Mannarasala Temple Video
Mannarasala Temple is a temple devoted to serpent worship. 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 (serpent grove).
It is located near Haripad, 32 km south of Alappuzha, 14km from kayamkulam. Mannarasala Temple is managed by a Brahmin family headed by a priestess. 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. Sarpa Yakshi and Naga Yakshi are the beloved consorts of Nagaraja. It is believed that Nagaraja as the installed deity is endowed with the form of Hari (Lord Vishnu) and the spirit of Lord Shiva.
Many devotees underline the miraculous changes which were introduced to their life after praying to serpent gods. Also the turmeric paste available in the Mannarasala Temple too holds a special distinction of being regarded as a highly curative medicine. The serpent gods invite large number of female devotees, who lack fertility and wish to have children. Such ladies return to the temple once their wish got fulfilled and would make offerings such as bringing back their children to conduct thanksgiving ceremonies.
Mannarasala Temple History
- The story on the evolution of Mannarasala Temple as the supreme place of worship of the serpent Gods is associated with Parasurama, the creator of Kerala. Legend has it that 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.
- Though a land area has formed, the place remains as a piece of land with high concentration of salt, which prompted the people to leave the place in hurry. Saddened by this, Parasuraman decided to start a penance in order to please lord Siva, who ordered him to worship Nagaraja.
- After another rigorous penance, finally Parasurama became able to satisfy Nagaraja who blessed him with a desalinated land and also granted the eternal presence in Kerala. Thus as per the wish of Parasurama, Nagaraja decided to reside at a place selected by Parasurama. The selected place – Thirthasthala (Hall of Pilgrimage) was filled with Mandara trees, over the years gained the name of ‘Mannarasala’.
- It is to be noted that the deities installed here represents ‘Anantha’ and ‘Vasuki’. Later Parasurama brought knowledgeable personalities from other places and installed other deities.
- The vault in which Nagaraja is believed to be staying is seen with utmost respect by the members of the household. They admire him with great respect and acknowledge with the name ‘Muthassan’ and ‘Appooppan’.The forest nearby is called ‘Appooppan Kavu’ or ‘Grandfathers’ grove’.
Significance of Mannarasala Temple
- In Mannarasala Temple, the rites are presided over by a priestess. The Mannarasala Temple covers an area of 16 acres of dense green forest grove. The two main idols are Nagaraja or the serpent king and his consort, Sarpayakshini.
- The most popular offering of Mannarasala Temple is ‘Uruli Kamazhthal’, the placing of a bell metal vessel upside down in front of the deity, which is believed to restore fertility to childless couples.
- Mannarasala Temple helps clear all problems associated with sins related to snakes etc. The location is very calm, serene and feel of freshness is good because of the trees. This temple helps clear all problems associated with sins related to snakes etc. The location is very calm, serene and feel of freshness is good because of the trees and the location.
Mannarasala Temple Timings
- Mannarasala Temple remains open from 5 AM to 12 PM in the morning and 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM in the evening.
- During weekend and Sundays large number of devotees visit the Mannarasala Temple and it remains open till 1 PM during the day.
Mannarasala Temple Dress Code
One needs to be in traditional attire to visit Mannarasala Temple. Though there is no fee for darshan but some special poojas which you perform based on your birth star or your astrological requirements require you to pay.
Festivals celebrated at Mannarasala Temple
The Ayilyam day in Tulam, Kanni and Kumbham months in the Malayalam calendar and the Mahasivarathri are celebrated here with great pomp. The Ayilyam in Kanni is the birthday of Nagaraja and that in Kumbham is the birthday of Anantha, the Muthassan of Nilavara (cellar).
Mannarasala Festival (utsavam)
On the day of Ayilliam asterism in the months of Kanni and Thulam (September and October), all the serpent idols in the grove and the Mannarasala Temple are taken in procession to the illam (family connected with the temple) where the offerings of Nurum Palum (rice flour and milk), kuruthi (a red liquid made of turmeric and lime) and cooked rice are made.
Annual pooja in Nilavara
On the fifth day after Sivaratri, the Mother comes to the Illam after the daily pooja in the Mannarasala Temple, and opens the cellar. The prasadam of the Nurum Palum is distributed among the members of the family by the Mother. After the pooja in Nilavara, Nurum Palum and other poojas are performed in Appooppan Kavu ( Grandfather’s Grove), which is the abode of “Muthassan”.
