1. Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple
Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple, is one of the most famous temples in Kerala dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Built in Dravidian style architecture, this temple is invented back to 8th century and is considered as one of the oldest Vishnu temples in the country. The idol here reclines on Anantha the eight-hooded serpent God. The beautiful temple structure, stone carvings and murals pull tourists round the year.
Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple stands tall in the Thiruvananthapuram, capital of Kerala. It is one of the 108 Divya Desams, the Divya Desams are the holy abodes of the great Lord Vishnu, the principal centres of worship in the dharma of Vaishnavism. The temple worships Lord Padmanabha – a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. This divine temple is one of the very few temples in India where the entrance is only granted to people that practice the Hindu faith. The mystery and grandeur of the temple fill the air and leaves you awestruck in its magnanimous beauty. The premises of the temple echo tranquillity and every breath you take under the roof of this holy structure feels like a soul cleansing experience. Alpashy festival in October and November. Panguni festival in March and April.
The temple is known for its strict rules of worship and has specific dress codes to be followed by its devotees and devotees gather in large numbers to get a glimpse of the deity and attain some peace of mind. The majestic temple has also been the focus of many media reports and press coverage owing to the incredible discoveries being unearthed. The mystery surrounding Vault B is fascinating and has been contributing to a rise in visitor count since its discovery.
Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple Darshan Timings Morning hours: 3:30 AM – 4:45 AM (Nirmalya Darshanam), 6:30 AM – 7:00 AM, 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM, 10:30 AM – 11:00 AM, 11:45 AM – 12 PM.
Evening hours: 5:00 PM – 6:15 PM, 6:45 PM – 7:20 PM.
2. Parasurama Temple Thiruvallam
Parasurama Temple is located at Thiruvallam near Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala. Parasurama Temple at Thiruvallam is 7 kilometers away from Thiruvananthapuram. It is situated on the beautiful banks of Karamana river. This temple is dedicated to Lord Parasurama, the creator of the state Kerala as per the Mythology. Thiruvallam Parasurama Temple is famous as a holy spot for ancestor worship. A lot of Hindu devotees visit this temple in order to make offerings to the souls of the departed as a part of the bali ritual.
This is a 2000-year-old temple and the great feature of this temple is that it has separate shrines for Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma. Another peculiarity is this temple situated at merging of 3 rivers called Thirveni sanghama, such as Karamana River, Killi River and Parvathiputhanar river.
The Parasurama Temple is a holy site to carry bali rituals. According to the Hindu faith, said that only through balitharpan that the dead attain moksha (liberation of the soul).The Thiruvallam temple offers devotees the chance to perform balitharpan every day and is believed that if the balitharpan is done in the presence of Parasurama, the souls will definitely to be freed of their worldly sins. Karkidaka Vavu is the most solemn day when devotes throng the place in the hope of freeing their beloved dead from the bondage of this world. Special prayers are offered and people return comforted in the belief. Balitharpan is a ritualistic act of purification whereby the dead are freed of their earthly shackles and their souls are set free.
3. Attukal Bhagavathy Temple
The Attukal Bhagavathy Temple is a great temple in Kerala, India. The temple is renowned for the annual Attukal Pongala festival, in which over a million women participate. Attukal Temple is situated within 2 kilometres of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram. Attukal Pongala is the main festival of this temple and millions of women gather every year in the month of Kumbham. The women gather Around this temple and prepare Pongala (rice cooked with jaggery, ghee, coconut as well as other ingredients) in the open in small pots to please the Goddess Kannaki. The Godess Kannaki (Parvathi) is the main divinity in this temple. The mythology behind the temple, relates to the story of Kannagi who was married to Kovalan, son of a wealthy merchant. After marriage Kovalan met a dancer and spent all his riches on her, forgetting his wife. But when he was penniless, he went back to Kannagi. The only precious thing left to be sold was Kannagi’s pair of anklets. They went with it to the king of Madurai to sell it. But an anklet was stolen from the Queen which looked similar to Kannagi’s. When Kovalan tried to sell it, he was mistaken for the theft and beheaded by the king’s soldiers.
Kannagi got aggravate when she heard the news and rushed to the King with the second pair of anklets. She broke one of the anklets and it contained rubies while the Queen’s contained pearls. She cursed the city of Madurai, and it is said that due to her chastity, the curse came true. Kannagi is said to have attained salvation after the Goddess of the city appeared before her. It is said that on her way to kodungalloor, Kannagi passed Attukal and she was changed to a little girl. An old man was sitting on the banks of a stream, when the girl went to him and asked him whether he could help her cross the stream then she disappeared. She came back in his dream and asked him to build a temple where he found 3 golden lines in his grove and it at the location of the present Attukal Temple.
4. Karikkakom Chamundi Devi Temple
Karikkakom Devi Temple is a famous Goddess Temple in Trivadrum, Kerala. This ancient temple, more than 600 years old, is situated at Karikkakom. It is 7 km north of Sree Padmanabha Swami Temple in Thiruvananthapuram. To reach the temple, the nearest railway station is Trivandrum Central Railway Station and the nearest bus station is Thiruvananthapuram Central Bus Station.
The temple enshrines a Panchaloha idol which is traditional five-metal alloys of Goddess Karikakathamma – an incarnation of Goddess Parvati Devi and the main Sreekovil enshrines Goddess Chamundeswari.
Karikkakom Chamundi Devi Temple lies in the midst of evergreen scenery surrounded on all sides by coconut palms and other lush green plants. The temple also has separate shrines of Goddess Raktha Chamundi, Goddess Bala Chamundi, Sree Dharmashasta, Lord Maha Ganapathy, Bhuvaneswari, Ayiravalli (Mountain Goddess), Nagaraja, Yakshi, and Yogiswaran (Yogeeswaran). There is no idol in the Raktha Chamundi Nada (shrine) – a wall painting of Devi in Rowdra Bhava like ferocious state can be seen on the wall of the Nada. Devotees regardless of caste, creed and race are allowed to enter the temple. The annual temple festival is called Ulsava Mahamaham celebrated in the Malayalam month of Meenam, starts on the Makam day. Devotees from all over Trivandrum district and the nearby districts visit the temple to offer Pongala which is a Rice Pudding cooked in traditional earthen pots to the Goddess.
5. Sreekanteswaram Temple
Sreekanteswaram Temple or Srikanteswaram Temple is one of the most popular Shiva temples in Kerala, situated at Sreekanteswaram, Thiruvananthapuram. It is around 1 km from East Fort, in Thiruvananthapuram. Lord Shiva is worshipped here in the form of a Shiva Lingam facing east. Lord Shiva is known by the different names Sreekanteswaran (the lord of Sreekanteswaram), Mahadeva, Kailasanatha, and Gowri Shankara. The temple also has separate shrines of Sree Mahaganapathy, Sree Dharmasastha (Swamy Ayyapan), Sree Nagaraja, Sree Murugan (Lord Subramanya), Sree Krishna and Sree Anjaneya (Lord Hanuman). There is a holy pond near the temple.
The annual festival of Sreekanteswaram is the Thiruvathira Mahotsavam is held during the Malayalam month of Dhanu (March – April). This ten days festival starts with the hoisting of the temple flag called Thirukkodiyettu and the 9th day of the festival is the Pallivetta (royal hunt).
Shiva Rathri is another major festival celebrated at Sreekanteswaram Temple and celebrated in the Malayalam month of Kumbham. During the Shivrathri festival, devotees in the temple 108 times chanting the mantras and atitras of Shiva. The divinity is carried out in procession on the silver Rishabhavahana at 3 am and procession is conducted on the 5th day of temple festival and during Shivaratri.