His life was an offering in music to God. A rare renaissance personality, Swathi Thirunal was a king among musicians and musician among kings. His musical compositions and his life were a mutual translation of his devotion to Lord Padmanabha, the presiding deity of the Travancore Royal House…….
Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma (1813- 1847) was a man who lived ahead of his times. He was a progressive ruler . As a ruler he was committed to the welfare of the people .Swathi Thirunal the able administrator and far sighted visionary was responsible for introducing modern medicine, English education and a humane judicial system in Kerala........
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Sree Padmanabha Temple

Padmanabha Swami Temple is situated inside the Fort of Thiruvananthapuram. It is the state temple of erstwhile Travancore. The main deity of this temple is Lord Vishnu, who according to the Hindu mythology is the supreme power which controls this universe. The capital city got its name Thiruananthapuram or the place where Lord Vishnu reclines on the sacred serpent Anantha, from this temple.

The idol inside the sanctum santorum is in the form of the Lord reclining on the Holy Serpent Anantha. It is an 18 feet long imposing figure built with Salagrama stones brought from Nepal and it is covered with gold and precious stones.

Sree Padmanabha Swami Temple
Sree Padmanabha Swami Temple
A view"pancha pandavas" in front of the Temple Methan mani - built during the period of Swathi Sree Padmanabha Swami Temple

The temple has an imposing seven tier gopuram covered with beautiful stone carvings. The temple has a broad corridor with 324 sculptured pillars and a 80 feet high golden flag staff. The walls of the temple are covered with interesting mural paintings depicting mythical stories. The Kulasekharamandapam, the main platform inside the temple is beautiful and regal. The entire architectural style followed in this temple is a mixture of Dravidian and Kerala styles. This temple in its present form is built by Maharaja Marthanda Varma (1729-1758), one of the most powerful rulers of Travancore. The work on the temple was started in 1731. In 1750, the Maharaja dedicated his kingdom to Lord Padmanabha, the presiding deity of the kingdom and assumed the title Padmanabhadasa or the servant of Lord Padmanabha. From that day onwards the rulers of Travancore carry out all their princely and spiritual duties as the servants of the Lord.

Padmanabhaswamy temple is considered as one among the seven Parasurama shetras in Kerala and one among the 108 sacred temples in India dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The ancient texts of Padma purana and Skanda purana have mentions about this temple.

The temple has very special rituals. Two festivals are celebrated every year, one in March-April and the second one in September-October. 56 day long Murajapam or uninterrupted recitation of prayers is conducted once in six years and once in twelve years the festival of a million lamps or the Lakshadeepam is conducted. The temple is still given the status of the state temple and for the festivals divisions of the armed and mounted police will accompany the deity for the arattu or the holy bathing. Their band also play the songs written by Maharaja Swathi Thirunal.

Swathi Thirunal had a very special relationship with Lord Padmanabha and the temple. His life was an offering to the Lord. All his songs carry the stamp of total dedication to Padmanabha. The most beautiful of his songs are on Lord Vishnu. “Vande Sada Padmanabham………….Always I worship thee Padmanabha, Thine is the hue of the water-laden clouds, Thy feet are the celestial Mandara blossoms to those who bow to them, Always I worship thee, my Lord” - Swathi Thirunal wrote.

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