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Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple, Alappuzha, Kerala
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Situated near Harippad, 32km south of Alappuzha is a serpent shrine under the patronage of a Brahman family, headed by a priestess. The ancient shrine is an internationally renowned pilgrim centre dedicated to the Serpent God Nagaraja. The temple here is an important centre of serpent worship in Kerala. On the day of Ayilyam, in the months of September and October, thousands assemble to worship the serpent god. Legend has it that the first priestess of Mannarsala gave birth to a five headed serpent to safeguard the family. At Mannarasala barren women are believed to be blessed with children, and a special turmeric paste, available at the shrine, is credited with powers to cure even leprosy.