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Thiru Anantha Padmanabha Swamy
The presiding deity at the Padmanabhaswamy temple at Thiruvananthapuram, capital city of Kerala State in South India. Here, Padmanabha, manifestation of Lord Mahavishnu, is enshrined in the yoganidhra posture, reclining on Aadiseshan, making offerings of vilvam to a small shivalingam on his right, Aadiseshan, protecting the Lord with its raised hoods, lotus raising from the naval of the Lord with Brahma seated on it and the hands typify the chin mudra. The form is essentially Saantakara Rupa and is consecrated on 12,000 salagramams. In this temple, Lord is viewed through three doors in a row - the siras (head) through the southern side, the feet through the northern side and the nabhi (navel) through the middle. Thus the entire sequence of creation, sustenance and destruction is seen in Lord Padmanabha that spans 18 feet, through three separate doors
It was believed till recently the idol is made of a special preparation called Katu sarkara yogam to ward off pests. The abhishekam of the Lord is not a traditional ritual. The daily worship is with flowers and for the abhishekam special separate idols are used. The flowers have always been removed using peacock feathers fearing damage to the katu sarkara on the idol.
During renovations in August 2001 , it came to light that Lord Padmanabha's idol is entirely cast in gold except for the face and chest. The crown of the Lord sporting kundalams in the ears, the huge rudraksha malai adorning the chest and the finely chiseled poonal are in gold. The various ornaments covering the chest and the right hand sporting a huge kankanam shielding and praying to Lord Siva, the left hand holding a Kamalam are in gold. The stalk of the kamalam (lotus) rising out of the nabhi is also in splendid gold. The entire length of the Lord's legs is again cast in gold
The katu sarkara yogam was obviously an ingeniously conceived plan to avoid the prying eyes of the invaders who attacked the city.
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