Kerala has been known as God's own land attributing to its scenic beaches, forests full of evergreen trees, Coconut Trees lined up on the way carrying fresh coconuts ably accompanied by their palm tree cousins.
Kerala is also home to some of the most amazing spiritual temples mankind has ever known. One of them is the very famous Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram. The temple is home to the great protector of all, Lord Vishnu who is the presiding deity of the erstwhile Royal Family of Travancore who ruled the area before British came to India. The current trustee of the temple is the titular Maharaja of Travancore Moolam Thiruval Rama Varma.
Inside the temple is Lord Vishnu enshrined in the "Anantha shayanam" posture or the eternal yogic sleep posture on the serpent Adiseshan more famously known as Seshanaga to everyone. The temple is one of the 108 principal divya desams or holy abodes in Vaishnavism and has been mentioned in Skanda Purana and several other important Hindu religion books.
The amazing part is the rules and regulations of old still followed by the Trustees. My family and I had visited Ashtamudi and Poovar in Kerala in 2013( more on that some other time) during which we also visited Padmanabhaswamy Temple. One of the rules of the temple is that Men are supposed to wear Vest and White 'lungi' and Women are to wear White saree with gold bordering as their respective uniforms which we did. As we entered the temple, the internal decor was lit with lamps and was covered partially to allow less light from outside. The Lord was visible through 3 open doors each showing part of his entire posture. Door 1 from the left showed his head and his right arm on top of a 'shivlinga'. The next door showed Lord Brahma sitting on a lotus coming out of his navel. door 3 showed his feet. Tradition has it that only the King of the region was allowed to see the Lord in entirety which is still followed now. The King of Travancore was considered as primary worshipper/servant of the Lord. The temple attracts huge number of followers everyday.
On our way back, we were suddenly stopped by Volunteers so as to make way for the arrival of the King. Everyone stood in their places when the King of Travancore Marthanda Varma ( predecessor of Current King and Trustee) made his entry ably supported by his assistants in traditional attire. He looked completely frail. Once he left after doing his 'Pujan' were we all allowed to leave the place.
It was an experience of a lifetime when we felt like going back in time to a world where following traditions were the norm. We found peace for a while and learnt about how people lived back in the ancient times.
I would like to end by saying that visiting Kerala is an amazing experience for History Buffs. If you have visited Kerala but not Padmanabhaswamy temple, then my dear readers you are missing out on something really fascinating and amazing.