The installation of the Nagaraja is in accordance with the concept of Siva. The poojas are also on the Saivite model. Thus Sivaratri assumed special importance among the annual festivities.
The festivities on Sivarathri day at Mannarasala are also associated with Vasuki, the King of Serpents. Legends say that once Vasuki went round the gigantic Thanni tree in front of the temple in a sportive mood and stretched his hoods shining with jewels towards the east; opened his mouth and hissed; all the sands in that place flew away and a little pond came into being.
After the meal, there is no Pooja in the sanctum sanctorum. It may be that Sivarathri was chosen for the ceremony of lights because fasting is compulsory on that particular day. All Poojas including the ‘Athazhapuja (evening worship) are performed on that day. The main items of that day are Sarpabali and Ezhunnallethu (procession).
Mannarasala Temple Sevas
Valia Amma has a special pattern of pooja everyday, and she must perform pooja in the sanctum sanctorum itself on certain days like
- On the first day of every month, malayalam calendar
- On the day of Pooyam star each month, malayalam calendar.
- From the beginning of Magha to the eve of Sivaratri.
- Thiruvonam in the month of Chingam.
- From the 1st to the 12th of Karkitakam.
- Twelve days before Ayilyam in Kanni and Tulam.
Sarpayakshi & Nagayakshi
The main Mannarasala Temple premise has two separate sanctum sanctorums, one devoted to Sarpayakshi and the other for Nagaraja. Sarpayakshi enjoys special privileges like offering daily poojas, and is housed in the Sanctum Sanctorum. In front of the shrine of Sarpayakshi, there is an Ilanji tree (Mimusops Elengi) surrounded by serpent images and with numerous pits for serpents. The quiet shrines of Nagachamundi and Nagayakshi are to the south-west of the Mannarasala Temple and housed in Chitrakudas.
How to reach Mannarasala Temple
By Air: The nearest airports are Thiruvananthapuram International Airport which is at a distance of 121 kms and Nedumbassery International Airport which is at a distance of 132 kms.Cochin International Airport, about 115 kms from Alappuzha
By Train: It takes 3 minutes to travel from Haripad Railway Station to Mannarasala Shri Nagaraja Temple. Approximate driving distance between Haripad Railway Station and Mannarasala Shri Nagaraja Temple is 3 kms or 1.9 miles. Travel time refers to the time taken if the distance is covered by a car.
By Road: The Mannarasala Nagaraja Temple is located about three kilometers to the south-east of the bus station in N.H.47 at Haripad, in Alleppey district of Kerala.Various cabs and auto rickshaws are available near the Haripad bus station. Since located near the highway almost equidistant between the cities of Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi (approx.113 kms and 103 kms respectively), it is easy to reach Haripad via bus.
Mannarasala Temple Accommodation
- Mandaram: The temple guest house “Mandaram” has good rooms & all basic facilities including food.
- Alleppey Prince Hotel Contact: A.S Road N.H.47 P.B. NO . 2613, Alappuzha 688007, India
- Pozhiyoram Beach Resort Contact: JRY Road, Thumpoly | Alleppey,Kerala,India, Alappuzha 688008, India
- Palm Beach Resort Contact: Palackal | Sea View Ward, Kanjiramchira, Alappuzha 688012, India
- Ashtamudi Homestay Contact: West of S.D.V. Central School | Zilla Court Ward, Alappuzha 688 001, India
- Komal Hotel Contact: Zilla Court Ward, Alappuzha 688013, India
- Royale Park Hotel Contact: YMCA Road, Alappuzha 688007, India
- Motty’s Homestay Contact: Kidangamparambu Temple Street, Alappuzha 688 013, India
- Narasimhapuram Lodge Contact: Cullen Road | Near Mullakkal Temple, Alappuzha, India
Where to eat
There are several hotels around that includes all the tasty and mouth watering recipes. There are South Indian food prepared which has the unbeatable taste. Meat, Vegetables and greens are prepared with different spices.
Some of the famous restaurants are Thaf, Cassia, Indian Coffee house, Sisir Palace, Casia, Mushroom and many more.
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