Arulmigu Nagaraja Swamy,
Arulmigu Nagaraja Temple, ,
Kanyakumari District – 629 702.
Religious fervour marked the car festival of Nagaraja temple here on Tuesday, in which hundreds of devotees from all over Kanyakumari district participated.
The car festival was held as part of the 10-day ‘Thai’ festival, which began with hoisting of the temple flag on January 26.
Special abishekams and pujas were performed to Ananthakrishnan, Bama Rukmini, Vinayagar and Vettai Krishnan early in the morning.
Later, the idols were taken in a procession before being mounted on the decorated car.
Hundreds of devotees pulled the car on the four car streets of Nagaraja Thidal.
Cultural programmes, religious discourses and palanquin processions were organised for the last nine days
the festival ends with the lowering of flag on Wednesday.
The district administration had declared a local holiday for the car festival.
District Revenue Officer A. Udhayakumar, Nagercoil M.L.A. Nanjil A. Murugesan and Joint Commissioner of HR and CE R. Gnanasekar participated in the car festival.
Opening time – 5.00 am
Uchikala Abhishegam – 10.00 am
Uchikala Pooja – 11.00 am
Sayaratchai Pooja – 6.30 pm
Arthajama Pooja – 7.45 pm
Arulmigu Nagaraja Temple, Kanyakumari:
We do not have separate temples for Nandhi the vahan of Shiva, Garuda of Perumal, peacock for Muruga and the Moonjuru (belonging to the rat family) for Vinayaka. But we have temples for the serpents-Nagas. There is a philosophy behind this worship. Though moving through dust, it does not touch the Naga body. Nagas-snakes are not affected by any object on which they move or live around. It is said that though we humans have to live in any environment such as family, material efforts or in natural environment, they should be untouched by the effects of such life and should maintain detachment and individuality.Presiding deity Nagaraja graces from the sanctum sanctorum with five heads. As Chandi and Mundi are the Dwarapalakas in Shiva temples and Jayan and vijayan in Vishnu temples, a male snake Darnendran by name and female snake named Padmavathi are the dwarapalakas (securities) in this temple. It is believed that snakes are here as securities of the temple. Therefore, to facilitate their living, the sanctum sanctorum has a thatched roof. During the month Aadi-July-August- the roof is renewed
It may be recalled that the divine serpent Adisesha in the milk ocean serving as a bed to Lord Vishnu, was born as Lakshmana when Lord took the Rama Avatar. Lakshmana’s birth star was Aslesha-Aayila. Based on this fact, people facing Naga doshas perform milk abishek to Nagaraja on this star day. Also the milk abishek takes place each day at 10.00 a.m. Devotees offer Paal Payasam –Milk porridge as nivedhana and place naga idols in the temple campus.The sanctum sanctorum is a sand surface and wet as it was a field earlier. This wet sand is offered as Prasad. The wonder is that the sand is black during the Dakshinayana Punya Kala being the southward journey period of Sun covering the months July to December-February and white during the Utharayana Punyakala being the northward journey period of Sun covering the months February to December-January.Monsoon begins in the month of Aavani-August-September when movements of snakes would be more. To avoid any hardship or accidents, farmers took up this Naga worship and comforted their fury with milk abishek. It also happens that Sunday is a suitable day for Rahu-serpent planet worship. Aavani also happens to be the first month according to Malayalam calendar. Pujas are performed in the temple according Kerala tradition.
Lords Ananthakrishna and Kasi Viswanatha shrines are right of Nagaraja shrine. After puja to Nagaraja, pujas are performed in these shrines. However, the last puja of the day-Arthajama puja- is dedicated to Lord Ananhakrishna. Though Nagaraja is the presiding deity of the temple, kodimaram-flag post is for Lord Ananthakrishna only. Thai Brahmmotsavam is also dedicated to Perumal only with car festival on Thai Poosam day. Aarattu and Krishna Jayanthi too are celebrated for Lord Ananthakrishna.It is also noteworthy that a tortoise occupies the place of Garuda in the flag post against tradition. Garuda and snakes are natural enemies. This is a temple for the snake.
Therefore, to avoid an unfriendly atmosphere, it is said tortoise is chosen for the place of Garuda. Other reason is that Lord Vishnu took the Koorma (Tortoise) Avathar to hold the churning stick while taking nectar for the milk ocean. This is as such a mark of respect to the tortoise too. There is a garden of Nagalinga flower plants too.The temple has a shrine for Mother Durga. As the idol was found in the sacred spring here, She is praised as Theertha Durga. People facing adverse aspects of Rahu and/or Rahu-Kethu planets worship here during the Rahukalam time on Tuesdays – between 3.00 p.m. and 4.30 p.m. Keralites call aged women as Ammachi as a mark of respect. Mother Durga here is addressed respectfully as Ammachi Durga.