Mannarasala ''Sree Nagaraja Temple'', Haripad, Kerala - the prayers are conducted by aged woman priest!!

 Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple, nestled in a serene, cool wooded area at Haripad in Alappuzha district, Kerala, is a famous and ancient center of pilgrimage dedicated to serpent gods (Nagaraja). The temple's deity represents Anantha (Vishnu swaroopa) and Vasuki (Siva in spirit). Believed to be over 3,000 years old, the temple is internationally renowned and attracts devotees from all over the world.

Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple, Kerala,

Above image:  Offerings from the devotees to the temple. Cobra stone images at Mannarasala, Harpad, Kerala............... 

Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple, Kerala,

 A unique feature of Mannarasala Temple is the presence of over 100,000 carved stones with snake images, offered by  ardent devotees. These stones, found both within the temple premises and in the surrounding grove, are a testament to the deep-rooted serpent worship in the region. Childless couples often make a pilgrimage here seeking fertility, and upon the birth of a child, they return to the temple to offer a new snake stone image and conduct thanksgiving ceremonies.

The temple is managed by an old Namboothiri Brahmin woman, an interesting fact that adds to its distinctive character. This management tradition is a rare occurrence in the patriarchal society of Kerala, making the temple stand out not only for its religious significance but also for its unique administrative heritage. The illam (dwelling place or Veedu) called Eringadappally illam, is the ancestral house of Brahmins who have served the temple with dedication. The Brahmin lady called by name Mannarasala Amma leads her entire life serving the serpent god and temple by remaining unmarried. A normal day in Mannarasala  begins with the pulluvan pattu (Lullaby for snake to free from curses) that will continue until the end of the day. The Pulluvas will normally play the Pullorkudom for devotees who will mention them their name and birth star according to astrology for peace and prosperity. On the special day of  'Ayilyam’  Amma (old woman priest) gives customary  noorum palum (special feast) to Nagaraja (serpent king )and serves other nagas in nilavara.

Devotees visiting the temple receive a special turmeric powder as prasad, believed to have curative powers. This prasad is highly sought after, contributing to the steady stream of visitors the temple sees daily. The serene and mystical ambiance of the temple, coupled with the faith and devotion of its visitors, creates a spiritually enriching experience. Offering prayer to Nagaraja  here will cure all sins (ill effects of Nagadosham as per one's horoscope).

Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple, Haripad, Kerala.

Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple’s significance extends beyond its religious and spiritual aspects. The temple is a cultural icon, preserving ancient traditions and practices related to serpent worship. Its rituals, offerings, and the reverence for serpent deities reflect a cultural continuity that has endured for millennia.

Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple, Haripad, Kerala.
In summary, Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple is not just a place of worship but a cultural and spiritual beacon. Its ancient heritage, coupled with the unique management by a Namboothiri Brahmin woman, and the multitude of snake stone offerings, make it a distinctive landmark in Kerala.

The temple’s role in addressing the hopes of childless couples and providing them with spiritual solace underscores its profound significance in the lives of countless devotees. Thiruvananthapuram is the nearest airport to reach the temple and the nearest railway station is Harpad in Alleppey District. 


Snake worship in India,