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Discover The Magic Of Malabar....

  • Writer's pictureVijay Nair

Ananthapura Lake Temple: Only Lake Temple Of Kerala

Ananthapura Lake Temple is a unique and attractive ninth-century Hindu temple located in the middle of a lake in Kasaragod district of Kerala, India. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the Preserver of the Universe, and is situated on a remote rocky hill in a calm isolated region. The temple is the only lake temple in Kerala, and Lord Padmanabha, seated on the serpent god Adisesha, is the presiding deity here.

According to legend, this temple is the original site where Ananthapadmanabha Swami settled down. The moolasthanam or original seat of the deity is said to be the Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple at Thiruvananthapuram, where he reclines on the serpent god.

The temple's history is still obscure, except for some myths. It was at this place where Divakara Muni Vilwamangalam, the great Tulu Brahmin sage, did penance and performed poojas. Legend has it that one day Lord Narayana appeared before him as a child. The boy's face was glowing with radiance, which overwhelmed the sage. He became anxious and asked who he was. The boy replied that he had no father, no mother, and none at home. Vilwamangalam felt pity for the boy and allowed him to stay there. The boy proposed a condition that whenever he felt humiliated, he would leave the place at once. He served the sage for some time, but soon his juvenile pranks became intolerable for the sage, and he reacted violently. Humiliated, the boy disappeared from there, proclaiming that if Vilwamangalam wanted to see him, he would have to go to Ananthankat, the forest of serpent god Anantha.

Vilwamangalam soon realized that the boy was none but the lord himself, and he had great repentance. He found a cave at the place where the boy disappeared and proceeded further into the cave in search of the boy. He reached the sea and proceeded further toward the south, and at last, he reached a woody area near the sea. Vilwamangalam saw the child who soon disappeared into a huge illippa tree (Indian butter tree or Mahua tree). Immediately the tree fell down and assumed the shape of Lord Vishnu lying on a thousands hooded serpent.

The temple also has yet another interesting tale to tell – the story of the guardian crocodile. From very ancient times, one crocodile has been seen there. Though devotees used to take bath in the tank there is no instance of it harming anyone. Babia is the name by which this guardian is known to the world. It is the local guardian and the messenger of the temple. The only food that Babia takes is the offerings of the devotees.

The sprawling hillocks set on the background of the temple, and it is surrounded by vast grasslands. The Sreekovil is surrounded by the rectangular lake, and the temple Gopuram, the Sreekovil, and the temple edifice are connected by a small bridge. The temple is raised in unique structural aspects in the middle of the serene lake, which is gifted with a perennial supply of pure spring water. The lake of the temple measures approximately two acres of land. The beautiful scenery around the temple is a treat to the eyes, creating a sense of peace and solitude.

The temple is famous for its wood carvings, which depict the legendary stories of Dasavataram. There are also ancient and marvelous mural paintings on the theme of Purana on the outer walls of the temple.

In conclusion, the Ananthapura Lake Temple is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Kasaragod district in Kerala, India. Its unique location in the middle of a serene lake, combined with the legends and myths that surround it, make it a fascinating and unforgettable experience. From the stunning natural scenery to the intricate wood carvings and mural paintings, the temple is a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the region. The temple's most famous resident, the crocodile Babia, adds a touch of intrigue and mystery to the already captivating atmosphere. For those seeking a peaceful and spiritual retreat, the Ananthapura Lake Temple is an ideal destination to explore the rich history and traditions of Hinduism in India.

Temple Timings:

  • 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

  • 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Pooja Timings:

  • Morning Pooja: 7:30 a.m.

  • Noon Pooja: 12:30 p.m.

  • Night Pooja: 7:30 p.m.

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