Thiruvananthapuram, formerly known as Thiruvandrum, is the capital of Kerala, a state on the Malabar Coast. As I arrived late, I did not get to explore the city except a visit to the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, an ancient temple situated at the city centre as the #keralablogepress participants were brought to visit the temple.

Our Kerala blog express entourage was accidentally led by a local woman.

Nobody knows, in exactitude, who built the idols in the temple and when it was built. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Ever since the discovery of vaults containing numerous treasures, the temple is under the spotlight for being one of the richest temples in the world.

The richest temple in the world – Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple.

The close up of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple.

As a foreigner and a non-Hindu, I was barred from entering the heavily guarded temple. I was told that there are strict restrictions even for Hindu to enter the temple. The temple opens as early as 3.30am and can only be entered during the Darshan timings. For the Hindus, there is also a dress code to adhere. The men can only wear underwear inside the Dhoti whereas the ladies need to wear sarees.

At Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, photography is restricted. We were allowed to photograph the temple as far as 300m from the entrance of the temple.

The disappointed bloggers.

The locals were very friendly. They came in bright colour sarees and broad smiles.

What remains in imagination are the musical pillars, 500 pillared corridor famous for its sculptures and a large collection of temple mural paintings as well as golden mandap. And of course, the treasures!

There is a large clear pond called Padmatheertham, near the temple.

An interesting advertisement seen on the wall next to the pond.

This trip is made possible by #keralablogexpress from 15-29 February 2016.