Sri Nagaraja Swami is a swayambumurthi in the temple. This is an ideal prayer destination for those facing adverse aspects of serpent planets.
Sri Nagarajaswami temple, Nagercoil – 629 001, Kanyakumari district.
Phone no:+91- 4652- 232 420, 94439 92216.
The temple is open from 4.00 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. and from 5.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
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.
A woman was cutting paddy crops in the field. Blood oozed out from one bunch. The scared woman informed her experience to the people of the place. They came to the place and found a Nagaraja idol. They immediately built a hut around the Nagaraja. The king of Kerala, Marthanda Varma, suffering from skin problems came and worshipped here. His disease was cured. He built a big temple here then. This is the only big temple built exclusively for Nagaraja worship in Tamilnadu. The place also came to be known as Nagercoil.
The presiding deity Nagaraja graces from the sanctum sanctorum with five heads. As Chandi and Mundi are the Dwarapalakas in Shiva temples and Jayan and vijayan in Vishnu temples, a male snake Darnendran by name and female snake named Padmavathi are the dwarapalakas (securities) in this temple. It is believed that snakes are here as security of the temple. Therefore, to facilitate their living, the sanctum sanctorum has a thatched roof. During the month Aadi–July–August– the roof is renewed.
It may be recalled that the divine serpent Adisesha in the milk ocean serving as a bed to Lord Vishnu, was born as Lakshmana when Lord took the Rama Avatar. Lakshmana s birth star was Aslesha–Aayila. Based on this fact, people facing Naga doshas perform milk abishek to Nagaraja on this star day. Also the milk abishek takes place each day at 10.00 a.m. Devotees offer Paal Payasam Milk porridge as nivedhana and place naga idols in the temple campus.
The sanctum sanctorum is a sand surface and wet as it was a field earlier. This wet sand is offered as Prasad. The wonder is that the sand is black during the Dakshinayana Punya Kala being the southward journey period of Sun covering the months July to December–February and white during the Utharayana Punyakala being the northward journey period of Sun covering the months February to December–January.
Monsoon begins in the month of Aavani–August–September when movements of snakes would be more. To avoid any hardship or accidents, farmers took up this Naga worship and comforted their fury with milk abishek. Aavani also happens to be the first month according to Malayalam calendar. Pujas are performed in the temple according Kerala tradition.
Lords Ananthakrishna and Kasi Viswanatha shrines are to the right of Nagaraja shrine. After puja to Nagaraja, pujas are performed in these shrines. However, the last puja of the day–Arthajama puja– is dedicated to Lord Ananhakrishna. Though Nagaraja is the presiding deity of the temple, kodimaram–flag post is for Lord Ananthakrishna only. Thai Brahmmotsavam is also dedicated to Perumal only with car festival on Thai Poosam day. Aarattu and Krishna Jayanthi too are celebrated for Lord Ananthakrishna.
It is also noteworthy that a tortoise occupies the place of Garuda in the flag post against tradition. Garuda and snakes are natural enemies. This is a temple for the snake. Therefore, to avoid an unfriendly atmosphere, it is said tortoise is chosen for the place of Garuda. Other reason is that Lord Vishnu took the Koorma (Tortoise) Avathar to hold the churning stick while taking nectar for the milk ocean. This is as such a mark of respect to the tortoise too. There is a garden of Nagalinga flower plants too.
The temple has a shrine for Mother Durga. As the idol was found in the sacred spring here, She is praised as Theertha Durga. People facing adverse aspects of Rahu or Rahu–Kethu planets worship here during the Rahukalam time on Tuesdays between 3.00 p.m. and 4.30 p.m.