Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple

Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple is a very famous temple near Haripad in Alappuzha District of Kerala. This ancient shrine is an internationally renowned pilgrim centre dedicated to the Serpent God, Nagaraja, Nagayakshi and Sarpayakshi. The presiding deity in Mannarasala Temple is Nagaraja. He is Anantha (Vishnu) and Sarparaja is Vasuki (Siva). Sarpayakshi and Nagayakshi are the beloved consorts of Nagaraja. The worship and Pooja of this temple is very different from that of other temples in Kerala. "Amma" (Eldest Lady of the family) is the main priest in this temple. She is considered as the Mother of the Serpents. Amma performs the main Pujas in the temple.

The main temple has two main Sanctum Sanctorums, one for Nagaraja and the other for Sarpayakshi. There are shrines for Nagachamundi and Nagayakshi. Nagachamundi is Nagaraja's sister. On either side of the pathway from the temple premises to Nilavara, there are many big and small Chitrakudas encircled by images of serpents, standing upright, and arranged so close to one another in unbroken rows inside the groves on either side.

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. At Mannarasala barren women are believed to be blessed with children and a special turmeric paste available at the shrine is credited with powers to cure even leprosy. On the day of Ayilyam, in the months of September and October, thousands assemble to worship the Serpent god.