‘Sarpakatu’ – which means even a serpent cannot climb it-is a fort that has, within its boundaries, a temple devoted to ShriPadmanabhaswamy of Anandapadmanabha. It is located at Kumbla, 15 km from Kasargod and 40 km from Mangalore.
Built in the 9th century, the temple walls have beautiful murals painted on them. A later addition, an epigraph in the Tulu script, dating back to the 16th century, can also be seen here.
It is said that the seven original idols found in the temple were made not of wood, metal or stone but from 108 materials collected from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, called ‘Kadusharkarayogam’.
The temple, known as the ‘Ananthapura’, is said to be the abode of Anandapadmanabhaswamy, the deity of the Shri Padmanabhaswami temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala’s capital. In fact, legend has it that Lord Vishnu used the cave opposite this temple to enter Thiruvananthapuram. The cave has a water-filled pit in front of it that is regarded sacred. The temple is surrounded by a rectangular lake.