Ananthapura Lake Temple dedicated to God Vishnu, Kasaragod, one of a kind in Kerala!!

Lake temple Anantapura,Kerala .temple

Lake temple Ananthapura, Kerala

A Hindu temple in the middle of a lake in Kerala? Yes, there is a  Hindu temple - only one in this state in the small village of Ananthapura/  Ichilampady  of Kasaragod District. The belief has been that this temple is the original seat (Moolasthanam) of Anantha Padmanabha Swami and, the presiding god of  the famous temple in Thiruvananthapuram, first settled in the lake temple. The deity in the lake temple is said to visit  the temple in the capital city through a cave in a corner of the lake. The small cave  is purported to  be connected with the shrine there in Thiruvananthapuram.

Lake temple Ananthapura, Kerala

The origin of this temple is unclear and seems to be a conjecture and is not based on factual evidence.  Divakara Muni Vilwamangalam, a great Tulu Brahmin sage and a true devotee of God Vishnu had been spending his time her meditation on Narayana (God Vishnu). Taking the guise of a mischievous boy, God Vishnu appeared before the sage. Quite impressed with his aura and gait,  Divakara Muni Vilwamangalam took the boy to his ashram as for help upon knowing that he was an orphan. The boy agreed to move along with him on condition that if he was subject some kind of humiliation that moment he would leave the place. Fo sometime the sage was quite happy with the duty-bound boy  despite his juvenile pranks. As months went by, one day the boy's pranks became intolerable and the sage got angry with him. Feeling dejected and humiliated, the boy left the place telling the sage that  he could see him  in Ananthankat, the forest of serpent god Anantha.

Realizing the boy was none other than God Vishnu, repentant as he was, the grief-stricken sage went out in search of the boy through the cave where he had  disappeared.  After a long search moving down south sage Vilwamangalam saw the child  in the wooded area  close to the sea. The moment he saw, the  boy disappeared into huge ilippa tree (Indian butter tree or Mahua tree) and the tree fell down and took the form  of Lord Vishnu in a lying posture  (Ananthasayanam) on the  coiled bed of a big hooded serpent- Adisesha.

The temple is a small one with the sanctum /sreekovil namaskara  mandapam, thitappalli, etc. There is a shrine  dedicated to Jala-Durga. The foot bridge is connected to the namaskara mandapam and the sreekovil. There are beautiful wooden carvings on the ceiling of the mandapam   depicting various episodes from Dasavatharam (the ten avatars  of Lord Vishnu). Some of the episodes are in painting. 

Dwarapalakas (Jays and Vijaya), sentinels on either side of the entrance to the garbhagriha / sreekovil are not made either of metal or stone, but of quality wood. It is rare to see wooden Dwarapalakas in perumal temples. 

Unlike other temples the main idols of this temple are not made of either stone or metal, raher an amalgam of more than 70 medicinal materials called `kadu-sharkara-yogam.' Panchaloha idols donated by the Kanchi Mutt (when Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal was the Peetadhipathi), Kanchipuram  have been in use since 1972, replacing the wooden ones. Efforts are on now to reinstall the idols made with `kadu-sharkara-yogam (made of herbs).

The temple can be reached from the  nearest major railway station- Kumbla railway station which is about 5 km from here. Mangalore Airport is nearby  about 54 km. Surrounded by hills, the tempe in the midst of a placid lake,  provides a soothing ambiance to the devotees who visit the temple for peace of mind and the lord's blessing to lead a contented life.