shri Padmanabha Swamy Temple

PadmanabhaSwamy Temple, located in Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kerala, India, is one of the most famous and ancient temples in the country. It is known for its rich history, architectural significance, and the mysteries and legends surrounding its treasures.


The history of the temple is believed to date back over a thousand years. The temple's construction follows the Dravidian architectural style, distinguished by its elaborate stone engravings and imposing entrance tower known as the gopuram. The temple's origins are shrouded in legend, with stories suggesting that it was consecrated by Lord Balarama, the elder brother of Lord Krishna.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the temple's history is its association with the Travancore Royal Family. The royal family played a pivotal role in the temple's administration, with the ruler serving as the "Padmanabha Dasa" or the servant of Lord Padmanabha. This unique relationship between the royals and the deity persisted for centuries.

In the 18th century, King Marthanda Varma of Travancore rebuilt the temple, reinforcing its grandeur. He introduced strict rituals and customs, many of which continue to be followed to this day. The temple also served as the royal family's personal place of worship.

In 2011, the temple gained international attention when immense wealth was discovered in its underground vaults. The vaults contained an astonishing treasure trove of gold, silver, jewels, and other valuables, making it one of the wealthiest religious institutions globally.


The temple is a fine example of the Dravidian style of architecture, characterized by its intricate stone carvings, gopurams (tower gateways), and a sprawling temple complex. It has a 100-foot-tall gopuram at the entrance, which is adorned with beautiful sculptures and artwork. The temple features a vast courtyard with a large, rectangular tank known as the Padma Theertham. The presiding deity, Lord Padmanabha, is depicted in a reclining posture on the serpent Ananta-Sesha. This posture is known as "Anantha Shayana" and symbolizes the eternal cosmic balance. The deity is made of a unique combination of materials known as "Katu-Sharkara-Yogam," a mixture of medicinal herbs and various precious materials.


sree padmanabhaswamy temple
padmanabhaswamy temple inside view

Temple Treasures

The temple gained international attention due to the discovery of its hidden treasures in vaults (kallaras) beneath the temple in 2011. These vaults are labeled A to F, with Vault B being the most famous. Vault B was found to contain an immense amount of wealth, including gold coins, jewels, and other valuable artifacts. Estimates suggest that the value of the treasures in Vault B alone could be in the billions of dollars. The temple's treasures are shrouded in mystery and legends, with stories of curses guarding the vaults and tales of misfortunes befalling those who try to access them without permission. The Supreme Court of India has taken charge of the temple's administration and the management of its treasures. Vault B has been opened for inventory purposes, but its contents remain a closely guarded secret. The temple and its treasures are under the protection of the Travancore Royal Family, who have traditionally been the custodians of the temple. The temple's management is now overseen by a committee appointed by the Supreme Court of India to ensure its preservation and protection.

Shri Padmanabha Swamy Temple in Trivandrum is not only a place of worship but also a cultural and historical treasure with its ancient architecture, religious significance, and the enigma surrounding its hidden treasures. The temple continues to be a revered place for Hindus and attracts visitors from all over the world.