Ananthapura Lake Temple is a Hindu temple built in the middle of a lake in the little village of Ananthapura, Kasaragod District of Kerala, South India, at around 6 km from Kumble. This is the only lake temple in Kerala and is believed to be the original seat of Ananthapadmanabha Swami Thiruvananthapuram. Legend has it that this is the original site where Ananthapadmanabha settled down
The past of the temple is still obscure except for some myths. It was at this place where Divakara Muni Vilwamangalam, the great Tulu Brahmin sage, did penance and performed poojas. Legend has it that one day Lord Narayana appeared before him as a child. The boy’s face was glowing with radiance and this overwhelmed the sage. He became anxious and asked who he was. The boy replied that he had no father no mother and none at home. Vilwamangalam felt pity for the boy and allowed him to stay there. The boy proposed a condition that whenever he feels humiliated he will leave the place at once. He served the sage for some time. But soon his juvenile pranks became intolerable for the sage and he reacted violently. Humiliated the boy disappeared from there after proclaiming that if Vilwamangalam wants to see him he would have to go to Ananthankat, the forest of serpent god Anantha. Vilwamangalam soon realised that the boy was none but the lord himself and he had great repentance. He found a cave at the place where the boy disappeared and he proceeded further into the cave in search of the boy. He reached the sea and proceeded further toward the south and at last, he reached a woody area near the sea. Vilwamangalam saw the child who soon disappeared into the huge illippa tree . Immediately the tree fell down and assumed the shape of Lord Vishnu lying on a thousands hooded serpent.
The temple is unique in its structural aspects for it is erected in the middle of an impressive lake of 302 feet. The lake is gifted with a perennial supply of pure spring water. We can find the ruins of temples all round the lake which stands testimony to the fact that it was part of a great temple complex. The sreekovil , namaskara-mandapam, thitappalli, and shrines of Jala-Durga and the entrance of the cave are located in the lake. The namaskara mandapam is connected to the eastern rock by a foot-bridge which is the only passage to the sreekovil. The principal deity is Lord Vishnu. One of the key features of the temple is that the original idols in the sanctum sanctorum 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 metals in 1972. They were donated by Kaanchi Kaamakoti Mathaadhipathi His Holiness Jayendra Saraswathy Thiruvatikal. Efforts are going on now to reinstall the idols made with `kadu-sharkara-yogam.' The Lord Vishnu idol is in a sitting pose over a five-hooded serpent king Lord Anantha. The lake temple is open to all visitors regardless of caste or creed. The District Tourism Promotion Council has plans to preserve the temple and its surroundings for its uniqueness. The temple has an excellent collection of wood carvings on the ceilings of the mandapam. These carvings depict the incidents taken from the stories of dasaavatharam . Some of them are painted. The Nava-grahas are painted at the muktha-mandapam. On either side of the sreekovil dwaara-palakas are beautifully carved in wood. The temple is open to all regardless of religion or cast.