Scenes from Puranas
Various other Puranic scenes and figures are also depicted with scrupulous finish:
Markandeya embracing Siva, Krishna playing on the flute with the Gopis dancing the
incarnation of Vishnu as Vamana (dwarf), Kaliyamardhana (Krishna trampling on the serpent,
Kaliya), various scenes from the Ramayana such as the presentation of Rama and Lakshmana
to Vishwamitra, the departure of Rama with his brother and wife to the forest, the
abduction of Sita, the fight with Bali, Hanuman setting Lanka on fire and the fight with
Ravana. The story of the Bhagavata is also depicted in small reliefs. Then there are
trees, bushes, animals and birds such as parrots, squirrels and monkeys, all carved with
remarkable life and grace.3
From time immemorial, the temple is considered one of the important Vaishnavite centres of
pilgrimage. In Padma Purana there is reference to the temple of Anantasayanam, where the
Lord Vishnu is having his yoganidra i.e. where he is lying on the serpent Ananta. It is
also mentioned with Mathura, Venkatadri etc., as one of the well-known Vishnu Tirthas.
3 Sculpture in Kerala by R.V.Poduval,
The Arts and Crafts of Kerala, Cochin.