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Sarpabali in Snake Temples in Kerala – Sarpabali Ritual

Sarpabali is a unique ritual followed in temples dedicated to snakes or serpents in Kerala. It is widely believed that participating in the Sarpabali will help in overcoming all forms of Naga Doshas. Those having white patches in the skin and suffering from various other skin diseases will find relief after participating in the Sarpabali ritual.

Sarpabali is usually performed in the evening. Only the chief priest or the most learned member among the priests in the temple perform the ritual. If there is no one qualified to perform the ritual in the temple, then a priest is brought from outside.

The ritual is dedicated to Nagas and Ashta Nagas. The most auspicious day to perform the ritual is the Ayilyam Nakshatram (Aslesha birth star) day. But nowadays it is performed on all days except Ekadasi tithi – the eleventh day in a fortnight as per traditional Hindu calendar.

As part of the ritual a colorful sketch is drawn on the ground. The type of sketch drawn varies from temple to temple. Mantras and offerings are made by the chief priest. The flower of areca nut tree is used in the ritual.

The ritual symbolically represents the close association of nature and human beings.

Conducting or participating in the ritual solves problems related to marriage, pregnancy and abortion. Anxiety and fear is removed; unnecessary dispute and quarrel among family members are also solved as a result of performing Sarpabali.