Nagaraja Temple - Mannarsala
At a distance of 18 km from Ambalapuzha and 32 km from Alleppey, Sree Nagaraja Temple is an ancient Hindu Temple situated at Mannarsala in Alleppey district of Kerala. It is a popular center of pilgrimage for the devotees of serpent gods and also one of the best places to visit in Alappuzha.
Located near Haripad, the temple is dedicated to Nagaraja, the serpent God. It is believed that the deity in this pilgrim center is blessed with the spirit of Lord Shiva and has the form of Lord Vishnu. This is the only shrine in Kerala which is headed by a priestess. According to the legend, the first priestess of Mannarasala Temple gave birth to a five-headed snake, which is believed to reside in the ancestral house to safeguard the family.
The famous Mannarasala Temple covers an area of 16 acres of dense green forest grove. The main Mannarasala Temple premise has two separate sanctum sanctorums, one devoted to Sarpayakshi and the other for Nagaraja. There are over 30,000 idol of snakes can be seen in the temple premises. Women seeking fertility come to worship here, and upon the birth of their child come to hold thanksgiving ceremonies here, often bringing new snake images as offerings. A special turmeric paste which is available at the temple is credited with curative powers.
Mannarsala Aayilyam is the main festival of Sree Nagaraja Temple. On the day of Aayilyam asterism in the months of Kanni and Thulam (September and October), all the serpent idols in the grove and the temple are taken in procession. The oldest female member of the family carries the idol of the Nagaraja and the procession is conducted with great pomp and rejoicing.
Timings: 5 AM - 12 PM & 5.30 PM to 7.30 PM