Unique worship of Lord Vishnu at Padmanabha Swamy temple, Kerala !!

Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Thiruvantha Puram.  sudheeptnair.blogspot.com
The capital of South western state of Kerala in the Peninsular India  - Thiruvananthapuram ('Thiru Anantha Puram') is named after  the presiding deity of the holy temple because the main deity (Lord Vishnu)  of  Sri Padmanabha swamy  temple is  in the reclining Anantha sayanam  posture  on the coiled bed of  serpent   "Adhiseshan". 
. Lord Vishnu is the Supreme God in Hinduism. Vishnu . neemyd.blogspot.com
"Vishnu", also known as Narayana and Hari is one of the most  important  deities in Hinduism.Among His incarnations   Rama and Krishna are widely worshiped by the Hindus.  He is  one of the five primary forms of God in the Smarta tradition and he is conceived as "the Preserver or  the Protector". According to the   Hindu sacred texts, Vishnu is supposedly  dark in complexion similar to the color of  water-laden clouds - pale blue. He has four arms.  He holds a padma (lotus flower) in his lower left hand, the Kaumodaki gada (mace) in his lower right hand, the Panchajanya shankha (conch) in his upper left hand and the discus weapon (Sri Chakra or Sudarshana Chakra) considered to be the most powerful weapon according to  Hindu scriptures  in his upper right hand.
Padmanabha Swamy tewmple, Thiruvantha Puram, East  Entrance.  en,wikipedia.org
The lord Vishnu appeared before  Divakar Muni, a true devotee of Vishnu in the guise of a naughty boy and, at last. revealed his Visvaroopam - his original giant form. On sage Diwakara's request  He shrank his size and asked  the sage to worship Him through three doors. The fascinating feature about the  presiding deity here is that  Vishnu  is worshiped through three doors - the  face / head of the lord with Lord Shiva through the first door,  middle part of God with  God  Brahma through the second door  and the  feet of the lord (Theruvadi or Paathams) with Sri Devi and Bommi Devi through the third door
.Ranganatha Swamy temple Shivasamudram, Tamil nadu. Anantha sayanam posture   en.wikipedia.org/
Commonly the devotees can  worship  the entire divine  Anatha Saynam posture of Lord Vishnu's idol  through just one door in temples at Srirangam, Tamil Nadu,  Sri Ranganatha  temple at Shivasamudra and  Srirangapatnam, Karnataka  and other temples.  The sanctum sanctorum at this temple is made of one single  mass of rock (monolithic rock) called  Ottakkal Mandapam. According to the Hindu Agama Sastras, the Main Shrine  called Garbagraha or Sri Kovil (sanctum Santorum),  has a single door through which the deity is visible. Here the deity is visible through  three big  doors as mentioned above.  Lord Padmanabha holds a lotus flower in his left hand and the serpent has its face lifted upwards near the lotus. The Lord's right hand holds Shiva, the two consorts of Vishnu - Sridevi and Bhoomidevi stand by his side,  and  Brahma on a lotus flower originating from the navel of Lord Vishnu.

The other exception is Sri Krishna temple at Udipi, Karnataka  where the child form of Lord Krishna - Bala Krishna can be viewed through a silver plated window that has nine small square holes and devotees cannot view the God here through the main door in the Sanctum.

Here at the Vishnu temple  the huge stone idol ( Moolavar) is a  symbolic representation of  10008 Saligrams (Ammonite  fossils of Paleozoic  Era preserved in sedimentary rocks in the Himalayan Mountain ranges; the whorls look like Sri Chakra (Disc), hence the fossil stones are considered holy)  collected from the banks of the river Gandaki in Nepal. The Saligram stones  were plastered on top by the Katu Sarkara yogam which is a special ayurvedic mix that binds them. This also helps to keep the idol free from pests. Regular anointing or abisekam, which is a regular temple ritual in numerous Hindu temples, is not done here. Flowers are used for puja and they are carefully removed by using peacock feathers to avoid damaging  the Ayurvedic mix - Katu Sarkara.  Only the Maharajah of Travancore has the rights to enter and prostrate before the lord in the Grabagrha - Ottakkal Mandapam as he happens to be the  humble Daasa or servant of the Lord in this State which is ruled by Lord Padmanabha Swamy.

The Royal family of  Tranvancore  is very much attached to the temple
As a matter of fact the royal insignia of Lord Padmanabha, the Valampiri Shankhu or the dextrally coiled  conch / shell served as the emblem of the State of Travancore  for a long time till the abolition of the  princely states and allowances to the ex- princes by the Indian Government and reorganization of the states was done after independence.

Here the lord of the cosmos is supposedly the ruler of this wonderful land that is   bestowed with nature's bounties. The lord is always blissful and generous in bestowing his grace on the land and the people living there and is being  held in great esteem and in reverence  by the natives.  During the British Raj, the British rulers followed a strange tradition as part of their protocol with respect to  Princely states  based on the  extend of land and revenues. The  presiding lord of the universe was entitled to  a 21 gun salute, a  military tradition of greatest  honor in the colonial days and the colonial rulers never failed to respect the age-old Indian traditions.  Being the head,  the presiding deity assumes the title "Perumal"  

Considered as one among the 108 holiest abodes of Vishnu  (divya desam ) - this famous shrine is being visited by thousands of people a day.  After the accidental discovery of the vast treasures worth 25 to 30 billion dollars (antique value is not added;  treasures are several centuries old) a few years ago, this place of veneration has become  more popular than ever before.

 The temple was renovated to its present state  in the 18th century by Maharajah Sri Anizham Tirunal Marthanda Varma. The temple is surrounded by tall boundary walls with big entrances on all four sides. The main entrance is through the East entrance on the East Nada.