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History Of Thiruvananthapuram Padmanabhaswamy Temple

The history of the Thiruvananthapuram Padmanabhaswamy Temple is deeply intertwined with both legend and historical accounts, making it a significant religious and cultural landmark in Kerala, India.

The temple's exact date of construction remains uncertain, but it holds a revered status in ancient Tamil literature, referred to as the Golden Temple in Sangam literature dating back to 500 BC to 300 AD. The Sangam texts mention the temple and the city as a place of opulence, with the entire city believed to have been adorned in gold, signifying its immense wealth and importance.

Scholars speculate that the site has been a place of worship since the beginning of the Kali Yuga, the last of the four stages that the world goes through as part of the cycle of Yugas in Hindu cosmology.

Legend has it that Sage Vilvamangalathu Swamiyar, through his intense penance, attracted the attention of Bhagavan Vishnu, who appeared before him in the form of a mischievous orphan boy. Despite the sage's initial annoyance at the boy's disruptions during his prayers, he later realized the boy's divine nature and sought to find him when he disappeared, leaving a clue to visit Ananthankadu.

Upon reaching Ananthankadu, the sage discovered the boy merging into an Illuppa tree, which then transformed into a colossal figure of Bhagavan Vishnu in the Anantha Shayanam (reclining on the serpent Ananta) form. This divine manifestation was so vast that its head extended to Thiruvallam, while its feet reached Trippapur.

Moved by this miraculous sight, the sage requested the Bhagavan to condense his form, allowing him to witness it entirely. Granting his wish, Bhagavan Vishnu shrank his form, and the sage offered a dry mango in a coconut shell, a tradition that continues to this day. A shrine was erected at the site, marking the spot where the sage received the divine vision, with the assistance of local Brahmins in the Koopakkara and Karuva Potti areas.

This legend, along with historical accounts, contributes to the rich tapestry of beliefs and traditions surrounding the Thiruvananthapuram Padmanabhaswamy Temple, making it a cherished pilgrimage site and a symbol of cultural heritage in Kerala.