Serpent Worship

Sarpam Tullal (Serpent Dance)

The main attraction of the temple is the Sarpam Tullal (Serpent Dance)- is the main form of traditional worshiping ritual performed annually in a faithful way. This is a specialized form of ritual performed here apart from the routine poojas offered for the snake temples. Sarpam thullal is done to appease the snake gods which represent mother earth. The main aspects of Sapram Tullal are Kalamezhuthu (Drawing of Kalam, a ritual art by itself), song and dance.

Pulluvar & Pulluvan Pattu

The Sapram Tullal is executed through the Pulluvar family as they are closely connected to the serpent worship. One group among these people considers the snake gods as their presiding deity and performs certain sacrifices and sings songs. This is called ’Pulluvan Pattu’.
The song conducted by the pulluvar in serpent temples and snake groves is called Sarppapaattu. It is also called as  Naagam Paattu , Sarpam Thullal, Sarppolsavam, Paambum Thullal or Paambum Kalam.

Pulluvan - The male member
Pulluvathy - The female pulluva member

Sarppa Kalam

The form of the serpents is drawn with rice powder (white) and colour powder (black, red, green, yellow). The canopy (pandal) where the serpent dance takes place is adorned with palm leaves, granium flowers, jasmine flowers, chrysanthemum indicum, champaka, lotus, banyan leaf, betel leaf, ripe arecanut and branches of coconut flowers.

Sample of a sarppa kalam

The Pulluvar conduct the ritual around the decorated kalam (the field where the form of the serpent is drawn) in a certain specific order. Nagapooja and thullal is performed in the night which is the perfect time for serpent spirits to emerge out from their resting places. 

Various Serpent Deity Names

The deities nagas have different names as Naagaraajaavu, Naagayakshi, Sarppayakshi, Maninaagam, Erinaagam, Karinaagam, Kuzhinaagam, Paranaagam and Kanyaavu

Thullal Performers

The serpents are worshipped in front of the Kalam and are offered Noorum Paalum (Lime and Milk). After the pooja, the head of the family who conducts the Sarppam thullal gives bunches of areca flowers to the performers who start dancing rhythmically. The thullal performers of the family will be representing any one of the above snakes. They are supposed to represent the serpent gods, who accept offerings and grant boons to the devotees. The intensity of the dance heightens gradually. It is believed that prophesies which the dancer gives at the point of heightened intensity of the dance usually comes true. They fall on the floor in a trance and rub off the Kalam at the end.

Daily Timings

Morning: 5:30 am to 10:00 am

Evening: 5.30 pm to 8:30 pm

Temple remains closed after the above timings.

On all festival days temple remains open for full day.