Temple
   

 

Temple complex
The temple complex is located in the midst of high grown groves, thick bushes and shrubs of high medicinal value, on a six-acre land. It is nothing but the Sarpakavu (the serpent grove) as it is locally known as. Here, gentle breeze, embracing the shrubs and blossoms carry a fragrance that is beyond words. Hence, one can listen to the chanting of Vedas, Sookthas and Manthras by the departed spiritual souls. Here, we can hear the sound of footsteps and silent movements of ones who consecrated this temple and his associates; like the sages.

In the serene atmosphere of this serpent grove the air is filled with the rhythmic chanting of manthras and sookthas. The fragrance of the flowers offered to the deities, the sandal sticks of camphor and ashtagandha adds to a sublime spiritual experience at this serpent grove. The continuous glow of the kedavilakku, the radiance of the nilavilakku and thookkuvilakku; the rhythmic playing and sounding of various musical instruments followed by the magical spell of the nadaswara and panchajanya which sounds Ohm along with the manthras and sookthas from the throats of tens and thousands of devotees who assemble here every day and night creates an atmosphere of unity, irrespective of caste and creed, rich and poor, young and old. Undoubtedly, it is an abode of heaven and a heaven on Earth. 

Kavu or Sarppakkavu
From time immemorial Kavu or Sarpakavu has been associated with the place of worship of Anantha or Adisesha as the main deity. The importance of Sarpakavu cannot be described in words. It has theological, historical and scientific connotations. It is a sure haven for Serpents or nagas; where one can visualize the presence of God.

Preserved and protected by ancestral souls, this sacred serpent grove maintains equilibrium between Man and Nature. The sages of ancient times materialized the presence of soul in every living object, whether animate or inanimate. This thought and belief had given inspiration to the modern generation to preserve the thick grown serpent groves. The Sarpakavu at Vetticode has a special significance. It is the dwelling and breeding place of tens and thousands of birds, animals and serpents. In the midst, one can see a deep pond and the idols of Nagaraja and Nagayakshi – Purusha and Prakrithi. The silent and stealthy movements of the serpents along the branches of the trees and groves are a sight to behold.

Temple ponds
There are two ponds inside the vast premises of the temple. One is located on the southern side and the other on the south-eastern side. These ponds remain full in all seasons. As per the legend, when Lord Parasurama heaped the land for the temple, he took the land from the spot where the pond is currently located. It is considered sacred and as per belief taking a dip in the ponds would free one from all sorts of skin troubles and other diseases. It is said that the water in the pond contains medicinal quality because the water touches the roots of the medicinal trees in the Kavu.

Aalmaram (Bo-tree)
Regarding the scientific and puranic significance of the tree – Arayaal it has different connotations. Abundant discharge of oxygen from the smooth and thick leaves of this tree is so hygienic and it is a sure panacea for headache and similar diseases. The troubled and tortured mind can rest in peace and the bewildered mind gets consoled underneath the shade of the sacred tree. It is after all not a simple branching tree. The ‘Puranic Encyclopedia’ throws light on the importance of these Arayaal trees. It says: The presence of the Trinity – Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Siva is embedded in this holy tree. The roots are Brahma, the stem is Vishnu and the apex is Siva. Hence the tree has wide significance, theologically and scientifically. More over, from an astrological point of view, individuals going through a certain Dasaakalam would get relief from their not so favourable planetary positions, by circumambulating the Arayaal tree. The Nagaraja temple premises have the presence of several Arayaal trees.

Thevarappura
Lord Parasurama after the consecration of Sree Nagaraja Temple at Vetticode, entrusted Brahmin priests to undertake pooja (prayers) and rituals regularly as per his discretion. The original dwelling place of the ancestral forefathers is the Thevarappura or Moolasthana at the western ghat of the temple. Their predecessors are known as Meppallies of present Meppallil Illam. A particular portion inside the Nalukettu (traditional Kerala house) is segregated and the idols of Goddess Bhadrakali, Goddess Durga, Lord Vishnu, Lord Siva, Yakshi, Chathan and Moorthy are installed in an eastward direction. Daily offerings are made to the deities by the priest of Meppallil Illam at dawn. These deities are known as Thevarangal; hence, the structure name – Thevarappura

Nilavara
The vast room in the ground that faces the west underneath the Thevarappura is called Nilavara. It is always closed and locked safely, but is opened once in a year on the Malayalam asterism of Makam in the Malayalam month of Thulam. On that day offerings are given to the tens and hundreds of serpents or Naganga’ – the dwellers of the Nilavara. One can see the serpents freely moving all over the place. The special offering made to the serpents on that day is Noorum Palum soon after completion of the pooja (prayers) at the temple. Thousands of devotees gather at the temple to witness the occasion. After the ceremonies, the Nilavarat is closed and will be opened only on the same day, next year.

Agama Sarppakkavu
On the southern ghat of temple near the pond one can see the Agama Sarppakkavu. The area has a thick growth of herbs, shrubs and bushes – literally a green mansion for the Agama Serpents. The Krishna Shila idols of Nagas, once worshipped elsewhere, but later disposed are taken to this Kavu after taking back its influence and divine power by the Karanavar of the temple and placed properly in this Kavu. Hence, it is called Agama Sarppangal.

Here, offerings are given once in a year to Nagaraja and Nagayakshi in different Chithrakoodas of western direction in the Malayalam month of Thulam which comes after the annual Aayillya Mahotsavam (festival) in the Malayalam month of Kanni. The family members worship these deities at the Agama Sarppakkavu without failure and pay homage to them. 

 
     
 


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