Mannarshala covers an area of 16 acres of dense green forest grove
devoted to serpent worship. The temple here is unique in that the holy
rites are presided over by a priestess.
grove is dotted with the granite idols of serpents. There are 2 main
idols: 'Nagaraja' or the serpent king and his consort, Sarpayakshini.
The priestess lives in the 'Illam' on the north side of the temple.
'Uruli Kamazhthal' or the placing of a bell metal vessel upside down in
front of the deity is the most popular offering believed to restore
fertility to childless couples.
Mannarshala temple at Harippad is reputed for having 30,000 images of
snake-gods and this is the largest of its kind in the state.
On the day of 'Ayilliam' asterism in the Malayalam months of Kanni and
Thulam (September and October), all the serpent idols in the grove and
the temple are taken in procession to illam ( the house connected with
the temple) where 'Nurum Palum' (rice flour and milk), 'Kuruthi' (a red
liquid made of turmeric and lime), offerings are made.
The procession is conducted with great pomp and gaiety in which the
oldest female member of the family carries the Nagaraja idol. During the
festival days, thousands throng the temple to worship the hooded gods.
The offerings include coins and snake effigies made of gold, silver and
copper, grains of all kinds, pepper, tender coconuts, plantains, melons
The Largest Snake Temple in
32 Kms South Of Alappuzha, Kerala
Rites Presided Over By Priestess
Prime Attractions of Alleppey (Alappuzha)
Alappuzha beach is one of the most popular spots in the
district of Alappuzha. The pier, which extends into the sea here, is
around 140 years old. more..
Kuttanad is an expanse of
water-logged land lying below sea level. It bears strong resemblance to
Holland in terms of geographical features.