In olden times every Hindu family in Kerala had a serpent-grove. Mannarsala, situated to the north-west of Sri.Subramanyaswamy
temple, Haripad, is the seat of the famous temple of Nagaraja (God
of Serpents), the largest of its kind in Kerala . Built in a grove
the temple is reputed for having 30,000 images of snake-Gods.
On the day of Ayilliam asterism in the months
of Kanni and Thulam (September and October), all the serpent idols
in the grove and temple are taken in procession to the illam (family
connected with the temple) where the offerings of Nurum Palum (rice
flour and milk), Kuruthi (a red liquid made of turmeric and lime)
and cooked rice are made. The oldest female member of the family
carries the idol of the Nagaraja and the procession is conducted
with great pomp and rejoicing.