Ayilyam or Ashlesha is one among the 27 birth starts or Nakshatra. It is chosen by Hindus to observe Vrat dedicated to Nagas or Snakes – the serpent gods. Ayilyam Vratam is popularly practiced in
South India and is performed to overcome Naga Dosha. Those people who do not fast on the day visit Naga temples.
Ayilya Vratam begins on the previous day – the day before the Ayilyam nakashtra falls. Non-vegetarian food is totally avoided on the previous day and for next two days.
On the Ayilyam Nakshatra day many people opt for complete fast. Those observing partial fast eat fruits or take simple food.
The fast ends on the next day morning with prayers at a
. The fast is broken by drinking theertham (holy water from Shiva temple). Shiva Temple
The mantra that can be chanted on the fasting day is ‘Om Namah Shivaya.’
If you visit Naga temples, or worship Nag murtis, then perform pradakshina five times.