Legend has it that Lord Parashurama had appointed a priest from the Mannarasala Illam (a Brahmin home is referred to as illam in Kerala) at
. The family still continues to look after the temple. Once a major fire broke out in a forest near Mannarsala village and several snakes were hurt. A childless couple in the family looked after the snakes and took care of them. Pleased with their devotion, Sree Nagaraja blessed them with twins. One child was Sree Nagaraja himself – a five hooded snake. After few years He took Samadhi. It is believed that He still lives in the cellar in Mannarasala Illam. Sree Nagaraja Temple
Before disappearing, Sree Nagaraja gave advice regarding the pujas and rituals to be followed at the temple to His mother and appointed her the priest of the temple. The main priest in the family is known as Valliamma.
Mannarsala Ayiliyam is observed in the Malayalam month of Thulam (October – November). The festival is associated with the visit of the erstwhile Travancore Royal family to the
. It is believed that worshiping on the day will help in removing all sorts of Sarpadoshas and childless couples will be blessed with children. Temple
Ayiliyam is one of the nakshatras, or stars, and it is believed that the ideal day to propitiate nagas or snakes is the Ayiliyam nakshatram day.
You can find more information and pictures about this unique temple here at the official website of Mannarshala Sree Nagaraja Temple.