Ananthapura Lake Temple - 10 Things to Know Before Visiting
Lake/ River/ Ponds
About Ananthapura Lake Temple
Ananthapura Lake Temple is the only lake temple in Kerala and it is believed to be the original seat of Ananthapadmanabha Swami (Lord Vishnu resting on the serpent King) of Padmanabhaswamy temple Thiruvananthapuram. The lake in which the temple is built measures around two acres in size. you can see a cave in the right corner of the lake and it's believed that the deity Anantha Padmanabha chose to go all the way to Thiruvananthapuram through that cave.
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The principal deity of Ananthapura Lake Temple is Lord Vishnu. One of the key features of the temple is that the original idols were not made of metal or stone but of a rare combination of more than 70 medicinal materials called kadu-sharkara-yogam. These idols were replaced by panchaloha (an alloy of five metals) in 1972. They were donated by Kaanchi Kaamakoti Mathaadhipathi (The head of a Hindu monastic institution located in Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu), his Holiness Jayendra Saraswathy Thiruvatikal. Efforts are going on now to reinstall the idols made with kadu-sharkara-yogam. The idol is in a sitting pose over a five-hooded serpent king Lord Anantha.
The temple has an excellent collection of wood carvings and paintings on its ceilings. These carvings depict the incidents taken from the stories of dasaavatharam (the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu).
The temple was home to a guardian crocodile which is said to be there for a long time. Though the devotees take bath in the lake, there is no incidence of it harming anyone. 'Babia', as it is called only eats the offerings given by the devotees. The crocodile is said to be vegetarian and has never harmed anything including the fish in the lake. The legend goes that there is only one crocodile in the lake at a time and if you are fortunate enough, you could even see it while visiting. Babia passed away on October 9th 2022.
History of Ananthapura Lake Temple
One of the myths relating to Ananthapura Lake surrounds Divakara Muni Vilwamangalam, the great Tulu Brahmin thinker who performed rituals here. Legend has it that one day Lord Vishnu appeared before him as an orphan child. Vilwamangalam felt pity for the boy and allowed him to stay on the temple premises. The boy proposed a condition that when he feels humiliated he will leave the place at once. The boy helped Vilwamangalam for a while but soon his mischievousness became intolerable. Vilwamangalam reacted harshly and the boy soon disappeared saying that if Vilwamangalam wants to see him again, he would have to go to Ananthakat, the forest of serpent god Anantha.
Vilwamangalam soon realized that the boy was lord Vishnu himself. He found a cave at the place where the boy disappeared and proceeded to inspect the cave in search of the boy. He reached a woodland near the sea and saw the boy who soon disappeared once again into a huge Mahua tree. The tree fell and assumed the shape of Lord Vishnu lying on a thousand hooded serpent.
Best Time to Visit Ananthapura Lake Temple
The best time to visit the Ananthapura Lake Temple is from September to March. This is when the weather is cooler and more pleasant. The temple also comes to life during this time of year, with a range of festivals and events taking place.
Tips for Visiting Ananthapura Lake Temple
- Spend some time exploring the temple complex. In addition to the main shrine and the lake, there are several smaller temples and shrines and ruins around.
- The temple has strict dress code regulations - men must wear a dhoti, and women must wear a sari or salwar kameez. Also, dark-coloured clothes are generally not accepted.
Interesting Facts and Trivias About Ananthapura Lake Temple
- The temple complex is surrounded by a large lake.
- The lake was home to a vegetarian crocodile.
How Much Time Did Visitors Spend at Ananthapura Lake Temple
On average, visitors spend about one-hour exploring Ananthapura Lake Temple. During the time of temple festivals, visitors could spend multiple days at the temple as the festivals are held for a few days.
How to Reach Ananthapura Lake Temple
Ananthapura Lake Temple is located near Kumbla Town (5km) in Kasaragod District of Kerala State in Southern India. From Kumbla Town, there are straight buses to the temple premises. The nearest large town and railway station are located at Kasaragod (15 km) which is connected to the rest of the parts of the country by rail and road. There are straight buses to Kumbla Town from Kasaragod.
Entrance Fee of Ananthapura Lake Temple
There is no fee for entrance to Ananthapura Lake Temple but there are different religious offerings that you can make which are at various price levels. You can get more details from their website.
Opening Hours of Ananthapura Lake Temple
Ananthapura Lake Temple is open daily from 5.30 AM to 12.30 PM and 5.30 PM to 7.30 PM. Up-to-date opening hours can be received from their website.
Attractions Near Ananthapura Lake Temple
Madhur Madhanantheshwara Temple
4.57km from Ananthapura Lake Temple
Madhur Madhanantheshwara Temple, also known as Sree Madanantheswara Sidhivinayaka Temple or Madhur Temple rises against the beautiful landscape of the adjacent Madhuvahini river with coconut trees and paddy fields surrounding the temple premises. The temple has a unique architecture with its three-tiered dome, copper plated roofing and cloistered court.
Kappil Beach- Kasaragod
17.8km from Ananthapura Lake Temple
One of the cleanest and pristine beaches in Kerala, decorated with loads of broken sea shells on its sandy floor.
21.91km from Ananthapura Lake Temple
Beach with a large natural pool spreading along its side.
22.01km from Ananthapura Lake Temple
Spreading over 40 acres, Bekal Fort is the largest fort in Kerala. It is situated in Bekal village of the northernmost Kasargod district of Kerala state. The 360-year-old fort is shaped like a giant keyhole and it is surrounded by a spectacular beach. The tall observation towers where huge cannons were once placed offer a scenic view of the Arabian Sea and adjacent towns.
31.2km from Ananthapura Lake Temple
A beautiful hill giving panoramic views and a colorful sky in the evening. One of the less explored places in the area, best visited in the evening.
Netravati Railway Bridge
31.48km from Ananthapura Lake Temple
Built across the river Netravati, it is 830 meters in length and connects Mangalore city with its southern suburbs.
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What Visitors Say About Ananthapura Lake Temple
Ananthapuram Lake temple is the only lake temple in Kerala, and a living crocodile in the lake making it's own kind. It was a hot day when I went there and not much people around and managed see the crocodile in the lake.
Anandapura lake temple one of the only temple I have visited with a crocodile in the pond which eats vegetarian food
The temple atmosphere is serene, espescially so if you visit early in the day or afternoons. I was able to spot Babia the crocodile in the waters of the lake. A well in the middle of the lake would tickle the curiousity in some. There's also a cave at the edge of the lake which according to the myth leads all the way to Thiruvanathapuram.