Nagercoil Nagaraja Temple is one of the most famous temples situated nearby Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu. This Hindu temple is famous for its worshiping of the King of Serpents or Nagaraja- Vasuki. Nagercoil town derives its name from this very temple only. This temple has a huge number of naga statues that are famous all over India.
History of Nagercoil Nagaraja Temple
Nagas are children of Kashyapa and Kadru. Among the prominent nagas of Hinduism are Manasa, Sesha, and Vasuki Ananda Krishna and Nagaraja. It is believed that Nagaraja Temple was earlier a Jain temple which is evident from the images of Jain Tirthankaras, Mahavira and Parswanatha found on the pillars of the temple.
There is no authentic epigraph to help us understand its chronology. The mountain Mahendragiri in the Kanyakumari district is referred to as the abode of Nagas in the Ramayana of Valmiki. From this, it can be presumed that the origin of Naga influence in the area goes back to legendary times.
However there is a local story that goes around. Once there was a girl who was cutting paddy when suddenly she cut her hand and blood began to spurt out. Soon she saw that the sickle had cut into a five headed serpent. Scared the girl went to the village and told the villagers about this miracle. They all came to see this peculiar event and they cleared the space allotting it to the Lord.
Significance of Nagercoil Nagaraja Temple
Nagraja deity, which is considered to be originated itslef , is situated below the ground level in a square plot which is a wet place. The deity has five faces. Only the place where the Nagaraja seats is wet.
The soil here underneath the Prathishta has a saffron colour.It is because of the blood that oozed form the head of the idol. The soil is given as Prasada.
The temple has a distinct style of their own by the lavish use of wood, stone and metals. The surrounding walls of temple are made of mud. The roof is constructed using coconut leaves and bamboo poles. The soil will not lessen even though lots of quantity is being taken day by day. This soil is considered as a good medicine for skin diseases.
Nagercoil Nagaraja Temple Timings
- Nagercoil Nagaraja temple is open from 4 am to 8:30 pm. The afternoon break timings are from 11:30 am to 5 pm.
Festivals at Nagercoil Nagaraja Temple
- Thai Brahmmotsavam in January-February; Aavani Sundays and Aavani Aslesha (Aayilyam) star day and Krishna Jayanthi in August-September.
- Navarathri in September-October and Tirukarthikai in November-December are the festivals celebrated in the temple.
How to reach Nagercoil Nagaraja Temple
- By air: Nearby airport is Madurai, Thiruvanathapuram. Regular flights from major cities are available.
- By rail: Nagercoil junction is the nearby railway station. One can easily take trains from here.
- By road: The temple is one kilo metre far from Nagercoil Vadaseri and from Meenakshipuram bus stand. Adequate road facilities are available to reach Nagercoil from all parts of the state.
Nagercoil Nagaraja Temple Accommodation
- Hotel Sahana Castle at Distillery road, vadaseri is reviewed to be a great place with suitable accommodations. It is located opposite to the Omni bus stand.
- Hotel Udupi International is another grand place to check in. It is located about 20 km from Kanyakumari. It has splendid facilities including its advantageous position making communications available at its doorstep.
Places nearby Nagercoil Nagaraja Temple
- Padmanabhapuram Palace, is one of the chief attractions of Tamil Nadu located in Padmanabhapuram village of Kanyakumari District about 15 km from Nagercoil. It was built by King Iravi Varma Kulasekhara Perumal around 1601 A.Dwhich is best known for its antique and tricky woodworks.
- Vivekananda Rock Memorial is a popular tourist attraction in Kanyakumari built in 1970 in honor of Swami Vivekananda and his teachings.
- Devi Kanya Kumari temple is one among the 108 Shakthi Peethas in the world was built by sage Parshurama around 3000 year ago and dedicated to the goddess Bhagavathy Amman.