First feature you will notice about this temple is it’s 100 feet, seven tier Gopuram. The corridor of the temple with 365 sculptured granites and elaborate carvings extends from the northern side to the sanctum. “Natakasala” – where the native art form “Kathakali” is played during the festive period, is located at the ground floor under the Gopuram. Festival is conducted twice a year during the months of Meenam and Thulam (based on local calendar).
“Navaratri Festival” – which lasts for 9 days is the major annual festival of this temple. The idols of gods “Saraswathy”, “Durga”, and “Murugan” are brought to the “Kuthira Malika” palace in front of the Padmanabha Temple as a procession. “Swathy Music Festival”, a very famous event is conducted during the Navaratri fest.
There are two other main festivals conducted here in a year which lasts for 10 days; they are:
1. The “Alpashy” festival conducted during October/November.
2. The “Painkuni” festival conducted during March/April.
These two main festivals are culminated by the “Aarat”, which means holy bath. “Aarat” is led by the King of the Royal family, which involves the procession of purifying the idols of the temple by immersing them in the sea. The event which takes place in the evening time is a grand feast to every devotee. After the ritual dieties are taken back to the temple with a large group accompanying the procession.
“Laksha Deepam” – is the biggest festival of this temple, which happens once in 6 years. It’s a festival of lights and lamps, prior to which chanting of prayers are done for 56 consecutive days. Next “LakshaDeepam” is chartered to be on January 14.
Rice offerings are the most common one here, made by large group of devotees to the diety. Apart from this various types of payasam (Rice Puddings) are offered to the perumal (Lord Vishnu) like Retna payasam (offered in Golden vessel), Jaggery pudding made in Ghee etc. “Uppu Manga” (Unripe Mango soaked in brine water ) offered in gold covered Coconut shell is another famous offering made to Lord Vishnu.
Temple Visit Timings:
Before Noon: 3.30-4.45 AM, 6.30-7.00 AM, 8.30-10.00 AM, 10.30-11.00 AM, 11.45-12.00
After Noon: 5.00-6.15 PM and 6.45-7.20 PM
Note: Only Hindus are permitted inside the temple. Dress code has to be followed.
1. No pants for males and No churidhars for females.
2. Men should wear no dress that covers full body section above waist. A towel can be worn over the neck.
3. Dhoti is preferred and can be taken for rent by paying Rs.15 per piece from the temple.
4. Dhoti can be worn over a pants or churidhar.
5. No mobile phones or cameras are permitted inside. Any such items can be kept safely inside the locker by paying the timely fees.