The Ayilyam festival of the Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple at Haripad was celebrated with religious fervour on Monday. Thousands of devotees visited the temple to offer poojas to the deities of nagaraja and naga yakshi on the ayilyam day.
The sanctum sanctorum of the temple was opened at 3.30 am and the devotees reached the temple from the early morning. ‘Ezhunnellathu’ was held at 2.30 pm. Rituals like ‘Ayilyam pooja’, ‘noorum paalum kodukkal’, ‘sarppa bali’, ‘guruthi’ and ‘thattil noorum palum kodukkal’ were also held.
After the afternoon poojas, as part of the Ezhunnellathu, Umadevi Antharjanam carried the golden deity (Thidambu) of the Nagaraja from the temple to the Illam. Younger mother Savithri Antharjanam and two elder persons of the Illam carried the deities of Sarpa yakshi and Naga chamundi respectively.
The special poojas continued till late in the night and ended with the offering of ‘thattil noorum palum’.
More than 50,000 devotees participated in the ayilyam feast served as part of the festival. The KSRTC has arrangedspecial bus service to various parts of the district and neighbouring districts.
A team of 250 police personnel led by Kayamkulam DySP S Devamanohar was deployed in the temple as pert of the security arrangements.