One of the 108 important divya desams dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Adi Kesava Perumal Temple is located in Thiruvattar in the Kanniyakumari district of Tamil Nadu. The temple is surrounded by three rivers – Thamirabharani, Kothai and Pahrali. The presiding deity of the temple, Lord Vishnu is in the form of Ananthapadmanbhan or Adi Kesava Perumal and resides in a reclining position here. The temple is also called the ‘Srirangam of the Chera Kingdom’.
The temple was once a part of the erstwhile kingdom of Travancore and now belongs to the HR & CE Department of Tamil Nadu. The authentic Kerala-style architecture of the temple is similar to that of the Anantha Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram. 18 steps takes a visitor to the sanctum sanctorum where the presiding deity, made of mustard, jaggery and lime powder. There are a lot of sculptures, murals and paintings within the temple premises that add elegance to the grand interiors. The temple also resembles Anantha Padmanabhaswamy temple when it comes to rituals. The idol of Adi Kesava Perumal rests on a snake in Bujanga Sayana and is 22 ft long. The idol at the Padmanabhaswamy temple is also in Bujanga Sayana. Both the idols are placed in such a way that they face each other, Adi Kesava Perumal facing the west and Padmanabhaswamy facing the east. Vaikunda Ekadasi is one of the festivals celebrated in great pomp and glory in the temple.
In your trip to Kanniyakumari, do make it a point to visit this splendid temple.