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Mannarasala Nagaraja Temple

Puja For Sarpa Dosham, Mannarasala, haripad, Kerala
(SKU: AP03/9004)
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Description
Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple is a very ancient and internationally known centre of pilgrimage for the devotees of serpent gods (Nagaraja). The famous Nagaraja temple "Mannarasala" is nestled in a forest glade, like most snake temples. The Mannarasala Temple has over 30,000 images of snakes along the paths and among the trees, and is the largest such temple in Kerala. 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.
History
Lord Parashurama in order to release himself from the sin of killing Kshatriyas approached the holy Rishis. They suggested that he should make a gift of a land of his own to the Brahmins. Parashurama, the son of Bhrigu, propitiated Varuna to get some land for himself. He threw into sea the Axe which Lord Shiva had given him with his blessings. Thus he reclaimed the land from the sea and gave it as a gift to the Brahmins according to the rites. This land came to be known as Kerala. This piece of land however was not habitable because of the salinity of the soil and as a result people began to leave the place. Bharghavarama was pained at this. He undertook a penance to please Lord Shiva, who advised him that the objective could be realized only if the flaming poison of the serpents was spread into the soil and that the only means of doing that was the worship of Nagaraja. Parashurama set out with his disciples in search of a deserted jungle in order to please Nagaraja. He found a suitable place near the seashore in the southern part of Kerala. Satisfied with having found a proper place for the realization of his cherished dream, the great Rishi constructed a Thirthasthala for the performance of the penance.
Importance/Significance
Though the legends related to the origin of a place cannot be deemed as its history, the story on the evolution of Mannarasala as one of the foremost places of worship of the Serpent Gods is associated with Lord Parashurama who is widely believed to be the creator of Kerala. This history of Mannarasala has been mentioned in the 'Mandara Salodyam', a Sanskrit poem written by Mannarasala M.G. Narayanan Namboodiri of the sacred family based on the accounts and legends handed down and old scriptures and books available with the temple.
Festivals/Events/Gatherings
Mannarsala Aayilyam is the main Temple Festival. 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 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. The oldest female member of the family carries the idol of the Nagaraja and the procession is conducted with great pomp and rejoicing.
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