed all the passes have been distributed.