anantha padmanabha swamy temple is a very famous vishnu temple in thiruvananthapuram ,kerala. temple is located in the center of the state capital very accessible.
a sage vilvamangalathu swamy , who resided near ananthapuram temple in kasargod district, prayed to lord vishnu for his darshan. the lord came in the guise of a little boy who was mischievous. the boy defiled the idol which was kept for puja.
the sage became enraged and chased away the boy, who disappeared. after a long search, when he was walking on the shore of the ocean , he heard a pulaya lady threatening her child that she would send him to ananthankadu , a forest nearby.
the moment the swami heard the word ananthankadu he was delighted. he proceeded to ananthankadu based on the directions of the lady. the sage reached ananthankadu searching where he saw the boy merging into an iluppa tree. the tree fell down and became anantha sayana moorti (vishnu reclining on the celestial snake anantha).
but the edifice that the lord assumed was of an extraordinarily large size, with his head at thiruvallam, navel at thiruvananthapuram, and lotus-feet at thrippadapuram (thrippappur), making him some eight miles in length. the sage requested the lord to shrink to a smaller proportion that would be thrice the length of his staff.
immediately the lord shrank to the form of the idol that is seen at present in the temple. but even then many iluppa trees obstructed a complete vision of the lord. the sage saw the lord in three parts – thirumukham, thiruvudal and thrippadam.
a big temple with architectural influence from both tamir nadu and kerala and is one of the celebrated 108 divya desams sung in hymns by aarwaars.