Vetticode Nagaraja Temple
Located on a six-acre land in the midst of a lush green environment, the Sarppakkavu (serpent grove) here has Nagaraja and Nagayakshi as the principal deities. It is a haven not only for the snakes, but also for several varieties of birds. The temple has Sri Parameswaran Nampoothiri as the Karanavar (chief), who has devoted his life to the betterment of Sree Nagaraja Swami Temple.
As per the legend Sree Nagaraja Swami Temple at Vetticode was consecrated by Lord Parasurama. The temple located near Kayamkulam in Alappuzha district of Kerala is visited by hundreds of devotees on a daily basis.
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.
Lord Parasurama killed the Kshatriyas, the then rulers, twenty one times and seized their lands and gave them to sage Kashyapa. The land was not fit to live and as per the request of sage Kashyapa, Lord Parasurama restored a vast portion of land from the sea, leading to the genesis of a land called Kerala and entrusted the Brahmins to live on. But due to the abundant deposit of ‘Lavana and Ore’ the land was not fertile. The Brahmins pleaded with Lord Parasurama to make the land fertile enough, following which Lord Parasurama entered into a deep meditation in the higher reaches of the mountain – Gandhamadhana. The Serpent God – Anantha, pleased with Lord Parasurama appeared before him and asked him to seek a boon. Parasurama requested Anantha to make the land fertile. Lord Anantha, then directed the Nagas (serpents) to suck out the unwanted elements or contents from the land and thus turned the land into a fertile one.
Aayilliya Mahotsavam: The Aayilliya Mahotsavam at Sree Nagaraja Swami Temple at Vetticode falls on the day in the Malayalam month of Kanni, every year. The celebrations would start seven days prior to the Aayilliyam day. In these days, various special poojas, homas and kalasa poojas are performed so as to increase the deity’s power and the power to shower blessings on worshippers. The festival of Maha Sivarathri is associated with Lord Siva, one of the Trinities. It is believed that Lord Rudhra has a total influence over Lord Anantha and his followers. Hence at Vetticode, Sree Nagaraja Swami Temple on the occasion of Sivarathri Angas, Navaka and Sree Bhoothabali, special poojas are performed every year. The prime importance of Sivarathri here is to depict the close association with Lord Anantha Rudhra.