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Thousands of devotees thronged the Sree Nagaraja temple at Mannarasala in Haripad on Monday on the occasion of Ayilyam festival.

At the temple, situated amidst a sacred grove, the serpent god Sree Nagaraja is worshipped and puja is performed by priestess known as Mannarasala Amma.

Ezhunnallathu

The ‘ezhunnallathu,’ a procession led by the priestess, was held with traditional fervour in the afternoon. The procession was taken out from the temple to the illam, the family abode of the priestess, located near the temple. Mannarasala Amma, the female head of the illam, carried the ‘Nagaraja thirumukham’ and ‘nagaphanam’ to the illam for performing puja there.

The procession was accompanied by traditional accoutrements such as ‘muthukkuda,’ and ‘venchamaram’ and percussion instruments.

The temple was opened at 3.30 a.m. on Monday. Mannarasala Amma gave darshan to devotees in the morning. The three-day festival had begun on Saturday.

A ‘Deepakazhcha,’ featuring the lighting of thousands of lamps around the temple, was held that day.

Nagaraja Puraskaram, a prize given to well-known personalities in the field of arts and culture, for their contribution to society, was presented to Carnatic musician Parassala B. Ponnammal.