Nagaraja temple, Nagercoil
The Nagaraja Temple, dedicated to the King of Serpennts (Naga =Serpent, Raja = king), is situated in the heart of Nagercoil. The town got its name from this temple. Besides Nagaraja, there are sanctums for Lord Siva and Ananthakrishna too. Images of Jain Tirthankaras, Mahavira and Parswanatha are seen carved on the pillars of the temple. The prasadam distributed to the devotees is wet sand scooped out from the ground where the image of the Nagaraja deity is enshrined. The sthalapurana of the temple states that one day when a girl was cutting grass, blood began to spurt from below. Soon she discovered that the sickle had cut into the head of a five-headed serpent. Dazed with fear the girl fled to the nearest village and reported what she had seen. People in large numbers flocked to the spot and witnessed the miracle with their own eyes. By the joint effort of the villagers, the place was cleared and preserved for the purpose of worship. They built a small shrine in the locality and worshipped the five-headed serpent. Hearing that the miracle happened at this place people from different places used to visit the temple and offer poojas. Another legend associated with the temple concerns the King of Kalakkad, who was stricken with leprosy. The King came to the temple on a Sunday in the Tamil Month of Avani and performed penance before the deity. Miraculously, the king got cured of the deadly disease and the fame of the temple spread far and wide. The king in gratitude built the present temple and on every Sunday during the month of Avani (August/September) the king, accompanied by his wife and children, used to visit the temple and offer poojas. Ever since, the temple is visited on every Sunday in the month of Avani by thousands of devotees and the serpent shrine is worshipped. Worshipping Nagaraja is considered as a parihara for all Rahu doshas. Worship Nagaraja at this ancient shrine and receive divine grace in abundance.