KERALA TOURISM NEWSLETTER
Serpent worship is part of the Hindu religious practices and Kerala is a place where one would come across temples dedicated to serpent gods. Serpent worship is practised in several ancestral homes, which have special worship places called Kaavu
Among the temples dedicated to serpent gods, in the most famous is the Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja temple located at Mannarasala, near Harippad in the district of Alappuzha. This temple is managed by a Brahmin family headed by a priestess. The presiding deity of the temple is the Serpent God Nagaraja
with Sarpa Yakshi
and Naga Yakshi
as the consorts of Nagaraja
As per belief, the first priestess of Mannarasala gave birth to a five-headed snake, which is believed to reside in the ancestral house to safeguard the family.
The important annual event at the temple is the Ayilyam
festival. This festival is celebrated on the day of Ayilyam
asterism, in the Malayalam month of Thulam
which roughly corresponds to the months of September / October. This year, the festival is on the 22nd of November 2011.
The festival period here would witness the arrival of a large number of devotees. The procession carrying the idols of serpents in the grove surrounding the temple is the highlight of the festival day. The idols are taken to the Brahmin home and special rituals are held. In the procession, the main idol of Nagaraja
is carried by the priestess.Address
Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple
Kerala, India- 690 514
Tel +91 479 2413214
Web: www.mannarasala.orgGetting there
Nearest railway station: Harippad, around 4 km.
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, around 100 km.