The reclining, sleeping Vishnu is Anantha, Infinite.
Vishnu does not sleep, neither Devas.
One of the definitions of Devas is that their eyelids do not bat , they do not sleep.
Other marks of Devas are,
Flowers adorned by them do not wither.
Their Feet do not touch the ground.
Vishnu’s sleep is called Yoga Nidra, a Posture of Yoga where the physical senses are shut off, consciousness is rooted in the Reality, yet aware of the surroundings.
In Tamil there is a beautiful word for this posture of Vishnu.
It is ‘அறிதுயில் ‘ , sleeping while knowing.
Such postures of Vishnu are relatively rare.
Famous ones are Anantha Padmanabhaswamy Temple,Thiruvananthapuram,Srirangam, Srivilliputhur.
Cave temple for Sleeping Vishnu is very rare.
One such temple is Malayadipatti Anathapadmanabhaswamy Temple.
Located 45kms from Tiruchirapalli in a remote village in the Kulattur Taluk of Pudukottai District is the largely unknown North Facing Rock Cut Anantha Padmanabhaswamy cave temple in Malayadipatti, one that dates back around 1200 years to the late 8th Century AD / early 9th Century AD.
How To Reach.
One can reach Malayadipatti by taking the Trichy- Keeranur – Killukottai route (17kms from Keeranur) or Trichy – Thuvakudi – Poyyakudi- Asur- Sengalur route.
Bus Numbers: K3 and K12 from Keeranur
No. 100 from Tiruverambur.
No. 26 from Chatram Bus Stand
The temple is 33kms from Pudukottai.
Auto/Taxi from Trichy will cost around Rs.500.
For local help, contact: Saivaraj @ 97878 18987
Moolavar: Ananthapadmanabhan in Sthala Sayana Posture
Thaayar : Kamala Valli Nachiyar
Temple time : 7am- 11am and 5pm-630pm
Priest : Srinivasa Bhattar @ 99407 49234
Legend has it that Diwakara Rishi, who in a fit of anger tried to disrupt the yagna of King Indradyumna, was cursed to lose his powers. He is believed to have undertaken penance here invoking the blessings of Lord Vishnu, who pleased with sincerity of the prayers, provided him darshan as Anantha Padmanabhan in a Sayana Posture and handed back his yogic powers and knowledge. The temple is an Abhimana Sthalam.
The 15feet Moolavar is a beautifully carved image of Lord Anantha Padmanabhan in a Sthala Sayana Posture lying on the serpent Adisesha and is similar to the one seen in Thiruvananthapuram Divya Desam. The five heads of the serpent are spread out like a canopy over the God’s head. While his right hand is hanging down in a posture of blessing the devotees, the Lord’s feet rest on a lotus. Performing poojas with Lotus flowers is a speciality at this temple. Above Anantha Padmanabhaswamy idol are interesting paintings on the ceiling.
Inside the sanctum are Pundareekaksha, in a standing posture, with the Gandharvas seen performing pooja on him, Malola Narasimha in a Sitting Posture, Vaikunta Nathan, with Sri and Bhoodevi, in a posture similar to the one seen at Vaikuntam and Chaturbhuja Hayagriva in a grand sitting posture.
On the wall of the sanctum are two demons, Madhu and Kaitabha, who threatened to kill Brahmma- but were slain in the process.
The two Dwarapalakas, Jaya and Vijaya, at the entrance are not conventional sculptures and are more in the form of portrait sculptures.